MINDEN — Five possessions and four scores. It may have been the best offensive half of football the Douglas Tigers have played all season.
Douglas parlayed that 25-point first half into a 32-18 Homecoming win over Hug on Friday in a non-league game at Keith Roman Field.
Douglas improved to 2-5 overall heading into next week’s showdown against Sierra powerhouse Damonte Ranch.
“It was a great win,” said Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto. “I thought our offensive line played well and Dakota Lowden ran hard; and Hunter Hickey is our workhorse.
“We made a couple of errors that let them back in the game. It was just mental errors.”
The offense was solid thanks to 137 yards and a score by Lowden and 101 from Hickey and a score. Hickey also threw for 177 yards and two scores.
And, the Tigers’ defense was spectacular at times with five sacks, several more stops behind the line of scrimmage and two turnovers. Chris Merritt had four of those sacks.
Douglas scored on its first possession, driving from its own 24 to the Hug 8 before the drive bogged down.
Chris Flores came on to kick a 25-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Lowden had three carries for 38 yards on the series.
After Hug went three and out on its next possession, Douglas took over on Hug’s 40.
The Tigers didn’t waste the prime field position, finding the end zone five plays later on Lowden’s 23-yard scoring run. The 2-point conversion made it 11-0 with 1:33 left in the opening quarter.
Hickey kept the drive alive with a 3-yard quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-1 play from the Hug 31.
Hug followed with a lengthy drive, but came up empty when quarterback Marcus Reyla-Perry was sacked at the Douglas 14.
The Tigers, buoyed by the defensive stop, drove 86 yards in six plays with Hickey scoring from the 2. Flores’ PAT made it 18-0 with 8:08 left in the half.
Hickey went 4-for-4 on the drive for 75 yards. He had a 26-yarder to Devon Ryan and a 31-yarder to Lowden on a screen pass.
The teams traded turnovers late in the first half, and Douglas had to drive just 14 yards for its final score of the half. Hickey found Jack Overton with a 21-yard scoring toss with 21 seconds left in the half. Flores made it 25-0 with his PAT.
Instead of a rout, this one turned into a tale of two halves. The Tigers found themselves in a ballgame in the final 24 minutes, as Caleb Tolliver scored three times in the second half for the Hawks. The Tigers had held him to 24 yards on 10 carries in the opening half.
“Hug played hard in the second half,” Monfiletto said. “They started bringing more people defensively, and we didn’t account for them. This is a group that is trying to learn how to win.”
Douglas drove to Hug’s 32, but failed to convert when Lowden was thrown for a loss.
Tolliver broke loose for a 52-yard run on the ensuing series to make it 25-6.
Douglas drove to Hug’s 32 on its next drive, but Flores had his 49-yard field goal blocked. Three plays later, Tolliver broke off a 43-yard scoring run to make it 25-12 with 4:08 left in the third.
The Tigers took the ensuing kickoff and drove 55 yards in five plays with Hickey finding Matthew Shick in the end zone for a 30-yard score to make it 32-12. Hickey showed his athleticism, scrambling all the way to the right and throwing back across the field to a wide-open Shick.
Hug got it back to a two-touchdown deficit after Flores, subbing for Hickey, coughed up the ball at his own 2, which resulted in a 1-yard scoring run by Tolliver with 2:59 left in the contest.
Hug’s last possession ended in an interception by Andrew Williams at the Hug 38, and the offense ran out the clock.