Reed, Damonte to play for title
SPARKS — Quarterback Cameron Emerson threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more Thursday night to lead the Reed High football team past Douglas 47-7 in the Northern 4A region semifinals.
Reed (11-1 overall), the five-time defending region champion, led 20-0 after one quarter and 33-7 at halftime to extend its win streak to 11 straight games.
The Raiders will face Damonte Ranch in the championship game next Friday at McQueen High. The game is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. kickoff.
Meanwhile, Douglas saw its three-game win streak snapped and closed the book on its season with a 6-5 record.
Ryland DeSomber scored for the Tigers on a 5-yard touchdown run in the final 48 seconds before halftime.
Robert Ferrel caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Emerson to give Reed a 6-0 lead. Tre Bussey followed with scoring runs that covered 54 and 9 yards and then tight end Grant Cotter caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Emerson in the corner of the end zone. Emerson later ran 8 yards for another touchdown as the Raiders extended their lead to 33-0 with 2:31 left in the second quarter.
Douglas answered quickly and drove 62 yards in one minute, 43 seconds before halftime.
Emerson ran 15 yards for another touchdown and then threw a 47-yard scoring strike to Ferrel to make it 47-7 midway through the third quarter.
Damonte Ranch 21, Reno 6
RENO — Cade McNamara threw three first-half touchdowns, and the Mustangs intercepted three passes en route to a win in a Northern 4A semifinal Thursday night at Damonte Ranch.
The Mustangs earned the right to play defending regional champ Reed next Friday at 7:10 at McQueen.
“We’re just going to game plan like we always do,” Damonte coach Shawn Dupris said when asked about playing Reed. “Our defense was outstanding tonight. We played hard. We shut down the run. We did an outstanding job.”
Indeed. The Mustangs held Brandon Kaho, normally a 100-yard rusher, to just 84 yards on 20 attempts. Reno had just 99 yards in the first half, and needed a late scoring drive to get over the 200-yard mark for the game. Reno’s score came with 12.7 seconds left.
Damonte took the opening kick-off and drove 68 yards in 10 plays, nine of them passes, to take a quick 7-0 lead with 8:32 remaining on McNamara’s 8-yard fourth-down pass to Ryan Riggle in the deep left corner of the end zone.
After holding Reno without a first down on the ensuing drive, the Mustangs drove 65 yards in six plays with McNamara lofting a 41-yard pass to Dru Jacobs. The PAT made it 14-0 with 4:33 left in the opening quarter.
Thanks to completions of 19 and 10 yards by Drake Vestbie, Reno drove down to Damonte’s 24-yard line. On third-and-4, Brandon Kaho’s pass was picked off by Anthony Parker at the Damonte 17.
It took less than four minutes for Damonte to strike again. The Mustangs drove 78 yards in eight plays to extend their lead to 21-0 with 7:26 left in the half. McNamara, who passed for 187 yards unofficially, threw a 55-yard pass to Jacobs, whose only two catches resulted in touchdowns.
“They did what we expected (defensively), and the offensive line held up and Cade (McNamara) put it in the receiver’s hands,” Durpris said.
The second half turned into a defensive struggle. Damonte managed just four first downs, while Reno tallied six first downs.
Vestbie threw his second interception at the Damonte 4 with less than four minutes left in the contest.
Damonte was unable to register a first down and punted the ball away to its 40.
It took the Huskies nine plays, but they finally scored on a 3-yard pass from Vestbie to Matthew Desiderio. Reno went for two and failed.
Dave Price and Darrell Moody contributed to this report