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Douglas tries to overcome controversy

Chuck Smock

The McQueen Lancers opened up defense of their 4A state championship with a 35-8 win over the Douglas Tigers at McQueen.

McQueen scored a touchdown on its first possession, but the Tigers stepped up and stopped the Lancers on their next two possessions.

The game swung in the Lancers’ favor with a controversial call late in the second quarter. On a fourth and seven play from the McQueen 32-yard line, Lancer lineman Dustin Barnett charged into the Douglas backfield and batted down a pass attempt by Luke Rippee. Barnett picked up the loose ball and rambled to the Tiger 2 with less than one minute remaining in the first half.

Much to the dismay of the Douglas coaches, the game officials ruled that the pass was a lateral and allowed the play to stand. Kevin Sutter scored on the next play to give the Lancers a 20-0 halftime lead.

Douglas offensive coordinator Ernie Monfiletto was asked after the game if the pass in question was designed as a lateral.

“No,” he answered. “It was a forward pass and it went forward.”

McQueen managed a single touchdown in the each of the final two quarters to push its lead to 35-0 with six minutes, 25 seconds to play.

Douglas end the shutout bid with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Rippee to Erik Olson with less than two minutes remaining. On a fourth and 11 play from just inside Lancer territory, Rippee hit Olson with a screen pass in the middle of the field. Olson made a mad dash through what appeared to be the entire McQueen defense for the score.

Rippee completed the conversion pass to Mike Garren.

Rippee completed 14 of 28 passes for 153 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in his first varsity start.

Monte McCann led the Douglas ground attack with 81 yards on nine carrries.

Shane Cauley and Garren each intercepted passes for the Tigers. Andy McIntosh and Jake Peterson each recovered a fumble.

The disputed later call was Douglas’ only turnover in the game. Douglas will play host to the Reed Raiders on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Reed opened its season with a 30-21 win over South Tahoe last Friday.