RENO — All week long, Carson High players talked about bringing the school its first regional football championship since 1960.
And, despite outgaining Reed 369-196, the Senators fell inches short and dropped a 28-25 decision to the Raiders Saturday afternoon at Bishop Manogue.
It was the third time in four years the Raiders knocked off Carson to reach the state championship game. Reed won 49-0 in 2011 and 47-39 in 2013. The loss ended Carson’s season at 9-3.
“It was a great season,” said Carson coach Blair Roman. “I don’t know that a lot of people gave us much of a chance to be here. We didn’t have a lot of returning seniors, but I knew combined with our junior class the two (combined) would be really good.
“My assistant coaches deserve a lot of credit. The way the offense morphed with Joe (Nelson) at quarterback, and the defensive staff.. we came a long way since that Clayton Valley game (55-7 loss).“
Carson went through a stretch where it posted two shutouts and two games allowing one score before Reed put up 28 on Saturday.
When you look at the numbers, Reed had just six plays of 10 yards or more, and the defense really only allowed three scores because the Senators gave up a TD on the opening kick-off.
While the disappointment was evident, there was no reason Carson can’t make it back to this game or beyond next year.
Of the official roster, Carson returns 39 players next season. Reed returns 30. It would be easy to say that both of these teams could be favored to repeat as division champions in 2015. This rivalry has turned into one of the best in Northern Nevada. Reed has a 5-3 edge in the last eight games, but if 2013 and 2014 is any indication, the Senators are closer than they’ve ever been to the Raiders.
“Success comes from the kids believing in what they’re doing,” Roman said. “Reed’s players obviously believe in their coach’s philosophy. Our kids believe in us. One of these days we’ll get over the hump.”