Douglas High linebacker Gabe Foster wraps up a Reno ballcarrier last Friday during the Tigers’ home opener.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
Douglas High School football will head north Friday to Galena High School where the Tigers and the Grizzlies will be in search of the season’s first win.
With both squads coming off performances where they weren’t able to find pay dirt, establishing a rhythm will be the focus of the Tiger coaching staff.
“We’re just trying to get better. We’ve had our struggles, but our kids are working hard and our coaches are working on making the proper adjustments to get the ball in the end zone,” said head coach Kyle Mays.
Gabe Foster has been Douglas’ leading rusher on offense and, defensively, has a team-high 20 tackles through three games.
A big piece returning for the Tigers will be Christopher Smalley, who has missed the opening weeks with a hand injury.
Smalley has been cleared to play and Mays can’t wait to see how the rest of the Tigers react to playing alongside their senior captain.
“We will see the difference he makes,” said Mays. “When we made the announcement, the kids were excited because they know the element he adds to our team. … Having him back will be a morale boost for the team.”
Smalley’s younger brother, Cole (No. 42), has 17 tackles and three tackles for loss as a sophomore.
Quarterback Ben Primka (No. 9) will be priority one for Douglas on Friday.
“The kid has a pretty good arm and can really hitch it downfield,” said Mays. “He’s not afraid to run the ball either, which scares any defense.”
The junior quarterback has completed slightly less than 50 percent of his passes while netting 400 yards through the air.
Sophomore lineman Tyler Miller plays both offensive and defensive line for the Grizzlies, has forced two fumbles this season and also serves as the team’s kicker.
“He gives you lots of trouble up front on both sides of the ball,” Mays said of the 6-4, 290-pound Miller.
No. 15, Brian Baker, has been the Grizzlies best weapon on the ground, posting 116 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries this season.
“Their running game isn’t that bad. They try to hit the edge,” said Mays. “I’ve been coaching since 2005 and Galena always has smart, tough kids.”
On the opposite side of the ball, Galena’s base 3-4 defense is similar to what Douglas runs on a weekly basis.
Senior Anthony Miller (No. 28) averages over 11 tackles per game for Galena.
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