Douglas rallies in second half, but Galena holds on

Douglas' Trace Estes hauls in a 14-yard scoring pass with 39 seconds left in the Tigers' game Monday against Galena.

Douglas' Trace Estes hauls in a 14-yard scoring pass with 39 seconds left in the Tigers' game Monday against Galena.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

On a night when the scoreboard actually shut down, the Douglas Tigers football team also ran out of time.

After running just 17 plays in the opening half, Douglas rallied in the second half and put itself in position for a dramatic comeback, but Galena held on for a 17-14 win in a battle of old Sierra League rivals Monday night at Keith Roman Field.

The loss dropped the Tigers to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Northern 5A games; the Grizzlies improved to 4-1, 2-0. The game was shifted to Monday after poor air quality in the region postponed its original Friday night date.

Trailing 17-7 and with the fourth-quarter clock winding down, Douglas put together its best drive of the game, going 80 yards in nine plays and scoring on a 14-yard corner route from Owen Evans to Trace Estes with 39 seconds left. Evans also completed throws of 16, 15, and 16 yards on the drive.

The Grizzlies, though, were able to jump on the ensuing onside kick. One quick kneel-down later — even with the scoreboard losing power — the Grizzlies ran out the clock.

“It's not a staple of our offense, but it's obviously there when we need it,” Douglas head coach Kyle Mays said of the Tigers’ late passing attack. “I'd say that was probably the only real halftime adjustment; maybe trying to put the ball in the air a little bit more. And we seem to do pretty decent with it.”

Key play
Actually, it was a series of plays.

With Galena leading 17-7, the teams combined for five turnovers in a span of six possessions. Galena lost the ball on an interception and a fumble, while Douglas lost a fumble and then suffered interceptions on two straight possessions.

Despite trading the ball back and forth, the teams did not put any points on the board from the series of turnovers. The game then ended with Galena’s final drive of the night — with the Grizzlies punting the ball away after five plays — and Douglas’ late touchdown drive.

Second-half rally
After running just 18 plays in the first half, the Douglas offense began to move the chains in the second.

Trailing 17-0 at the break, the Tigers made a game of it by scoring on their first and last drives of the half. On the first, the Tigers used 12 plays to march 71 yards, getting first downs on three consecutive plays at one point. Evans finished the drive off with a heads-up 13-yard scramble to put Douglas onto the scoreboard.

The Tigers’ final drive went nine plays.

Earlier, Galena’s Colson Kermode added to his scoring total with a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs on the Grizzlies’ first two possessions. He’s now scored nine times on the season.
“I personally struggle sometimes right after tough losses like that,” Mays said. “But I'm proud of how they fought in the second half and fought to the bitter end. A nd again, we were really, really close to getting that onside (kick).”

Next up
Douglas goes back on the road, traveling to Reed (2-2, 1-1) for a Saturday game. The Raiders are coming off a 48-24 win over Carson on Monday.

The game is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.

The teams moved their scheduled Friday kickoff to Saturday to comply with the NIAA’s rule against football players appearing in two games in a five-day window.

The Raiders have been led all season by running back Spencer Firebaugh, the state’s top rusher. Entering Monday night’s games, he had rushed for 671 yards and eight touchdowns.

Galena will play in the final non-league game on the Northern 5A schedule, hosting McKay (Ore.) on Saturday.

5A North
(League, overall)
B. Manogue    2-0, 2-2
Galena            2-0, 4-1
Reno               1-0, 3-1
Sp. Springs     1-0, 2-3
Reed               2-1, 3-2
Carson            0-2, 1-4
Douglas          0-2, 1-4
D. Ranch        0-1, 0-4
McQueen       0-2, 1-4


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