After a difficult start to the season, the Damonte Ranch Mustangs appear to have the herd heading in the right direction, following a 63-21 victory before a raucous home crowd. It was the first home game of the year for the Mustangs, and they didn’t disappoint!
The Mustangs opened the scoring with a six-yard rushing touchdown by senior Mason Reasoner. Reasoner’s touchdown was set-up by a splashy Cooper Anderson to Drew Vargas pass play. The Douglas Tigers responded with a touchdown on the ensuing possession, a one-yard run by impressive senior running back, and linebacker, Gabriel Foster. It became a back-and-forth affair with junior Cameron Rodriguez punching it in for the Mustangs from one yard out, however there was a penalty after the play, pushing the point after try back, which Hayden Karam missed, his only miss out of nine attempts, making the score 13-7.
Douglas responded with a 61-yard run by Anthony Menzer, and after their point after try, Douglas led 14-13. Mason Reasoner responded to the 61-yard Menzer run with a 56-yard run of his own, and after a successful two-point try the Mustangs were up 21-14. Reasoner picked up another touchdown making it 28-14. The Tigers responded with a kick return for a touchdown, narrowing the gap to 28-21 in the second quarter, but that would be as close as the Tigers would get as Damonte would score the next five touchdowns. Cooper Anderson found Drew Vargas for an 11-yard touchdown pass making it 35 -21. Vargas wasn’t done, he scored again, before the end of the first half, making it 42-21 at the half.
At halftime the home crowd had the opportunity to see the nationally recognized cheer team perform, as well as the marching band. Both programs have won critical acclaim at the regional, state, and national levels. It was also a “pink out” night, raising awareness, and funds, for the fight against breast cancer.
The action resumed in the third quarter, with the Mustangs forcing the Tigers to punt on their first possession. Damonte then scored on their first possession of the second half, seven points in the form of a one yard Anderson touchdown pass to senior Cade Rodahoffer, making the score 49-21. Anderson next found senior Hayden Karam on a 63-yard touchdown pass which activated a running clock with the score standing at 56-21. Eddie Osborne finished the Mustangs scoring outburst with a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Senior Tyler Clark returned to action after suffering a broken collarbone during the Faith Lutheran game in Las Vegas, on September 3rd. Clark played both ways, on a limited snap count, but it was a welcome site seeing the popular senior back on the field.
OFFENSIVE GAME BALL AWARD
Your author would award three game balls on the offensive side of the ball, one to quarterback Cooper Anderson who had a great night along with one ball each for running backs Mason Reasoner and Cameron Rodriguez. Of course, Anderson threw from a clean pocket and the running backs only had room to run because of the dominant performance put forth by the offensive line, so, game balls for them as well.
DEFENSIVE GAME BALL AWARD
Tough to award because Nate Meredith had a solid game, as did Conner Kimmel. Braelen Toles made a number of plays along with Ricky Fisher. Your author will give the game ball to Michael Venezia, the senior linebacker who is leading the team in tackles.
The Spanish Springs Cougars will make the trip down to south Reno Friday night in a matchup of top 10 ranked teams (Noland Perry Rankings). Spanish Springs is 1-2 in league and 3-4 overall. The Cougars dropped games to Liberty (CA), Oakdale (CA), McQueen, and Manogue while securing wins against Carson City, Aquinas (CA), and Reno High.
The Cougars still love to throw the ball, and their quarterback is J.J. Dain. The Cougars are led in rushing by senior running back Jeremiah Johnson, but Dain is the second leading rusher on the team. The Cougars have five players with double digit receptions, with athletic playmaker Malachi Thomas leading the way with 21 receptions, and two touchdowns. Marco Casci leads the team in tackles followed by Jake Penny.
The Mustangs should look to continue feeding Reasoner and Rodriguez, who have become a formidable one-two punch. Reasoner is the second leading rusher in the North, and after Friday night’s performance, Rodriguez should not be far behind. Anderson is improving game by game and is finding Vargas downfield consistently. The Mustangs will need to slow the Cougars passing attack, without allowing Dain to punish them with his legs.
5A NORTH STANDINGS
1) McQueen, 4-0 league record, 5-0 overall, hosting Reed
2) Bishop Manogue, 4-1 league record, 4-2 overall, at Carson City
3) Damonte Ranch, 2-1 league record, 3-3 overall, hosting Spanish Springs
4) Carson City, 2-2 league record, 2-3 overall, hosting Bishop Manogue
5) Reed, 2-2 league record, 2-2 overall, at McQueen
6) Reno, 1-2 league record, 3-3 overall, at Galena
7) Spanish Springs, 1-2 league record, 3-4 overall, at Damonte
8) Douglas, 1-4 league record, 1-5 overall, bye
9) Galena, 0-3 league record, 0-6 overall, hosting Reno High
GOING FOR 100
Friday night DRFP Head Coach Shawn Dupris will be going for his 100th career win and has 74 wins as the head coach for Damonte Ranch High School.
ABOUT YOUR AUTHOR
Lynn Ault covers Damonte Ranch athletics for Battle Born Preps. Both his kids graduated from Damonte Ranch where his wife is the head of the math department. He is also the youth pastor for Hope Community Church in south Reno.