Robert Ferrel and Michael Spivack have been etched into the minds of the Carson High football team, most notably the defensive unit since late August, and with good reason.
The two Reed High wideouts made life miserable for the CHS secondary in the Raiders’ season-opening 44-27 win at Mackay Stadium. Ferrel caught seven passes for 207 yards and Spivack added four grabs for 134 yards.
The secondary of safeties Asa and Abel Carter, and cornerbacks Spencer Rogers and Caulin Bartley feel they are better prepared to face the high-flying Reed attack Friday at 7:15 p.m. in the NIAA Division I regional finals at Damonte Ranch.
The winner advances to the state semifinals and a date with Bishop Gorman on Saturday, Nov. 28. That game would be played at the home of the Northern champion.
“Our whole secondary has improved since then,” said Steve Dilley, Carson High defensive coordinator. “Abel (Carter) has gotten a lot better, and so has Spencer. It was tough to put a sophomore (Abel) in a position like that in his first-ever varsity game.
“Both cornerbacks have been playing well. There have been lapses here and there, but everybody else has had them.”
Rogers, who stands just 5-foot-7, fully expects the Raiders to come after him. He was burned for one of the scores the first time around.
“We’re ready,” Rogers said. “We’ve been working really hard, and (based on last time) we have a good idea of what they’re going to do. We have to come out and be ready to play. (Reed QB Matt) Denn can throw the ball.”
Dilley admitted that more teams are likely to throw toward the 5-7 Rogers than the 6-foot Bartley.
“You are likely to see them throw Rogers’ way more,” Dilley said. “A 5-7 corner guy is going to get tested.”
Ferrel and Spivack might be the best 1-2 combo that Carson has faced this year, according to senior free safety Asa Carter.
“They are probably the fastest crew we’ve seen,” said Asa Carter. “They know how to sell plays. They know how to settle (against zones).
“It is a little easier to prepare for a team the second time around. We need to adjust and line up better. Denn’s running ability really opens up the passing game.”
Still, it won’t be a day at the beach for Carson. The Raiders are simply too balanced.
Friday’s game may have been the most physical Carson has been in all year, so it’s not surprising that the Senators are banged up.
Wingback Greg Wallace is day-to-day after suffering a stinger against Reno. Wallace was carted off the field on a stretcher and went to the hospital briefly. He returned to the field before the end of the game.
“My neck/shoulder area is a little sore,” Wallace said. “I wasn’t at the hospital very long. I wanted to get back before the end of the game. I’ll probably miss a couple of practices (early in the week), but I’m going to try to play.”
“He was moving all of his extremities (right away),” CHS trainer Adam Hunsaker said. “We were just being extra careful.”
Because there was no ambulance on site, it took a while to get Wallace strapped up and transported.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Miller is nursing a minor injury, but is expected to play. He may miss some practice time, however.
The missing piece
There was a gaping hole on the Carson side of the stands in the second half last week.
The marching band vacated the premises after playing at halftime. Not sure what’s up with that. If it was too cold to play, at least stick around and make some noise boys and girls.