MINDEN — The Douglas Tigers scored on each of their four first-half possessions Friday night and went onto a 24-6 Northern 4A region playoff victory against Spanish Springs.
Hunter Hickey rushed for 102 yards and one touchdown, plus he threw for another score for Douglas (6-4 overall), which surged to a 24-0 halftime lead at Keith Roman Field.
The playoff win is the first for Douglas football since 2011 (43-15 at Reno) and the first at home since 2004 (30-15 over Bishop Manogue). The Tigers extended their win streak to three games — they’ve now won five of seven — and earned the right to move on and play at Reed in the semifinals next Thursday.
It also enabled the Tigers to reverse a 51-27 regular season defeat at Spanish Springs (5-5) on Sept. 9, although the Cougars played this time without senior quarterback Korbin Marcum (2,105 yards passing), who watched from the sideline after going down with an injury in the Cougars’ final regular season game last week against Reed.
The Tigers only needed two plays to score on their opening possession, as they took over at the 49 after an errant punt formation snap. A dead ball personal foul gave the Tigers even better field position, and moments later, Hickey cut back on the right side on his way to a 31-yard touchdown run.
Dawson Coman’s 33-yard run set the stage for a 25-yard Josh Gurule field goal.
Next, Ryland DeSomber shook free from a tackle at the line of scrimmage and scampered 15 yards for another touchdown. Then Michael Cobb pulled down a 20-yard touchdown reception over a defender to make it 24-0 with 52.2 seconds left before halftime.
As it turned out, the extra cushion was needed because Douglas was limited to 48 total yards on 16 offensive plays in the second half. The Tigers rushed for 198 yards in the first half and 39 yards after the intermission.
One Spanish Springs drive was stopped in the third quarter when Alex Harker came up with a third down interception in the red zone.
The Cougars came back to mount a 15-play, 57-yard drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters. Gabby Ordaz capped the drive on a 3-yard touchdown run with 9:01 left to play.
Reed, the five-time defending region champion, improved its season record to 10-1 Friday night with a 69-18 win at home against Manogue.