Both Carson and Reno played without standout offensive players Friday night.
The Huskies went without running back/linebacker Lukas McKenzie, who suffered a broken hand Tuesday in practice, and Carson was forced to go the final 39 minutes of its 27-17 playoff win without wingback Greg Wallace, who suffered what appeared to be a possible neck injury early in the second quarter.
Wallace, who had four carries for 15 yards, was taken off the field by paramedics after taking a big hit on a 7-yard gain. The game was delayed for a bit while an ambulance was dispatched to the stadium. Wallace went to a local hospital for evaluation, but was back on the field in street clothes by the end of the game.
“I think it was more of a precaution (the hospital visit),” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “I don’t know what his status for next week is. I’ll have to talk to the doctors.”
Reno coach Dan Avansino didn’t comment when asked about the impact of McKenzie’s injury had on his team. A year ago, Reno’s Cole Eddy broke his leg before the semifinal playoff loss to the Senators.
When Carson faces Reed next week, it’s going to be the third consecutive year the teams have played in the regional finals.
Reed won 47-39 in 2013 and then edged Carson 28-25 last season. The Raiders won the preseason opener this year, 44-27, in late August.
This is a match-up that has been on Carson’s mind since last year’s regional loss.
“That has been in the forefront of our minds since last fall,” linebacker Ikela Lewis.
BOTTLING UP ABEL
Reno High did the best job of any team in defensing Abel Carter, who was held to a season-low 5 yards. He did manage a 3-yard TD run to give Carson a 7-0 lead.
“That is the toughest defense we’ve seen all season,” Roman said. “They are very physical team.”
Carter did come up with a key defensive play in the fourth quarter on a ball that bounced off Spencer Rogers’ helmet. The interception set up Carson’s final score, a 2-yard pass from Jace Keema to Asa Carter with 1:47 left in the contest.
Carson reached into its bag of tricks and started the second half with an onside kick.
Kicker Johnny Barahona originally ran up on the ball, but didn’t kick it.
He then hesitated and then tried to bounce one along the ground. It didn’t go 10 yards, and Reno fell on it at the Carson 38.
Fortunately for CHS, its defense held on downs at the 34.
“We work on that all season,” said special teams coach Vic Castro V. “It was open last week, but we didn’t use it. It was open tonight, we just didn’t execute the kick.”
Carson has now won 10 straight games, second to Reed and Bishop Gorman, both whom have won 12 in a row ... Asa Carter had a productive rushing day with 93 yards on six carries, 63 coming on one carry in the fourth quarter ... Connor Pradere had his third 100-yard receiving game of the season, catching seven passes for 130 yards.