Reno, Worthen too much for Douglas
Reno tried to run away from Douglas early on Friday night, scoring two touchdowns inside of the first four minutes, but the Tigers hung around all night before falling 49-21 to the Huskies.
Douglas found itself down 28-0 with 9:59 left in the second quarter and all of the signs indicating the Huskies were going to run away with the early season battle between the two 2-0 teams.
However, the Tigers took advantage of a fourth down stop late in the first half, allowing Isaac Shaver to connect with Isaiah Geilenfeldt for a 55-yard touchdown strike with 15 seconds left to go in the first half.
Douglas came out of the locker room with the same intensity in which it ended the first half as they marched down the field, traveling 64 yards in six plays before the Shaver-Geilenfeldt connection found pay dirt again.
Geilenfeldt’s second trip to the end zone – a 34-yard reception – brought Douglas within 14 points less than two minutes into the second half.
Douglas forced another Reno turnover on downs, but punted on its ensuing drive and Reno responded by driving 55 yards to move in front by 21, 35-14, with 1:30 left in the third quarter.
But, Reno hadn’t seen the last of the pitch-and-catch between Shaver and Geilenfeldt.
Shaver found Cameron Swain on a 37-yard completion that set up the Tigers at the one-yard line as the third quarter wound down.
To open the fourth, Reno posted two goal line stands, pushing Douglas to a 4th-and-goal situation from the 3-yard line.
Opting to go for it, Shaver faked an end-around and threw a strike to none other than Isaiah Geilenfeldt to cut the Reno lead to 14, 35-21, with 11:10 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“Those kids did a great job,” said Douglas head coach Ernie Monfiletto of the quarterback and wide receiver connection. “Isaiah caught the heck out of the ball.”
What ultimately caught up with the Tigers was Reno running back Drue Worthen, who has yet to be slowed down this season.
Worthen capped a nine-play drive in which he carried the ball seven times, finishing it with a six-yard scamper to the pylon to move Reno in front 42-21.
By the time the clock ticked down to triple zeroes, Worthen had recorded four touchdowns on the ground and capped the Husky win with a pick-six to hit the final score of 49-21.
“He’s a great athlete and a great running back,” said Monfiletto. “We need to hunt in packs and tackle and at times we didn’t do a great job of that.”
It was Worthen and Reno’s offensive ability to break open big plays that cost Douglas in the end.
Douglas got bit by the big play in the game’s early going as Taskar Eason hauled in a 71-yard reception for a touchdown on the Huskies first drive.
Eason had two interceptions on defense for the Huskies and Reno posted touchdown plays of 18 and 19 yards in the win.
When Reno did break off the big play, it sometimes came off of a Douglas missed tackle and Monfiletto admitted that was the difference from the Tigers playing neck-and-neck with the Huskies.
“We’re that close. We’re that close to being a really good football team. We just can’t allow people to get up on us,” said Monfiletto. “We have to sustain drives on the offense.”
Regaining their rhythm
Douglas running back Trevor Kruger was contained for the first time this season and Monfiletto knows the Tigers will have to open up lanes on the ground to continue to be successful.
Creating lanes became more difficult after starting center Danny Longre exited the contest with an injury.
However, the head coach had plenty of praise postgame for junior Cuinn Doherty, who came on to replace Longre.
“Danny going out set us back a little bit, but I’m going to tell you that Cuinn really stepped up and played a great football game,” said Monfiletto.
UP NEXT: Douglas (2-1) will welcome another unbeaten into Minden next Friday when Sparks (2-0) rolls into town. Kickoff is expected at 7 p.m.