Douglas High's Trevor Kruger (8) and Gabe Foster (13) jump into the air to celebrate a touchdown in the Tigers' 38-9 win over Carson Friday night.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
It was evident instantly how much the rivalry game meant to both Carson and Douglas High Schools.
Even in the pregame warm-ups you could see the emotion on both sidelines leading into Friday night.
It was Douglas that held onto The Rivalry Trophy Friday night with a 38-9 win over the Senators in Carson.
“It means everything because this is what we look forward to most every year,” said Douglas defensive lineman Christian Janota. “It’s a special game for us and we came out with a win.”
The Tigers allowed the fewest yards per game in Northern Nevada 5A play coming into Friday night’s contest and that same defensive prowess showed.
Douglas picked off five Carson passes on the night, including an interception that flipped the tables just before the break.
Defensive intensity in first half
Gabe Foster put an exclamation point on the Tigers’ first half, stepping in front of a Senator pass and strolling down the home sideline for a 35-yard pick six.
“I saw them pull it. … I read it. They just happened to throw it. I got lucky, is about all I can say,” said Foster.
It’s the second time this season Foster has returned an interception to the end zone and the defensive score gave Douglas a 17-6 lead with 34 seconds to go before the intermission.
The Tigers opened the scoring on their first drive of the contest with a 41-yard field goal off the leg of Hardy Leikens midway through the first quarter.
Leikens’ kick clipped the cross bar, but bounced up and in to put Douglas on the board.
Two drives later, Carson quarterback Vinny Ferretti found DeCarlo Quintana for a 26-yard pitch and catch score.
Quintana’s touchdown capped seven-play, 61-yard drive and gave Carson a 6-3 lead to start the second quarter.
Ferretti finished the evening with 102 total yards passing while Ben Heaton had an impressive 21 total tackles on defense for Carson.
“Defensively, our gameplan worked very well in the first half,” said Carson High head coach Blair Roman. “That pick at the end of the first half, … they sniffed us out on that play. That was the turning point in the game.”
In true rivalry fashion, Douglas answered the Senator score with a trip to the end zone itself.
A 13-play Douglas drive came to a conclusion when Cameron Swain hauled in a seven-yard completion on a fade pass from quarterback Aden Flory.
A long kickoff return setup the Senators with one final opportunity to steal some points before the half, but a Trevor Kruger INT stalled the drive.
“Our linemen were getting their hands up. Our corners were getting in the face of the wide receivers and our safeties were making plays everywhere,” Foster said. “My Will backer played amazing.”
Tigers run away with second half
Douglas opened the second half with an eight-play, 78-yard drive that ended in a 37-yard touchdown completion from Flory to Chris Smalley.
On the ensuing Carson possession, a deflected pass by Smalley allowed Janota to layout for an interception in Senator territory.
“I looked up, saw it and everything went slow motion. I dove and I thought, ‘man I better catch this,’” laughed Janota. “It was special.”
Smalley went on to snag another touchdown reception to give Douglas a 38-6 lead late in the third quarter after Dominic Costarella hauled in a seven-yard touchdown pass on the drive prior.
Inside of the final minute, Carson’s Isaac Avina stepped into a 36-yard field goal to give the Senators their final score of the evening.
UP NEXT: Both Carson (0-4) and Douglas (3-2) anticipate playing in a bowl week for one final game this season. As of Friday night opponents for next week were still to be determined.