The Carson Junior Midget Blue Pop Warner football team advanced to the Snow Bowl Championship game with a 7-0 win over the second place Reno Jets.
Carson improved to 7-2 in becoming the first junior midget team in Carson City Pop Warner history to advance to the Snow Bowl. Carson will play the Reno Raiders at 8 p.m. Friday at Sparks' Don Mello Sports Complex for the title. The game will be a rematch of a contest won by the Raiders.
Against the Jets, Carson chewed up the clock with a strong running game and timely passing while the defense held the Jets to 66 total yards. The defense intercepted two passes and had numerous tackles for losses. Carson had 56 plays to just 27 for the Jets.
Carson began the game with a 44-yard touchdown pass that was called back by a penalty. Defensively in the first half, Trae Tuttle had three tackles and an interception, Phillip Maier had six tackles and Daniel Feagan and Adam Carmazzi both had tackles for losses for Carson.
On its second possession, Carson moved down the field behind the running of Maier, Robbie Bozin and Hunter Santillo. Then on third and long, Ryan Eichenberger completed a 25-yard scoring pass to Maier. Bozin caught a pass from Eichenberger for the extra point.
On its first possession in the second half, Carson was able to move the ball behind the blocking of Dylan Hills, Carmazzi, Isaac Holt, Brandon Letizia, Nic Cutunilli, Feagan and Brian Halverson. Carson was unable to score, but the punt pinned Reno at its own 11-yard line. Reno was unable to cross midfield in the second half.
Carson's defense held Reno to six total yards in the second half. Matt Kiser had a tackle for a loss, a quarterback sack and broke up a potential touchdown pass.
Tyler Devall intercepted a pass and along with J.J. Demuth broke up several passes. Levi Taylor, Matt Barnes, Rusty Rogers, Carmazzi, Feagan, Eichenberger, Maier, Tuttle and Bozin controlled the line of scrimmage.
"I'm very proud of the way the boys played together as a team," Carson coach Shelby Tuttle said. "They have worked hard all year to reach this point and now they have the chance to experience a dream, playing for the championship."
"The offensive line has really done the job this past week to allow the running game to succeed," coach Sam Santillo also said. "Our backfield continues to run the ball hard on every play and the defense has just been outstanding."
MITEY MITES 33, SPARKS RAIDERS 0
The Carson Senator Mitey Mites closed out their season by punishing third place Sparks for their fourth straight shutout and fifth overall for the season. Carson outscored its opponents 196-51 in compiling an 8-1 record.
Dylan Sawyers began the game by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Sawyers scored all five touchdowns for Carson.
A fumble recovery by Andrew Gutreez set up Sawyers' third score. In the fourth quarter, key blocks by Ty Keefer and Austin Pacheco allowed Sawyers to score his fifth touchdown.
Brandon Akers, Willie McDonald, Colin McColluch, Daniel Okimura, Pacheco and D.J. Parker all played well offensively. The offensive line of Keegan Aiazzi, John Borges, Nick Garcia, David Kelly, Jacob Myers, Clinton Page, Zach Puzey, Cody Reno, Nolan Truesdell and Michael Walters paved the way on the cold night.
"It was so cold out here and the line continued to bang bodies in the trenches, opening holes for our backs," coach Eddy Brown said.
Borges, Levi Carter, Kelly, McColluch, Pacheco, Page, Parker, Anthony Peek, Steven Rivera, Sawyers and Truesdell all played well defensively and had a huge goal line stand.
"That was a big defensive stand," coach Dave McColluch said. "We thought we were going to get a chance to play the Sparks Wolf Pack again to avenge a seven-point loss, but things didn't work out that way," coach Steve Sawyers also said. "I would say that our defense took their frustrations out on the Raiders."
Carson didn't allow a completed pass. Also playing well defensively were Josh Garcia, Austin Brown, Austin Buyak, Ian Friesall, Kyle Richard and Sage Smith.