Short-handed Senators fall | NevadaAppeal.com

Short-handed Senators fall

Dave Price

SPARKS – It will go into the books as a 28-0 victory for the Reed High School football team. For the Carson Senators, however, it will go down as a lesson to remember in terms of surviving against adversity.

With only 26 players suited up due to various injuries and disciplinary action, the Senators (1-4) battled the undefeated Raiders (5-0) with an inspired effort that left coach Shane Quilling smiling afterward.

“This was one of the best games I’ve ever been associated with in 17 years of coaching,” said Quilling, who began the game with seven starters missing and then lost two more during the contest. “We had 26 guys dressed, every one of them played and every one of them contributed to a great effort. Sure, we lost the game, but in my own mind, this was a victory.”

Reed simply had too much horsepower for the Senators with an attack led by quarterback Zack May and running back Ryan Lammle. May was 8-for-15 for 199 yards and two touchdowns, including a 53-yard scoring strike to Artis Johnson on the fourth play of the game that put the Raiders on top for good. Lammle, who had rushed for better than 200 yards in three of four games coming into the night, had 142 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

“That was a great effort against a darn good football team,” Quilling said. “And if you take away three long pass plays, it would have been a lot closer.”

The Carson defensive unit came up with a stand in the second quarter after Reed had first-and-goal at the 7. A holding penalty set the ball back 10 yards on second down, and the Senators held on fourth down as Jason Dittenber and Jim Fonda led a charge that stopped Lammle at the 2.

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However, Reed came up with a big defensive play of its own three plays later when Les Reddick’s pass over the middle was intercepted by Luke Makoutz and returned 17 yards for a touchdown as Reed increased its lead to 14-0 with 6:42 remaining in the second quarter.

Reed drove 65 yards in six plays to score again on its next possession. The key play was a 43-yard completion from May to Sean Sims – although May got the pass off as he took a hit from Dittenber – that gave Reed first-and-goal at the 10. Lammle scored on a five-yard run two plays later to make it 21-0 with 1:30 remaining before halftime.

Carson stopped another Reed threat early in the third quarter when J.J. Whitehead recovered a Lammle fumble at the 4.

Reed’s defense held and then the Raiders put up one more score when May threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Michael Smith on a fourth-and-seven play with 1:56 remaining in the third quarter.

Carson struggled offensively all night with a shorthanded unit that was depleted even further when senior quarterback Kyle Bacon went out with injured ribs at the end of the first quarter. To compound matters, running back Alex Martinez rushed for 48 yards on 13 carries and was limited to four carries after halftime due to an ankle sprain.

Bryan Maffei also rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries and the Senators finished the night with 95 yards in total offense. Reed’s defensive unit produced four quarterback sacks, two each by Jake Rousseau and Kyle Fleming.

The Senators had their best scoring opportunity in the first quarter, an eight-play drive that died on a lost fumble at the Reed 24. Bacon completed a third down pass to Scott Witter for 15 yards to keep the drive going near midfield.

Carson was aided by senior punter Matt Moore, who averaged 39.1 yards on eight kicks, highlighted by a 63-yarder in the fourth quarter.

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

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