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Douglas to host Galena

Chuck Smock

A healthy mix of big plays on offense and defense carried the Douglas football team to a 21-14 win over the Reed Raiders last Friday at DHS.

The Tigers will try to carry the momentum from their first win into today’s home game with Galena.

The Grizzlies return most of their top players from the team that made the Northern 4A playoffs for the first time in school history last year. Wooster needed a two-point conversion late in the game to beat Galena 14-13 two weeks ago. Last week, the Grizzlies beat Carson 25-14.

“Galena is a good football team,”Douglas coach Mike Rippee said. “They’re one of the top three teams in that other division, which is a very, very strong division. Galena is playing with a tremendous amount of confidence.

“Last week against Carson, they were coming off a devastating loss to Wooster that would be enough for a team to come out flat the next week. They came out even more anxious to win. That shows they’re being led by their seniors and have a good junior class. They’re motivated. They’ve been to the playoffs and they want to be back.”

Running back Luke Penrose leads the way offensively for Galena. He caught six passes for 104 yards and one touchdown against Carson. He also rushed 19 times for 71 yards and another score.

“Luke Penrose is tougher than nails,” Rippee said. “He’s one of the best players in the league.

“They get him the ball so they can make the big plays. Theams know that and he still does it.”

The Douglas defense continued its opportunistic ways against Reed. The Tigers forced seven turnovers, including two interceptions and a fumble recovery by senior defensive back Mike Garren. Seniors Jake Allsip and Brandon Shupe recovered fumbles.

Senior Erik Olson and sophomore Andy McIntosh each also intercepted passes.

In the season opener against defending state champion McQueen two weeks ago, the Tigers forced four turnovers.

“I think the kids are going hard and they’re playing with enthusiasm,” Douglas defensive coordinator Bob Bateman said. “We’re flying to the ball.

“The most important thing defensively is to play with emotion. You can be so aggressive. You still have to have the mental aspect under control, but you can turn it loose a little bit.

“It goes back to they’re buying in. They really, really want to play good defense and that just snowballs.

Sophomore quarterback Luke Rippee made a fine home debut at Keith Roman Field.

On th Tigers’ third play from scrimmage, Rippee scampered 63 yards on an option play to the Raiders’ 7-yard line. On the next play, he hit Tommy Hoyle with a touchdown pass that gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead after Andrew Andrews kicked the extra point.

Late in the second quarter, following Shupe’s fumble recovery, Rippee connected with Olson on a 58-yard pass that carried the Tigers inside the Reed 20. He tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass to McIntosh one play later with 51 seconds remaining in the half.

Douglas charged out of the locker room after halftime. Monte McCann rushed three times in a row for 31 yards to set the tone for what turned into a 15-play, 81-yard scoring drive. Rippee capped the drive with an 8-yard ttouchdown run on a naked bootleg play.

“I told them at halftime this half will define what type of football team you are and it did,” coach Rippee said. “”We’re still green in spots and making mistakes, but we have a tremendous will to win and I think that’s a great thing to have on a young football team.”

Rippee finished with 84 yards on seven rushes and completed nine passes for 140 yards with no interceptions.

McCann carried the ball 14 times for 84 yards. Olson caught three passes for 70 yards. Garren had four catches for 45 yards.