Carson, Douglas renew their rivalry
Appeal Sports Writer
There won't be a Sierra League championship or playoff berth on the line when archrivals Carson and Douglas
“This is one game all year where you don’t care what (place) you play in. It doesn’t matter what the records are,” said Quilling, whose Senators – 2-4 in the Sierra League and 2-7 overall – will be playing in their final game of the season. “The kids get excited. They see each other all year and in the summer.
“It’s one game you don’t have to worry about your kids being excited and ready. We have nothing to lose.”
The same can be said for the Tigers – 5-1 in league and 7-2 overall – who will finish the season in second place and advance to next week’s Northern 4A regional playoffs, where they will likely meet High Desert League No. 3 seed Reed in the first round.
“It’s always a great game,” said Rippee, in his 23rd season as Douglas head coach. “I feel it’s going to be a physical game. We have to be prepared mentally and physically to play for four quarters. It may come down to the end.
“This could be a tight game. As usual, the team that makes the fewest mistakes and gets a couple of breaks will be the team that wins.”
The series dates back to 1923 and although Carson holds a 37-18-2 edge, Douglas has won the last five games, including a 19-12 squeaker at Manogue High School last season.
The Senators are coming off a 24-21 loss Friday to North Valleys in a game that was played in 50-mph winds and was marked by horizontal rain, while the Tigers worked over South Tahoe, 40-13, on Saturday.
For the first time in several weeks, Carson hasn’t lost any players to injuries and will have senior quarterback Mitch Hammond back. Hammond missed two games after suffering a concussion in a loss to Hug.
Quilling said he would be pulling out all the stops and switch up Hammond and senior Chris McBroom at quarterback, while alternating McBroom, junior Maciek Kuroczka and Hammond at running back and wide receiver.
“Getting Mitch back gives us another option,” Quilling said. “Maciek ran hard and showed good athleticism (against North Valleys). He broke it outside, he ran it inside – he gained (81) yards in horrible conditions.
“Hopefully we’ll find a way to break through and score. We’ve moved the ball all year, but we haven’t been able to cash it in. (Against the Panthers) we did everything we wanted to do again and moved the ball on them. We had opportunities to score, but we didn’t take advantage of them.”
The Tigers – last year’s Sierra League champions – haven’t had a problem lighting up the scoreboard this season, outscoring their opponents 274-134.
Douglas’ two losses came against first-place Reno (21-7) and Reed of the High Desert League (38-15). Including their victory over South Tahoe, the Tigers have scored 40 or more points in five games, beating North Valleys (43-3), Damonte Ranch (41-17), Wooster (42-7) and Fallon (41-0) in the process.
Rippee attributes his team’s success to his offensive line, which is comprised of Mike Coyler, Curtis Hartzell, Jordan Volk, Trevor McCarthy and Parker Robertson, who have opened the path for running back Brock Peterson and fullback Brandon Lowrence. Peterson has gained more than 1,200 yards and scored 15 touchdowns.
Douglas also runs one- and two-tight end formations that include 6-foot-7 Jeff Nady and 6-3 Kevin Emm. Rippee started the season with senior David Laird at quarterback, but has been going with junior Timmy Rudnick the last few games.
Rippee said Zach McFadden is the team’s leading receiver, but that he has had help from Parker Fellows and Ross Bertaloni.
“We’ve had a great team effort,” Rippee said.
For Carson, playing Douglas will be tantamount to being in a playoff game.
“It’s a great way to end the season,” Quilling said. “Coach Rippee and his coaches – we all know each other well. There’s a lot of respect. Douglas is a solid team. We have to play extremely well to beat them. They can run; they can throw – that’s why they’re 7-2. Hopefully we can play a complete game and give them a run for their money.”