Carson High players and coaches met a legend this weekend.
Kurt Warner is a two-time NFL MVP and he was MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV when he passed for 414 yards. The former Rams, Giants and Arizona Cardinals star was on the opposing sideline Saturday night calling plays for Desert Mountain, which dropped a wild 49-42 decision to Carson. Warner is the team’s offensive coordinator and his son, Cade, is the top wide receiver.
The biggest thrill for Carson players was listening to him speak at Friday’s banquet at the Silver Legacy.
“It was amazing,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “We wanted to thank Desert Mountain for coming here to play, and Kurt spoke to all the players. You could have heard a pin drop in the room when he was speaking.”
Carson QB Jace Keema enjoyed the experience.
“He (Warner) talked a lot about fighting through adversity, and always staying with it,” Keema said.
Warner was seen taking pictures with some fans about 90 minutes before Saturday’s game started, and he chatted with Carson assistants Steve Dilley and Shane Quilling for a bit. He also came over and talked to some of Carson’s injured players who were unable to suit up for the contest
“It (the dinner) was great,” said Carson linebacker Justin Tschetter. “It was the best football dinner I’ve ever been to.”
SOLID DEBUT: Brandon Gagnon’s starting debut was pretty positive.
He had a 49-yard reception to set up Carson’s first score, but he had a chance to score once himself in the fourth quarter.
On a third-and-19 play late in the game and Carson leading, 35-28, Abel Carter took a handoff and launched a pass deep downfield. Gagnon was 10 yards past the defender, but dropped the ball.
“It was right in my hands,” Gagnon said. “Thank God the team picked me up.”
Gagnon redeemed himself on the ensuing series when he deflected a pass on a second-and-7 play and then batted down a pass on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Senators. Carter scored moments later on a 44-yard run to make it 42-28.
SCOREBOARD ISSUES: The timing mechanism on the jumbo scoreboard was messed up, so the officials asked the time not be displayed. The official time was kept on the field, and the referee informed the crowd after possession changes, during timeouts and after scores, how much time remained. Not a good way to start the season. No doubt Roman will look into the matter on Monday.
INJURY REPORT: Carson played without starting linebacker Jordan Aikins (elbow). He may be a couple of weeks away from returning. Also missing the game were Michel Adrian, Cole McDannald and Matt Hinton.
UP NEXT: Carson visits Reno next Friday. Carson knocked off the Huskies in the playoffs last year, 27-17. Expect a physical game from Reno.