Carson High football faces tough High Desert stretch

Brandon Gagnon (10) holds up the ball he intercepted while Spencer Rogers (33) indicates the change of posession Saturday night against Desert Mountain.

Brandon Gagnon (10) holds up the ball he intercepted while Spencer Rogers (33) indicates the change of posession Saturday night against Desert Mountain.

Carson High starts a stretch of three games against the best teams in the High Desert League — Reno (away) on Friday, Reed (home, Sept. 9) and McQueen (home, Sept. 16) — before Sierra League plays gets under way on Sept. 30.

It will certainly give the Senators, 1-0, an inkling of where they stand among Northern Nevada teams even though all three games are considered nonleague contests.

The Senators knocked off the Huskies, 27-17, in last year’s regional semifinals at CHS. The Huskies, who knocked of Stagg-Stockton, 37-7, and Reed are two of the most physical teams in the region.

“They (Reno) were impressive last week,” head coach Blair Roman said. “Reno is very physical and athletic, and they beat a pretty good team (Stagg made playoffs last year).

“This is a perfect second game for us. They do a lot of different things. They make you prepare ”

Desert Mountain, last week’s opponent, threw it 50 times and would be considered a finesse team. Reno is the polar opposite. The Huskies prefer to beat you into submission.

Roman is especially impressed with Brandon Kaho on the offensive side of the ball and Siaosi Finau at middle linebacker.

“He (Kaho) is a horse,” Roman said. “We have to know where he’s at all the time. He plays tailback and returns kicks.”

Under center is Drake Vestbie, who started at Damonte Ranch two years ago and lost his starting job to freshman Cade McNamara last year.

“He is a capable quarterback,” Roman said.

BEST IN ROMAN’S ERA?: Roman said Abel Carter’s 295-yard, six-touchdown effort was one, if not the best, performance he’d seen in his tenure at Carson High School.

“Dylan (Swayers) scored six touchdowns before,” Roman said. “Abel’s game was right up there. He wore them (Desert Mountain) out. He won all the battles when he got to the second level of the defense,

“Abel is also an excellent blocker, and that can’t be overlooked. He is a step faster than last year, and he’s put on 20 pounds.”

Defensively, Carter returned two interceptions for scores and also registered a team-best 10 tackles, and that probably makes his game better than Sawyers’ game against Hug. Carter was rested on both sides of the ball, but not for long.

EXPLOSION: The combined 91 points scored Saturday in the season opener was the most in a regular-season game at CHS at least since 2004. In the post-season, Carson beat Spanish Springs, 55-42, back on Nov. 8, 2013.

POSITION SWITCH: Roman said he’s contemplating switching linebackers Dawson Lamb to the outside and Justin Tschetter back to the inside.

“Dawson played really well,” linebacker coach Shane Quilling said. “He did really well, especially for his first start.”

“Tschetter played solid inside backer last year,” Defensive coordinator Steve Dilley said.

AIKINS RETURNS: Linebacker Jordan Aikins (elbow) returns this week. Dilley said he’s expecting Aikins to play but the senior won’t start.


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