The Carson Senators wrapped up their two-week spring session with their annual 7-on-7 scrimmage Thursday afternoon.
Veteran coach Blair Roman was upbeat after watching his JV and varsity squads practice six times over the past two weeks.
“It was good,” he said. “We had a great turnout. It was nice to be able to get out there and run around a little bit and play some football.
“It has been a long time since that night in Reno (21-10 first-round playoff loss). That has been on our minds the whole off-season.”
On the upside, the Senators (5-5 last year) return two-way standout Abel Carter, who’s arguably the best all-around player in the Sierra League and maybe all of Northern Nevada. And, the Senators return three offensive linemen from last year’s squad. Carter rushed for 1,887 yards and 24 scores last year
The biggest concern, and it’s a big one, is the quarterback spot.
Jace Keema injured his foot against Bishop Manogue. Daniel Morrison, now a senior, played a little down the stretch and Carter played QB against Reno when the Senators used a wildcat formation. It was the second injury to a CHS quarterback at Manogue. A year earlier, Joe Nelson suffered a knee injury. Morrison completed 16 of 36 passes for 209 yards and a score.
Roman said Morrison and junior-to-be Blake Menzel, last year’s starting JV quarterback, have made significant strides since last season ended.
In Thursday’s scrimmage, both quarterbacks started slow, but played better in the second portion of the non-contact scrimmage.
Morrison threw for four scores, two of them to wingback Kyle Rudy. Menzel threw for one score.
“I’m very pleased,” Roman said. “They are right where they need to be. They need to continue to improve. Daniel’s arm strength has improved tremendously.
“I wouldn’t say the job is Daniel’s to lose. I expect Blake to push Daniel all summer and into the season. Blake has a lot of upside. He has a strong arm.”
Morrison believes he has made strides since last season.
“Things are going really well,” Morrison said, sipping a post-scrimmage root beer float. “The No. 1 thing is my mechanics and getting my footwork down. It’s a matter of muscle memory; something I just do now.
“I know there is going to be a competition. That is what coach Roman wants. We’ll push each other to get better. There is no pressure (on the QBs). We know we have to produce. We have to take it one day at a time and get better every day, and it will come.”
In Menzel’s case, he’s learning firsthand the varsity game is much faster than JV.
“I’ve been working on my throwing mechanics and reading defenses better,” Menzel said. “We have both been working hard. Hopefully I can push him (Daniel).”