RENO - A tremendous effort by Dylan Sawyers and another excellent effort by the defensive unit resulted in an impressive win for Carson High.
Sawyers gained 171 yards and scored four times, and the defense allowed 72 yards as the Senators clobbered the beat-up Hug Hawks 54-0 Friday night in a Northern 4A game.
Carson improved to 2-0 in league and 2-1 overall in registering its second consecutive shutout. Carson has scored 99 points in its last two wins. Hug dropped to 0-5 overall.
Carson played its regulars for just the first 18 minutes before turning the game over to the varsity back-ups and the JV team. The JV squad didn't have a game, and coach Blair Roman suited the younger players up.
"The good thing is that we came away with a league win on the road and I'll take that anytime," Roman said when asked what he could take from a lopsided victory. "I don't make the schedule.
"We made some big plays early. I thought we executed very well. Overall I was pleased. We got to play a lot of people, and even the JV kids got some playing time."
Carson needed just 14 snaps to score its four first-quarter touchdowns against the defenseless Hawks, who gave up 65 to Reed a week ago.
And, for the second straight week, it was Sawyers doing the bulk of the damage, only this time it was in less than a half. Sawyers has 10 touchdowns the last two games after being held scoreless in the season-opener. He had scoring runs of 51, 18 and 25 yards. He also caught a 50-yard swing pass from Matt Nolan, who went 3-for-3 for 96 yards.
Hug made its first mistake when it deferred and let Carson have the opening kick-off.
On the third play from scrimmage, Sawyers busted a couple of tackles and went 51 yards for a score. Austin Pacheco's PAT made it 7-0 with 10:56 left.
In less than three minutes, the Senators were on the board again after Hug went three and out.
Two penalties to start the drive put Carson in a first-and-30 situation from its own 36-yard-line. Nolan fired a 14-yard pass to Brock Pradere for a first down at midfield. After an 8-yard gain by Sawyers, sophomore Joey Thurman bolted for 16 yards and a first down at the Hug 27.
After a 5-yard penalty, Nolan lofted a 32-yard scoring pass to Austin Pacheco. After Pacheco's PAT it was 14-0 with 8:05 left.
After Hug went three and out for the second straight time, Carson took over at its own 49 following a 17-yard punt.
Two runs for 22 yards by Sawyers gave Carson a first down at the Hug 29. After a penalty pushed the ball back to the 38, Nolan found Pradere in the end zone for a score, but a penalty wiped the play out.
After a short gain by Nolan, Thurman pounded for 13 yards down to the 18. That set the stage for Sawyers' 18-yard run. Pacheco's kick made it 21-0.
The Senators' special teams contributed to the next score. Patrick Hesse blocked a punt at the Hug 19 and Sage Smith recovered at the 9. Thurman scored two plays later from the 4 to make it 27-0 with 1:04 left in the first quarter.
"I'm getting back in the swing of things," Sawyers said. "I was looking forward to getting some rest tonight. Next week (Manogue) is a big game."
Roman was pleased with what he saw from his star running back, who playing like he did as a sophomore when he scored 26 touchdowns.
"He's starting to get his legs under him," Roman said. "He has tremendous awareness of where his blocks are."
Sawyers also shows great patience, and doesn't get to the hole too fast. He lets the play develop, but he's also shown in the last two weeks that he can dole out some punishment when he has the ball.
The defense had an easy game. The Hawks are down to their third and fourth quarterbacks and were no threat to move the ball through the air, and we already know that the Senators are good run stoppers. Hug managed just 2.6 yards a carry on 22 attempts.
"I thought we were excellent," said linebacker Logan Peternell said.
"It was tough for them to throw the ball," Roman said. "When a team becomes one-dimensional it makes it easier to defend them because you're able to focus on one thing."
Carson added three second-period scores, two by Sawyers and one by Sean Robles to end the half with a 47-0 lead. After a scoreless third quarter, Carson's JV squad punched in the last score.