Senators, Tigers renew long-time rivalry | NevadaAppeal.com

Senators, Tigers renew long-time rivalry

BREAKOUT

WHO: Douglas (1-2) at Carson (2-1)

WHEN: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Carson High School

RADIO: KPTL 1300 AM

By Dave Price

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Appeal Sports Writer

No matter whether they’re playing the first game or last, there’s never any shortage of motivation when the Carson Senators and Douglas Tigers get together on a football field. Expect more of the same tonight when Carson hosts Douglas in the renewal of a neighborhood rivalry that dates back to 1923, making it among the oldest high school rivalries in Nevada.

Carson holds a 38-16-2 lead in the series, though Douglas has won the last three meetings, most recently a 41-0 triumph to end the 2004 regular season. The only thing different about this game – which is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff – is that instead of being the traditional regular season finale, it’s now the Sierra League opener for both sides.

“It really doesn’t matter when we play,” Douglas coach Mike Rippee said with a shrug. “This is one of the oldest rivalries and one of the best. You can’t help but get excited about a game like this.”

Carson coach Shane Quilling echoed that. Even though classes at Carson have been suspended the last two days due to a mercury spill, the Senators are ready to play.

“Everybody knows each other. These kids have been playing against each other for 10 or 11 years, all the way back to Pop Warner. And the coaches are friends; there’s nobody I respect more than those guys,” Quilling said.

The Senators (2-1) have the added incentive of having lost to their rival three years in a row.

“I think we’re evenly matched,” Quilling said. “The last couple of years, we didn’t have a chance because they were better than us, top to bottom. This time, I think it’s going to come down to whoever executes the best in all three phases of the game.”

The Tigers are 1-2 after dropping a 38-6 verdict last Friday against undefeated McQueen, a team ranked No. 1 in the Sierra Nevada Poll. Furthermore, Rippee, in his 21st season as head coach at Douglas, is knocking on the door to Nevada’s elite 100-victory club with a 96-95 overall record.

Like any other rivalry game, stats from the past might as well be thrown out the window.

“They’re a solid team,” Quilling said of the Tigers. “If anybody watched the McQueen film, they really only gave up 14 points. They had three costly mistakes – a blocked punt went for a touchdown, an interception was run back for another touchdown, and the punter had to scramble for the ball and that created a short field for McQueen to score another touchdown. Take those mistakes away and that was a close game.”

The Senators are playing pretty well themselves, according to Rippee.

“We’re going into a beehive,” he said. “Shane’s got his guys playing tremendously well and with a lot of confidence.”

The coach is particularly impressed with Carson’s Bryan Maffei, who has rushed for 664 yards and 9 touchdowns through three games.

“I’m tremendously impressed with that young man. He’s obviously very talented, he’s playing very focused and he’s playing with a lot of desire,” Rippee said of the senior running back. “We’ve seen Carson three times now and he’s one of those guys who elevates everybody else around him.

“He rarely comes off the field. And I love to see that type of guy – I don’t love it when they’re playing for the other team – but you have to admire a guy who plays both offense and defense. That’s where a kid wants to be if he loves the game.”

One key for Douglas will be trying to keep Maffei from breaking long runs for touchdowns. He has scored five times from beyond 40 yards, including runs of 75 and 80 yards against Moapa Valley and a 58-yarder against Manogue.

“We’re never going to stop him, we can just hope to contain him a little bit,” Rippee said. “We have to know where he is when he’s on the field and try to keep him breaking those 50-, 60-yarders.”

That assignment goes to a Douglas defensive unit that has been led by junior linebacker Ryan Pruitt and safety D.J. Brady.

“We’ve got some kids who are playing hard; we just need to get it done for 48 minutes,” Rippee said. “We stand toe-to-toe with anybody, there have just been a few breakdowns here and there that have hurt us.”

Douglas has also faced three of the top teams from the High Desert League – Reed, Spanish Springs and McQueen. The Tigers opened with a 14-7 win at home against Reed.

“I’m glad we’ve had a tough preseason. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but at the same time, we can’t just say we’ve lost to good teams (Spanish Springs and McQueen), we have to learn from those games and improve our level of play so we can get to where we want to be in our division.”

That’s the playoffs, of course. Four teams from both the Sierra and High Desert leagues will continue to play in November – and the top two host first-round games – which makes games in September important.

“The last three or four years, we’ve started league with a loss and it’s come back to hurt us,” Quilling said. “Bottom line, we would have gone to the playoffs the last two years if we would have won one more game, so this game here is huge.”

Nor is there any way to forget that rivalry.

“These are the games you live for, right here,” Quilling said. “You have electricity in the air … The adrenaline is flowing … I think it’s going to be the place to be Friday night.”

Note: Carson will benefit from the return of senior wide receiver Scott Witter, who missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury. Senior kicker Matt Mitchell is still out after sustaining a fractured elbow in the season opener against Moapa Valley, but Quilling said he might be available for Carson’s game next week against Hug.

n Contact Dave Price at dprice@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1220.

SERIES HISTORY

1923 – Carson 76-6

1924 – Carson 7-0

1934 – Carson won 13-6, 6-0

1935 – Carson 44-0

1937 – Carson 7-0

1938 – Douglas 24-0

1939 – Carson won 6-0, 6-0

1940 – 6-6 tie

1941 – Carson 12-0

1943 – Carson 18-6

1945 – Carson 40-12

1946 – Douglas 12-6

1947 – Douglas 25-20

1948 – Carson 46-0

1949 – Carson 21-0

1950 – Douglas 19-7

1951 – Douglas 22-14

1952 – Carson 18-14

1953 – Carson 40-6

1954 – Carson 31-9

1955 – Carson 38-12

1956 – Carson 70-0

1957 – Carson 38-12

1960 – Carson 26-0

1963 – 0-0 tie

1964 – Carson 21-0

1965 – Carson 14-7

1966 – Carson 29-12

1979 – Carson 35-18

1980 – Douglas 18-9

1981 – Douglas 14-6

1982 – Carson 7-6

1983 – Carson 33-13

1984 – Carson 19-0

1985 – Carson 14-7

1986 – Carson 19-7

1987 – Carson 23-13

1988 – Douglas 28-22

1989 – Carson 20-3

1990 – Douglas 20-7

1991 – Carson 20-18

1992 – Douglas 40-7

1993 – Carson 21-0

1994 – Douglas 13-7, OT

1995 – Carson 20-6

1996 – Douglas 35-3

1997 – Carson 35-30

1998 – Carson 13-10, OT

1999 – Douglas 13-9

2000 – Carson 19-7

2001 – Carson 42-6

2002 – Douglas 43-32

2003 – Douglas 37-7

2004 – Douglas 41-0

Carson leads series 38-16-2