For much of Friday's game, Carson High quarterback Garrett Schafer was up and down. In the last two minutes, with the game on the line he was money.
Schafer went 7-for-12 on the final drive of the game, to cap a 99-yard drive and spark the Senators to a thrilling 13-10 come-from-behind win over Reno Friday night.
His final pass of the night was a 15-yard scoring strike to Casey Wolfe with 20 seconds left.
The win keeps Carson unbeaten at 2-0 heading into next Friday's showdown against McQueen, 0-2.
"Joey Thurman came up to me and said 'believe'," Schafer said. "Coach (Billy) McHenry said 99-yard drives are more fun. I knew I had to do it."
And he did.
Starting at the 1-yard line after Ollie Graybar's 54-yard punt, Schafer completed two passes to Wolfe and one to Logan Krupp to push the ball up to the 22. After barely missing Andrew Gutierrez along the sideline, Schafer found Thurman for a 20-yard gain. After two more incomplete passes, Schafer threw a 14-yarder to move the ball up to near mid-field.
Then, except for the game-winner, came the play of the game.
Schafer found a streaking Gehrig Tucker down the left sideline for 39 yards to the Reno 15. Tucker made a diving catch and managed to get one foot down inbounds.
"That was my first rep of the season," said Tucker, who needed help getting his uniform off after the game. "When I fell down, I landed wrong. I think my back foot just got in."
After two incompletions, Schafer found Wolfe in the endzone to erase the 10-7 deficit and give Carson the win.
"There were a couple of big plays on that last drive," Carson coach Blair Roman said. "A lot of the credit has to go to Garrett. He knew exactly what I wanted to do with the ball. Casey made a great play on the TD catch. I'm proud of the way the kids battled.
"He stepped up when we needed it. I think this will be big confidence builder."
Reno moved the ball up to its own 41 in the final seconds, but failed to move the ball into field goal range.
Schafer, who passed for 176 yards unofficially, said he expects to be much more comfortable against McQueen next week.
The defense, which gave up more than 350 yards, did pitch a shutout in the second half. The Senators did have problems getting off the field at times. Reno quarterback Chad Savage rushed for 104 yards on 20 carries, mostly on Wildcat-type plays.
"I'll have to take a look at the film," Roman said. "I think Reno exploited us on those screen passes and that circle route. One thing I do know is that we came to hit, and we had some big hits. We made some progress from last week, but we have to get better."
The Carson defense was the recipient of one turnover, but it was a big one. Midway through the fourth quarter, Reno's Eric Jordan fumbled the ball at the 1, and Austin Shaffer recovered it for Carson to end the 65-yard drive which would have given the Huskies a 17-7 lead.
"I saw the fumble and instinct kicked in," Shaffer said. "It was so important, I knew I had to get in there and recover the ball. It was great."
Great for Carson, but disappointing for Reno. The Huskies have come close twice, but have been unable to seal the deal.
"We're on the 1 and we can't score, and that was pretty much the game," Reno coach Dan Avazano said. "We couldn't get a couple of stops when we needed them. That's not OK.
"My hats off to Carson for hanging in there. We obviously have quite a few things we need to work on."