Douglas beats Damonte
Nevada Appeal News Service
RENO – The Douglas football team pulled away in the second half against Damonte Ranch Friday night, outscoring the Mustangs 27-3 over the final two quarters for a 41-17 win.
“It was a funny game,” Douglas coach Mike Rippee said. “It was two completely different halves.”
The Tigers (5-2, 3-1) made short work of the Mustangs’ defense on their first drive as Brandon Lowrance carried for three yards, David Laird carried twice for nine yards and Brock Peterson carried for two yards before Peterson swung around the left side and ran 36 yards untouched into the end zone for the early 7-0 lead.
He was helped by a big downfield block by Zach McFadden to get across the goal line.
While it looked like Douglas had claimed the momentum, the Mustangs’ Trey Edmunds received the ensuing kickoff and took the ball 85 yards for the tie.
“We drove down there and scored, but they answered right back with that kick return and that was a big play,” Rippee said. “That gave them some momentum.”
Douglas punted on its next drive and Damonte Ranch drove 80 yards on 11 plays to carry a 14-7 lead into the second quarter with a five-yard touchdown pass from Ray Daniels to Kelton Hall.
“They got that score and all of the sudden we were playing from behind,” Rippee said. “That was good for us to be able to answer the call.”
What followed were two quarterback changes that changed the entire complexion of the game.
One was voluntary, the other one wasn’t.
Daniels, who had thrown for 81 yards for the Mustangs in the first quarter alone, got hit on a pass attempt and left the game with an apparent shoulder injury. He was replaced and the Mustangs managed just 57 passing yards for the rest of the game.
The Mustangs’ drive subsequently sputtered at their own 42 and Kevin Emm partially blocked the punt, setting the Tigers up at their 41.
Douglas junior Tim Rudnick then got his first extensive varsity experience of the season, replacing regular starter David Laird.
“We knew all week the Tim would see some action this week,” Rippee said. “He got out there and he had the hot hand so we kept with him.
“Both those guys will come in on Monday and keep competing for that starting job.”
While Rudnick’s first drive stalled at the 49, he guided the Tigers’ 50 yards in five plays on the next drive and hit Emm for a five-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 2:07 left.
Rudnick finished with 102 yards and two touchdowns on the game.
“He really had a nice game,” Rippee said. “He’s been working hard and hanging in there. He was starting on defense and then he got sick and lost his spot for a while. But he stuck in there and hung tough and made some big plays tonight.”
The two teams went into halftime tied at 14, but Douglas struck quickly to open the third quarter.
McFadden returned the kickoff 37 yards to the Douglas 41 and Peterson ran the ball 38 yards up the middle on the next play.
After an extra five yards was tacked on due to an inadvertent face mask, Rudnick hit McFadden over the shoulder for a 26-yard touchdown just 33 seconds into the half.
Damonte Ranch then drove 71 yards on a marathon drive that included an apparent stop by Douglas, but a muffed punt turned the ball back over to the Mustangs for a first-and-goal at the 5.
Douglas pushed the Mustangs back to the 15, thanks to an offsides penalty and a sack from Jacob Sanford and Curtis Hartzell.
Damonte Ranch attempted a 24-yard field goal that Douglas appeared to block, but the Tiger defender rolled into the kicker, which set the Mustangs up at the 4 with a new set of downs.
Douglas stopped the Mustangs on three more downs and Damonte settled for a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the 2.
Peterson scored on runs of 2 and 3 yards in the fourth and Will Sheerin scored on a one-yard run to complete the scoring on the night.
Defensively, Douglas held the Mustangs to just 81 yards on the ground.
Jacob Sanford, filling in for an injured Anthony Alvitre at nose guard, recorded two sacks in his first varsity start.
Peterson led the Tigers on the ground with 191 yards on 18 carries,
“Special teams is something we still have to work on,” Rippee said. “We struggled a bit there tonight. We did some nice things on defense, which was good to see, and the line did a good job getting the offense going.”