SPARKS - The Carson High football program had been lacking something in recent years - a signature victory.
That all changed Friday night at Reed High.
The Senators, coming off a heartbreaking four-point loss to McQueen last week, played terrific on both sides of the ball en route to a 54-27 thumping of the No. 1-ranked Reed Raiders.
"An exclamation point; a signature win," Carson coach Blair Roman said. "It's been a long time since Carson High beat a No.1-ranked team.
"Based on their first game, they are a big-play team. We needed to limit their big plays, and I thought we did that, though they still got a couple on us. We made some good defensive plays tonight."
Reed coach Ernie Howren, whose team lost for the second straight week, was disappointed with the outcome and the execution of the team. Quarterback Tyler Pine threw four interceptions, which led to three scores.
"Carson played a whole lot better than us," Howren said. "They beat us up. That's the reality. We didn't play very well.
"It came down to execution and them playing better. We didn't execute and they did. We didn't see any surprises, we just didn't stop them. I'll tell you, Dylan Sawyers is a heck of a running back. He did a great job."
The Carson running back carried six times for 34 yards and a score, returned a kick-off 95 yards for a score and turned a shovel pass into a 59-yard touchdown.
The Carson offense posted 356 yards. Quarterback Blake Plattsmier rushed 12 times for 139 yards and a score, while completing 10 of 15 passes for 158 yards for three scores.
It was Plattsmier's 43-yard run on the third play from scrimmage that set the tone and led to a 43-yard field goal by Ean Witter for a 3-0 lead.
"He's definitely multi-dimensional," Roman said. "He can throw and hurt you with his feet. I'd planned to open it up more tonight. He showed the ability to throw the ball well tonight."
Carson was in the end zone less than two minutes later when middle linebacker Junior Valladares picked up a lose ball and rambled 37 yards
for a score. Witter's point after made it 10-0 with 7 minutes, 43 seconds left.
Another Reed mistake set up Carson's next score. Tallen Billings muffed a punt and Carson recovered at the Reed 21.
Luke Carter gained five on first down, and after then was thrown for a yard loss. After Plattsmier's third-down pass fell incomplete, Witter kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 13-0 with 4:55 left in the first.
Reed came back with its best drive of the game, going 74 yards on 11 plays with Tyler Pine connecting with Aaron Greenblat (14 catches, 218 yards) for a TD on a fourth-and-18 pass play. The point after attempt was blocked.
The Senators punched back, driving 80 yards in six plays with Plattsmier covering the last 45 on a keeper. Witter's point after made it 20-6
with 11:50 left in the half.
"That was all the line," Plattsmier said. "Nobody laid a hand on me. The hole was huge. Our line did a great job tonight."
That's an understatement. A Reno-area paper lauded a pair of Reed linemen, and Roman thought that got his group pumped up.
"They were fired up," Roman said. "They wanted to show they are good, too."
Reed went three-and-out on its next possession, and Carson marched 79 yards for a score, the final 59 coming on a shovel pass to the speedy Sawyers, who outran the Reed secondary for a core to make it 26-6.
The defense kept Pine & Co. at bay the rest of the half, as Josh Peacock and Spencer Roberts each intercepted a pass.
Carson tacked on another score late in the second quarter when Plattsmier threw a 22-yard pass to Witter, who made a diving catch in the end zone to make it 33-6.