RENO — Blair Roman’s post-game talk to his team was probably the shortest in his Carson High tenure.
“We didn’t do anything good the whole game,” Roman said after Carson’s disappointing 34-17 loss at Foster Field. “It was the worst effort I’ve seen in eight years.
“Reno played a lot faster than we played. We can play with these guys. That is the reason I’m upset.”
When you give up 34 points, it sounds like a poor defensive effort. Far from it. Special teams issues and an offensive mistake gift-wrapped 24 points for the Huskies, and the CHS offense failed to register a first down until its final drive of the first half when Johnny Barahona kicked a 26-yard field goal to cut the lead to 17-3.
The tone was set after Carson went three and out on its first possession.
Kicking into a healthy wind, Brandon Gagnon shanked one out of bounds at the Reno 46.
The Huskies didn’t waste the field position, scoring eight plays later on a 1-yard run by Brandon Kaho. The key play was a 28-yard run by Reese Taylor on a third-and-2 play from Carson’s 45-yard line.
After another three and out, Gagnon booted a 17-yarder out of bounds at the Carson 44, and again Reno capitalized.
The defense appeared to have the drive stopped, but on fourth-and-6 from the Carson 30, Vestbie completed a first-down pass to Will Barnard at the CHS 24. The drive bogged down at the 18, and Kaho booted a 35-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 11:43 left.
Carson’s offense continued to struggle, as Reno’s defense was containing Abel Carter, who had just 16 yards on four first-quarter carries.
The Senators had a chance to get out of the half with just a 10-point deficit, but Jace Keema’s first-down pass from his own 16 was picked off by Barnard at the Carson 22.
On second down, Kaho caught a 20-yard scoring pass from Vestbie. Kaho’s PAT made it 17-0 with 1:41 left in the half.
Carson’s offense finally got on track on the ensuing drive, going from its own 37 driving inside the red zone which led to Barahona’s first field goal of the season which came on the final play of the half. Carter had a huge 35-yard run down to Reno’s 26, and Luke Myers had a 12-yard reception.
“We did a pretty good job defensively until that last drive of the half,” Reno coach Dan Avansino said. “Abel (Carter) got off a few times.”
That gave the Senators some momentum which they wasted when they were whistled for a dead ball personal foul which moved the ball from midfield back to the Carson 35. Keema was sacked on the next play, forcing a punt.
Carson stopped Reno on the next drive, and Kaho rugby kicked one 60 yards down to the Carson 1. Carson had no deep receiver on the play.
Kaho had a sack on second down, and Gagnon had a 22-yard punt into the wind, giving the Huskies field position at the CHS 31. Sawyer Jaksick scored on a 30-yard pass from Vestbie. Kaho’s PAT made it 24-3.
The Senators got a big break late in the quarter when Reno’s forth-down snap to Kaho was bad, and Jesse Case blocked the bunt. Carson took over at the 7, and Carter, who finshed with 135 on 22 carries, scored on a 2-yard run. Barahona’s PAT made it 24-10.
The teams traded scores on the next two drives.
Kaho broke off a 58-yard scoring run to make it 31-10 with 10:45 left, and the Senators came back with one of their own on Tyler Huling’s 8-yard run which made it 31-17. Key play on Carson’s drive was a fourth-down keeper by Keema that kept the drive alive.
Reno made it 34-17 on Kaho’s 25-yard field goal with 4:06 left.