Prep football previews
Even a 35-13 homecoming loss to Reno last Friday hasn’t dashed the Douglas Tigers’ hopes of making the Northern 4A playoffs. Not that it was needed, but the setback heaped an extra dose of importance on Saturday’s 1 p.m. division game against Wooster in Reno.
The Tigers (1-2, 1-5), whose only victory ever against Wooster came at home in 1991, could regain control of their postseason fate with a win over the Colts (3-0, 5-1).
Looking at the rest of the schedule this season – and guessing at who might beat whom – there’s a good chance at least one team will make the playoffs with a 3-3 record. The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) tie-breaker formulas will almost certainly come into play.
“Right now, we’ll probably need some help along the way, but the only group that can really help us is us,” Douglas coach Mike Rippee said. “The main thing is to get back on track and play hard. Obviously, we have quite a challenge in front of us. Wooster is hot, but they are definitely beatable.
“We have to play with a lot of emotion and intensity and, hopefully, keep everybody healthy.”
Wide receiver Gabe Hatchett, the team’s leading receiver, went down with a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter against Reno last week. The junior sustained damage to his medial meniscus and is facing a 3-4 month recovery period.
There was good news this week when it was learned senior co-captain Kyle Baker, who starts at running back and linebacker, might be ready to return to action Saturday. Baker went down with an MCL injury at Hug two weeks ago and was expected to be out 2-4 weeks.
The Tigers will have to go on and play, with or without their injuries. There’s no room for excuses now, according to Rippee.
“We played them tough last year,” Rippee said, referring to last year’s 21-12 loss at home to Wooster. “We have to get over that hump and believe we can beat these teams – and we can. You go out and play with a lot of heart and intensity and good things will happen for you. These kids will respond. They’re a good group.”
MINERAL COUNTY AT DAYTON
Dayton coach Butch Cattanach has a couple of goals in mind for the Dust Devils’ 3A Division II contest at home against the Mineral County Serpents tonight.
First of all, the Dust Devils need to win the game in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Second, Cattanach wants to see them play a complete game from start to finish.
“We were up on Whittell a couple of weeks ago and then they came back on us in the second half. And last year we were up 18 points on Hawthorne and they came back to beat us,” Cattanach said. “We have to learn how to finish people.”
The Dust Devils are 1-1 in Division II play (1-4 overall) and still in the hunt for second place and a berth in the state 3A playoffs next month. The key to getting there is going to be the next three weeks – Dayton must win successive games against Mineral County, Incline and Yerington, and Pershing County must lose a couple somewhere along the way.
Pershing County edged Dayton 22-21 in an overtime battle on Sept. 17.
“We’re going to need some help, but I don’t even want to think that far ahead,” Cattanach said. “We need to win our games first.”
First, the Dust Devils will try to even an old score after dropping a 26-24 heart breaker to Mineral County last year in Hawthorne. Darryl Rockmore’s 20-yard touchdown run with two minutes left to play gave the Serpents their first lead of the night – and the win.
Dayton is coming off a 27-7 loss to Boulder City, and the week before, the Dust Devils needed two late touchdowns to pull away with a 35-12 victory against Whittell.
BATTLE MOUNTAIN AT FERNLEY
The Fernley Vaqueros will celebrate homecoming and try to get on track to the 3A playoffs tonight against Division I foe Battle Mountain.
Fernley (0-1, 3-2) is coming off a 23-7 loss in its Division I opener at Spring Creek last Friday.
“It’s a must game for us,” Hart said. “If we play like we did Friday night, we’ll be in good shape. We’re still young, but we’re only going to get better.”
The Battle Mountain Longhorns lost their division opener at Tahoe-Truckee on Saturday, 35-0.
Sophomore quarterback Matt Lambeth was Fernley’s top offensive weapon last week with 143 yards passing, including a 77-yard touchdown pass to tight end James Griggs in the third quarter. He also ran for another 61 yards. Running back Joey Fennessey also rushed for 42 yards.
YERINGTON AT BISHOP MANOGUE
Yerington will see its three-game win streak face a formidable test Saturday afternoon when the Lions travel to Reno for a 3A Division II showdown against Bishop Manogue.
Yerington (3-2) leads Division II with a 3-0 record. Manogue’s Miners (5-0) are 2-0 in division play, having won those games by a combined margin of 130-13.
“They’re not undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the 3A state poll for nothing,” Yerington coach Eric Bobrick said. “We’re going up there to play four quarters of football and see who comes out on top. It’s going to be tough, no doubt about it. We’re just looking to win another game and they’re looking to win a state championship.”
Fullback Jason Borsini rushed for 244 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Josh Allen ran for another 227 yards and three touchdowns in Yerington’s 60-24 victory at home against Whittell last Friday.