After having a bye during the first week of the playoffs, the Carson Senators Midget youth football team took its first step in capturing its third Snow Bowl Northern Nevada State championship in four years by beating the Sparks Cardinals 28-0.
Carson had a balanced attack, accumulating 105 yards on the ground and 114 yards through the air. On the third play from scrimmage Dylan Sawyers galloped 31 yards around the right side for the Senators' first score.
Quarterback T. J. Menning hooked up with Connor Beattie for a 55-yard touchdown pass on the second offensive series.
Down 14-0, Sparks tried a fake punt, but Sawyers intercepted the pass and returned it for a touchdown. Key blocks Austin Pacheco and Colby Blueberg helped enable Sawyers to score.
Menning, under heavy pressure, scrambled right looking downfield for his receiver and found Gabriel Pongasi, who made a sliding catch for the Senators' fourth touchdown of the first half.
"Our line did a great job blocking for us all night but this one play they let a couple guys get pressure on T. J. and he had to scramble right. I thought he was going to run out of bounds when all of a sudden he throws a bullet to Pongasi and the next thing I know we are up 28-0," Beattie said.
Keegan Aiazzi, Tim Baylor, Pat Craugh, Chris Fernandez, Nick Garcia, Taylor Gregorich, Chance Harmon, Rafe King, Cody Odiorne, Logan Peternell, Jordan Siembida, Mike Walters, Ben Wendell and Zach White all played well. Pacheco also went 2-for-3 on kicking the two-point conversions.
The Senators defense continued its dominating play with its sixth shutout in seven games. Carson has only given up seven points this season. "I think we are starting to peak at the right time," assistant Coach Jay Aiazzi said.
Baylor, Beattie, Blueberg, Craugh, Fernandez, Harmon, Patrick Hesse, King, Jake Myers, Odiorne, Pacheco, Peternell, Pongasi, Chance Quilling, Sawyers and Siembida all played well defensively.
Along with his interception return for a score, Sawyers had another interception and fumble recovery. Pacheco also had two interceptions, Quilling had a fumble recovery, Blueberg, Odiorne, Pacheco, Peternell, Quilling and Siembida each had a stop for loss and Baylor had a sack.
The Senators will square off once again against the Reno Patriots, this Saturday at 2 p.m. at Sparks Don Mello Sports Complex for the Snow Bowl title. Carson played the Patriots earlier this year and beat them on their home field 30-2.
The winner of this game will go onto the Pacific Northwest Regional Championships being held on November 25, in Santa Clara, Calif. The winner of the Pacific Northwest Regional Championship game will represent the Pacific Northwest in Orlando, Fla., and will compete in the Pop Warner Super Bowl.
JUNIOR PEE WEES WIN
The Carson Senator Junior Pee Wees also earned a trip to the Snow Bowl championship with a 13-7 overtime win over the Douglas Tigers. The Tigers came into the game unbeaten.
The Tigers scored on their opening drive, running every down. Defensively the Senators' Kaleb Wold, Kyle Sharp, Cody Toreson, Corey Reid, Josiah Pongasi, Zach Mills, Jese Lopez, Caden Lehman, Sabian Harting, Kye Catlin, Zachary Carrubba, Christian Tercero, Samuel Mercado, Brandon Maffei, Asa Carter, and Tristian Bakkedahl shook didn't allow the Tigers another score. Jacob Herzing also caused a fumble that was recovered by Carson.
The offense of Josh Breem, Nicholos Mohlenkamp, Walker Plaut, Jaremiah Abott, Cole Catlin, Kenny Frank, Jessie Garcia, Mason Harmon, Jonathan Kondor, Brady O'Keefe Jonas Papez and quarterback Colby Brown all had an impressive game. In the second quarter, Brown dropped back to pass and eluded the rush then broke several tackles to outrun the entire defense for a 66 yard touchdown run. The extra point was added when Brown threw a pass to Robert Carmazzi in the back of the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.
In the second half, Nolan Shine stood out as he made several solo tackles in the Tiger backfield.
In overtime, Douglas won the toss and elected to go out on offense first. The Tigers got the ball on the 8 yard line with 4 plays to score and Carson's defense held.
The Senator offense then took the field. With two runs up the middle and an incomplete pass in the end zone, it came down to the fourth down play. Brown faked the handoff to Pongasi and kept the ball on a bootleg and sprinted to the corner of the end zone for the winning score.
The Senators will play at noon this Saturday against the Sparks Wolf Pack at Don Mello Sports Complex for the Snow Bowl title.