RENO — Johnny Barahona’s kicking career got off to an inauspicious start when the sophomore shanked a 25-yard attempt against Clayton Valley.
Barahona had a coming out party Friday night when he kicked field goals of 22, 32 and 27 yards to help Carson to a wild 31-28 road win over Damonte Ranch.
Barahona is now 4-for-6 on the season. His third field goal gave Carson a 24-21 lead in the fourth quarter.
“It feels good,” said the soft-spoken Barahona amid the din of a raucous Carson High dressing room. “My teammates have helped me get batter. I was nervous on the first one tonight, but after that I got in a groove.”
There was nobody happier than Carson kicking coach Jim deArrieta.
“I think he’ll be good the rest of the season,” the veteran kicking coach said. “He’s young, only a sophomore. I think he’s got the nervousness out of his system.”
“He kicked like we knew he could,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “I think it was all nerves before. I told him after the Spanish Springs game (28-27 loss) that he would win a game for us.”
Senior quarterback Nolan Shine struggled under center, completing 1-for-9 for 13 yards with an interception before giving way to Joe Nelson midway through the third quarter.
“It was a poor performance by me,” Shine said. “It was a rough game.
“I’m proud of Joe for stepping up and getting the job done. I’m going to come to practice on Monday and focus up and get back to fundamentals.”
Nelson went 3-for-5 passing for 124 yards, including the game-winning score with 28 seconds left.
“Nolan did struggle,” Roman said. “Knowing Nolan Shine as I do, he’ll be back better than ever next game.
“I have no idea (if I’m making a change). I’m not really worried about that. Joe did a good job and I told him that in front of the whole team.”
Shine did make a huge play in the first half when he scored on a 72-yard run, cutting Damonte’s lead to 14-10.
The run reminded this writer of Marcus Allen’s sensational run in the Super Bowl when he was hemmed in and then changed direction and outran the Redskins’ defense.
“We called a hitch route, and I didn’t see anybody open so I took off,” Shine said. “I picked up a couple of good blocks on the way.”
Carson lost two starters — center Corey Jasper and safety/linebacker Brandon Maffei — to ankle injuries on Friday.
“Brandon’s is serious,” Roman said.
“He’s had ankle problems in the past. He’s been playing real well, and we’d love to get him back as soon as possible.”
Maffei indicated he may have ligament damage. Jasper’s injury isn’t as serious, according to Roman.