Abel Carter didn’t have much time to savor his school-record performance Friday night at Douglas.
Carter rushed 19 times for 421 yards and five touchdowns to lead playoff-bound Carson to a 59-28 win over the Tigers at Keith Roman Field.
Carter’s 421 yards is the second-most in Nevada history. Mike Kanellis rushed for 533 yards for Spanish Springs in 2004.
“We worked hard all week,” Carter said. “We knew we could take it to them. They were pretty soft on defense.”
With that, Carter left the field with baseball coach Bryan Manoukian to visit his dad, John, who was hospitalized early Friday evening at Carson-Tahoe Medical Center.
“His mom (Rhonda) wanted him to play in the game,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “That was one of the best performances ever. He was unbelievable.
“The line deserves a lot of credit, but once he got to the second level he was gone. It has been a long three weeks for us.”
It was easily the offensive line’s best performance of the season, as Carl Cavner, Dallin Schafer, Brandon Macias, Jon Acosta, Niklaus Desormier, tight end Vinny Herhman and James Purdy dominated up front.
“The loss to Douglas really hurt us last year,” Schafer said. “We needed to get them back. We worked on execution. We had some tough practices the last two weeks. The coaches pushed us to execute.”
“I think Abel is a very talented kid, their coaching staff did a good job preparing for us, and they beat us up front,” Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto said “You’ve got to win in the trenches.”
And, the Carson offense did to the tune of a season-best, though unofficial, 619 yards.
It took Carter just moments to assert himself.
On the first play from scrimmage, he lined up in the Wildcat formation and bulldozed his way for 10 yards.
On the next play he burst through the left side and outraced the Douglas defense for a 76-yard scoring run to give CHS a 7-0 lead before fans got settled in their seats.
Douglas fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Jesse Case fell on it at the Douglas 16.
Carter scored three plays later from the 7, and the Senators were firmly in control at 14-0.
“That was big,” Roman said. “Abel breaks the long one and then we recover that fumble and score. That set the tempo for the game.”
Douglas, led by Hunter Hickey (184 yards rushing), drove the ball to Carson’s 48 before punting it away.
Carson drove 84 yards in six plays with Kyle Rudy scoring from the 9 to make it 21-0.
Carter played a huge role in the possession, breaking off a 53-yard run to give CHS a first down at the Douglas 24.
After the Tigers went three and out, the Senators made it four TDs in four possessions when Vinny Hershman hauled in a 48-yard scoring pass from sophomore Jonny Laplante to make it 28-0.
It was the first TD ever for Hershman and it was Laplante’s first TD pass of the season.
“They did a good job of taking some things away last year,” Roman said. “They were in a cover zero, and it’s hard to cover the tight end when they are doing that.”
Hershman had a big day with 89 yards on three catches.
Hickey and Jack Overton finally got the Tigers on the board, leading an 84-yard, 8-play drive that was capped by Hickey’s 29-yard scoring run to make it 28-7 with 10:41 left in the half.
Carter and Laplante led the Senators on an 81-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard TD run by Carter that made it 35-7 with 2:27 left.
Carter had a 29-yard run, Laplante and Hershman hooked up for a 30-yard gain, and Laplante gained 13 on a designed run play.
Douglas, thanks to a 42-yard pass play from Hickey to Claudio Magana, moved the ball to the Carson 38.
Hickey went for the end zone on the next play, but the ball was picked off in the end zone by Kyle Glanzmann.
The Senators turned that mistake into an instant six points when Carter bolted 80 yards for a TD on the next snap to make it 42-7 and put the game into running time for the final 1:57 of the half.
Douglas put together two good scoring drives in the third quarter to cut the lead to 42-21 with 6:15 left.
Carson restored order with a 66-yard scoring run by Carter and a 31-yard FG by Tanner Kalicki.