FALLON - Former University of Texas coach Darrell Royal once told his team at halftime of a Red River Shootout with Oklahoma: "There's a heckuva fight going on out there boys, I just wished someone would show up."
At 8:30 p.m., the Carson football team showed up.
After an embarrassing first quarter in which the Senators were not present in shape or form, Carson showed what it was made of by scoring 29 unanswered points in a 29-19 win on Friday at Fallon.
Carson (3-5, 2-2) set up a showdown at home on Thursday against Douglas where it will be playing for third-place in the Sierra League.
"I don't care," said Carson coach Shane Quilling about his team's playoff position. "I just want to beat Douglas. There would have been nothing worse than to go into the Douglas game with a loss against a team I thought we were better than."
Javier Vega returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown and a punt 59 yards for another score to help spark Carson's comeback.
In the first quarter, Chris Warner had two of Fallon's three interceptions and scored two touchdowns as the Greenwave jumped out to a 19-0 lead in the first 12 minutes. Warner's first interception set up his own scoring run of 14 yards. After Jesse Hejny burst free for a 68-yard scoring run, Warner intercepted another pass to set up his own 13-yard touchdown run.
The Senators looked like they might score in the first quarter when Nick Samaras apparently broke free for a 90-yard kickoff return for a score, but officials ruled he stepped out of bounds at the Carson 47.
The Senators finally received a break in the second quarter when the defense held Fallon deep in its own territory and Vega was interfered with when he tried to catch the punt, giving Carson the ball at the Greenwave 30.
That set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Frank Bleuss, who had come in at quarterback for an ineffective Scott O'Brien.
With Carson trailing 19-6 early in the third quarter, Josh Minter recovered a fumble at the Fallon 45. Carson's offensive line took over, paving the way for Josh Carter, who gained 34 yards on four carries. Carter finished off the drive with a 4-yard scoring run.
Vega then broke on a slant pattern and stepped in front of the ball for his interception, which he took in for the score. Chris Barredo kicked the extra point to give Carson a 20-19 lead.
"We've been working on it all week," Vega said. "I was just listening to the coaches. I was just playing up."
Josh Aguilar partially blocked a punt that landed at the Fallon 31 to give Carson another scoring chance. But Carter was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-one at the 12.
But the Senators defense held, leading to Vega's scoring punt return. "Mainly it was just catching the ball," Vega said. "I had great blocking. You can't score a touchdown without blocking."
Two questionable calls prevented Carson from scoring another touchdown. Bleuss hit Vega for a 23-yard scoring pass, with George Pincock throwing the block that sprung Vega into the end zone. But Pincock was called for clipping.
Bleuss followed with a 14-yard pass to Nick Shine, who appeared to make an outstanding catch that would have been good enough for a first down at the Fallon 10, however, the pass was ruled incomplete.
But Barredo's 42-yard field goal gave Carson a 29-19 lead. Matt Waterman intercepted a pass and Jack Brooks broke free for a 32-yard run to seal the win.
Carter gained 78 yards on 15 carries while Brooks had 63 yards on six carries.
Shine was also a standout on defense. "He stepped in and played awesome," Quilling said.
As far as who will start at quarterback against Douglas, O'Brien or Bleuss, Quilling said,
"I think I know, but I don't know. We'll see. Bleuss really didn't do anything not to deserve it next week."
CARSON 30, FALLON 0
Michael Dittenber completed 8-of-13 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns as Carson's junior varsity football team improved to 6-2.
Dittenber and Michael Handley connected on scoring strikes of 13 and 40 yards. Handley caught five passes for 128 yards.
Robert Ghiglieri caught a 13-yard scoring pass from Dittenber and Ryan Sarkissian scored on a 48-yard run on the first play from scrimmage for Carson. Robert Schneider also ran in a two-point conversion and Cameron Leck kicked an extra point and a 34-yard field goal.
Sarkissian gained 98 yards on eight carries and Schneider had 88 yards on 12 carries.
FALLON 35, CARSON 7
Tyler Smith scored on a 65-yard pass from Kyle Bacon and Brian Welch kicked the extra points for the Carson freshmen football team (6-2) in its loss on Thursday at Fallon.