North Valleys stuns Douglas
Nevada Appeal News Service
It’s hard to tell exactly which was more surprising.
The fact that the Douglas football lost its homecoming game, or the fact that it lost it in the second half.
The Tigers, who have literally come to define their character around never losing the second half, did exactly the opposite against North Valleys Friday night.
North Valleys scored two second-half touchdowns and kicked the game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock after a somewhat questionable pass interference call to take a 17-14 win over Douglas and spoil the Tigers’ homecoming night.
“North Valleys came out and wanted it more than we did,” Douglas coach Mike Rippee said. “We haven’t lost a second half here in years, but the passion just was not there tonight.
“We let them stick around just long enough and they took it to us. I give all the credit to them. Their kids were hungry to play.”
The decisive field goal came after a wild 80-yard Douglas touchdown drive to tie the game up with 48 seconds left in the game and an even wilder North Valleys response that saw the Panthers cover 48 yards before the winning kick.
With four seconds remaining on the clock, North Valleys’ Edgar Macias heaved the ball 37 yards into the end zone. The pass fell out of bounds after the Panthers’ receiver went down diving for the ball, but Douglas was flagged for pass interference, giving North Valleys one final play from the 22-yard line with no time on the clock.
The Panthers’ Cameron Neill booted the ball perfectly through the goal post for the win.
“It shouldn’t have come down to the end,” Rippee said. “That’s all there is to it. They made the big play, and that was the key tonight. We gave up two big plays in the third quarter that allowed them to get up and it never should have come down to the end.
“I don’t know what it was. North Valleys was excited to play. They have had some success this year and that’s what we have to get back to. We have to quit going through the motions.”
Trailing 14-7 with 2:37 left in the game, Douglas started out at its own 20. The drive stalled at the 31, but on fourth-and-10 Roman Davis tossed a screen pass out to Tyler Tinstman.
North Valleys appeared to have Tinstman corralled along the left sideline, but Tinstman reversed the play about five yards back to draw the traffic off of the sideline and then whirled around back down the sideline for a breath-taking 25-yard gain.
Reese Kizer then carried the ball 10 yards up the middle, Chris Balcom caught a four-yard pass and Kizer again carried it up the middle for a two-yard gain.
The drive again stalled at the Panthers’ 21, but on fourth-and-four, Tinstman took a sweep to the left and outsprinted a would-be tackler around the corner for a 13-yard gain.
On the ensuing play, Davis hit tight end Brent Koontz across the middle for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Kizer’s extra point tied up the game.
Douglas opened up the scoring midway through the second quarter when Kizer took a one-yard touchdown in after a drive that saw him carry the ball six times. He finished the night with 115 yards on the ground on 18 carries.
North Valleys tied things up early in the third quarter as Chris Castelanos cut back on what would end up being a 65-yard touchdown run.
The Panthers took the lead early in the fourth quarter as Macias hit Archie Rovich for a 35-yard touchdown.
Castelanos finished the night with 125 yards on the ground to lead the Panthers.
Douglas was without D.J. Brady, the leading receiver in the Northern 4A, who Rippee said was unavailable due to circumstances beyond the team’s control.
Chris Balcom caught four passes for 26 yards and Danny Ortiz caught a pass for 17 yards.
Tinstman finished the night with 44 yards on the ground.
Douglas’ James Barnard had three sacks on the defensive side, all coming on consecutive plays during the Panthers’ second drive of the night.
Ryan Pruitt assisted on two sacks, Bryan Barnard had one and Henry O’Hair had one as well.
Cory Fry forced a fumble for the Tigers and Julius Bailey had a fumble recovery.
Douglas dropped to 2-3 on the year and 1-1 in Sierra League play.