Moody column: Favorites reach the finals
November 23, 2014
Next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Bishop Manogue is the football match-up everybody, including yours truly, expected to see when the season started in late August — Reed vs. Carson.
The two squads have been pretty much the best in Northern Nevada the last six or seven years. Both are ranked in the top 10 in Nevada this year, Reed at No. 6 and Carson at No. 10.
When you talk offense in Northern Nevada, these two schools rank near the top. Reed is probably the most balanced team year in and year out, and Carson is fast becoming a true two-dimensional team with lanky Joe Nelson at the controls.
Through a quirk in this year's schedule, the teams didn't meet this year, but no doubt each coach has followed the progress of the other. One thing is certain, there's a healthy respect between Carson's Blair Roman and Reed's Ernie Howren not only for each other but for each other's team.
Their results are much the same. Each team started with a lopsided loss. Reed lost 66-13 to Mountain Pointe, though I understand Mountain Pointe had to forfeit all of its wins. Carson was crushed by Clayton Valley, 55-7. Their only losses to Norhern Nevada opponents were close ones. Carson lost 28-27 to Spanish Springs, while Reed lost to Hug, 48-45, during their regular-season meeting.
Four times Reed has held an opponent to eight points or less — 63-7 over Damonte, 49-0 over Galena, 28-8 over Reno and 56-6 over Spanish Springs. Carson has five straight games of holding an opponent to one TD or less — 42-0 over Manogue, 34-0 over Galena, 49-6 over Douglas, 42-7 over McQueen and 35-6 against Reno.
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Reed has scored 554 points compared to 353 for Carson. The Senators, thanks to their recent hot streak, have allowed 185 points compared to 247 for Reed, which has played one more game than Carson.
In head-to-head meetings since Roman took over the Senators and Raiders have split six games. Carson won 54-27 back in 2009 and followed that up with a 20-0 playoff win in 2010. In 2008, Reed won 47-14 and in 2011 in a state semifinal at Mackay Stadium, Reed blanked Carson 49-0. In 2012, Carson won 32-30 on a last-second TD pass. Last year's regional final saw Reed win 47-39.
Carson players believe they can beat Reed, and I wouldn't expect them to say anything else. They also admit it will take a great game to grab the win for the first regional title at Carson since 1960.
The teams get an extra day of prep time this week, and both Howren and Roman are happy for that.
"We need it," Roman said. "You need the time at this point in the season to heal up. At this point, the games are a lot more mental." Translation? Don't expect Carson to do much hitting this week.
"It's good at this time of the season," Howren said. "Both teams could use the extra day."
Both coaches, and I didn't expect anything different, will practice on Thanksgiving morning. I'm sure it won't be anything more than walking through plays and getting loose.
"I'm thankful we're practicing on Thursday," Carson linebacker Nolan Shine said.
No doubt because that means Carson has accomplished one of its goals which was to get back to the regional finals.
A belated congratulations to Carson High's junior varsity football team which posted an 8-0 record this year.
The team had some gaudy stats, averaging 54 points a game, averaging 549 yards per contest. The team averaged 9.88 per carry and 23 yards per pass reception.
Quarterback Jace Keema threw for 1,459 yards and 21 TDs with just four interceptions. He also rushed for 470 yards and 11 more scores. Greg Wallace, who's currently on the varsity roster, rushed for 904 yards and 11 scores, and he had 13 catches for 303 yards and five scores. Spencer Rogers, also up on varsity for the playoffs, rushed for 726 yards and six scores and had 42 yards and a score in receiving.
Tyler Huling, another varsity call-up, had 181 rushing yards and a score plus 351 receiving yards and three scores.