RENO — After the game was over, the Douglas High football team didn’t want to look at the scoreboard.
Sure the game got away from the Tigers in a big way as McQueen took a 55-9 win over Douglas on Friday night in an Northern 4A first round playoff game.
But the lopsided score wasn’t why the Tigers weren’t looking at the scoreboard. They didn’t want what was on the scoreboard to spoil what has been a season to build on. Douglas finished the year at 5-5 and Tiger coach Ernie Monfiletto said he believes his program has a bright future.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this whole group,” Monfiletto said. “These kids stepped up and played their butts off. The seniors set the stage. The did a great job of creating a culture and they expected to get better.”
The Tigers were wounded at running back against McQueen. Trevor Kruger, who rushed for 261 yards and had 354 total yards last week in the Tigers 24-14 win over Carson and was the leading rusher for Douglas, was out with an ankle injury.
But Gabe Wetzel, who had been out all season after suffering an injury in the season opener, came back to replace Kruger against McQueen. Wetzel, though, went down in a heap, clutching his knee, after running for 19 yards down to the McQueen 14-yard line in the second quarter.
Wetzel left the game on crutches with a knee injury after gaining 59 yards on 13 carries. Isaac Leigh was next up for Douglas, doing an admirable job, rushing for 65 yards on 12 carries. He also scored the Tigers’ only touchdown on a 9-yard scoring run after Wetzel left the game.
“He just did a great job running the ball from that point forward,” said Monfiletto about Leigh after the injury to Wetzel.
Douglas was actually able to move the ball against McQueen as Isaiah Geilenfeldt had six catches for 92 yards for the Tigers. “They did a good job of moving the ball,” said Monfiletto about his offense.
But the Tigers couldn’t overcome huge games by J.D. Kolb, quarterback Dominique Stallworth and Jonah Marcaida, who all rushed for more than 100 yards.
Kolb rushed for 141 yards on 16 carries. He ran for 129 yards and six touchdowns on 14 carries in the first half. Stallworth rushed for 102 yards on six carries and Marcaida had 122 yards on four carries.
The game began well enough for Douglas when McQueen treated Chris Flores’ squib kick to open the game like a live grenade. Wetzel didn’t take long to get back into the action, recovering the ball at the McQueen 26.
Wetzel then had runs of 11 and 10 yards down to the McQueen 10 after a 5-yard penalty against Douglas. The drive stalled, though, and the Tigers settled for Flores’ 30-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
Kolb responded with a 16-yard scoring run to give McQueen a 7-3 lead. After Douglas fumbled the ball away at its own 42, Kolb went on to score on an 8-yard run to give the Lancers a 14-3 lead.
On its ensuing drive, Douglas lost 16 yards on an ill-fated reverse attempt and then quarterback Colton Weidner was sacked all the way back to the Tiger 1. Weidner punted from the back of the end zone to the Douglas 37 and Cody Ciglar returned the punt to the Douglas 20.
That set up Kolb’s 15-yard TD run that made it 21-3. Ciglar also had a 53-yard scoring run after coming in at quarterback for Stallworth in garbage time to finish the scoring.
The Tigers fought back as Geilenfeldt caught two passes for 32 yards from Weidner and Wetzel ran for 19 yards to the McQueen 14 on the play he was injured. That set up Leigh’s 9-yard scoring run to pull Douglas to within 21-9.
McQueen answered with a 72-yard run on an end around by Marcaida, setting up Kolb’s 5-yard scoring run to give McQueen a 27-9 lead. Kolb would score again on a 13-yard TD run.
Douglas had a drive going at the end of the half on the strength of a leaping grab of a Weidner pass by Geilenfeldt for a 28-yard gain. Leigh then ran for 10 yards to the McQueen 32.
But then Jalen King intercepted a screen pass at the Lancer 35 and returned it to the Douglas 20. That set up Kolb’s 8-yard scoring run to give McQueen a 41-9 halftime lead.
Marcaida got into the act in the second half with a 41-yard TD run to give the Lancers a 48-9 lead.