Douglas football crushes Wooster
BY JOEY CRANDALL
Nevada Appeal Sports Service
When a scoreboard reads 49-6 in your favor, that normally tells the whole story.
But as Douglas football coach Mike Rippee gathered his team at the south end of the Wooster football field just in front of that scoreboard Saturday afternoon, his abbreviated postgame speech said volumes more about how he felt the game went.
“Film on Monday, let’s break,” he told the Tigers.
And that was it.
“There’s not much to say,” Rippee said after dismissing the team. “It’s pretty discouraging, the way we played today. We just did not come out prepared to play Douglas football.”
There were, of course, good things. Baron Santiago ran for 182 yards and three touchdowns and the team gained 261 yards on the ground in the absence of their top two running backs, Johnny Pollack and Jordan Cruz.
The defense forced a season-high eight punts and held the Colts to 190 yards of total offense as the Tigers picked up the sixth consecutive win and improved to 4-0 in Sierra League play. Senior Zach McFadden even returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Cruz and Pollack were among 12 Tiger players out with injuries.
But in the grand scheme of things, Rippee was left with few words to describe the game.
“It was ugly,” he said. “You have to give credit to Wooster. They don’t have a lot going for them this year. Not a lot of numbers, not a lot of speed or size. But they came out ready to play and they showed a lot of heart.
“We did pretty much the opposite and that’s something we can’t do if we expect to be a player in the postseason.”
Three of Douglas’ first four offensive drives sputtered in Tiger territory and Wooster drove 80 yards on 11 plays, 10 of which were on the ground, on its first drive of the second quarter to cut the score to 7-6.
That, apparently, was the wakeup call for Douglas.
McFadden returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and the defense clamped down for a three-and-out on Wooster’s next drive.
That set up a seven-play, 53-yard drive late in the half for the Tigers that culminated in Santiago’s second touchdown of the game. Douglas went in to the locker room with the 21-6 lead and managed to pick things up in the third quarter.
Quarterback Tim Rudnick, who finished 11-of-27 for 178 yards, threw a 41-yard touchdown strike to Eric Guzman and a 48-yard score to McFadden in the quarter to put some more distance between the teams.
Guzman wrestled the ball away from a Wooster defender on his acrobatic catch and McFadden made a nice cut-back to pick up a block from Luis Pina-Duarte on his touchdown.
Santiago later scored on an 11-yard run and Ryan Atkinson scored his first varsity touchdown with a two-yard plunge in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring for Douglas.
Atkinson finished with 37 yards, Nico Barker ran for 21 and Rudnick finished with 17. Matt Garren also had a carry for four yards.
The line of Nick Mortenson, Ryan Moglich, Garrett Tenney, Sam Barragan, Jacob Phillips, Danny Bloom, Guzman and Pina-Duarte was key in Douglas being able to pile up the rushing yards.
McFadden finished with nine catches for 128 yards while Connor Dillon had three catches for 49 yards.
Defensively, Douglas got a strong game from its line of David Kolbe, Robbie O’Dell, Moglich, Tenney and Guzman.
Pina-Duarte had a sack and Barker had an interception and Barker and Brad Gonzalez were strong in run support for the Tigers.
Douglas will travel to Bishop Manogue Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in a battle for sole possession of first place.