Carson opens the 4A playoffs Thursday night (7 p.m.) against the multi-faceted Reno Huskies.
The teams met earlier this year with Reno racking up a 19-0 win at Carson High. The 19-point effort was the lowest Reno has been held to this year, and all 19 points came in the first quarter.
The Huskies are always a tough team to prepare for because they run a myriad of formations.
“It is easier to prepare a second time around, but it is a two-way street,” Carson coach Blair Roman. “At this time of the year you are focusing more on yourselves. The big thing with Reno is getting lined up correctly on defense.”
“There are some fomations that we saw the first time that we probably won’t see this time,” said defensive coordinator Steve Dilley. “There are some things that we’ll see that we haven’t seen before. We did shut them out for three quarters, and that always helps (your confidence).”
Since Reno doesn’t report stats to MaxPreps, the season totals are a mystery. Running back Brandon Kaho is a load, and it’s likely he will line up in the wildcat formation. Reese Taylor is fast, and he had success running outside (6 carries, 105 yards) against Carson. Sawyer Jaksick is the quarterback, and Zan Barnard is one of the top receivers.
Taylor scored on a 66-yard run and Evan Moore scored from 59 yards out. Those two plays led to a 19-0 first-quarter barrage.
Carson is coming off an offensive explosion against Douglas (59-28 win) that saw Abel Carter carry 19 times for 421 yards and five scores. The latter two stats put him No. 2 all time among 4A players. Like always, he will be the focal point of Reno’s defensive efort which is led by Kaho and Siaosi Finau. Carter rushed for 88 yards in the first meeting.
“I don’t think it’s a secret that we need to be able to throw a little bit (to take pressure off Abel Carter),” Roman said.
Sophomore quarterback Jonny Laplante went 5-for-5 for 110 yards and two scores against Douglas, all season-best efforts.
“During the bye week, we found three or four plays that he was comfortable with,” Roman said. “Most of the season we’ve been playing catch-up with him. he went from being the JV starting quarterback to being the varsity starter in four weeks. It’s a big jump from freshman ball to varsity ball. He didn’t have the foundation. We literally moved him up the day before we left for Pocatello. I’ll be expecting bigger things the next two years. We saw some things (bright spots) versus Manogue and a little bit against Damonte Ranch.”
After further review, Abel Carter now has 4,800 rushing yards in his career, putting him No. 8 overall and No. 5 among 4A backs.
Foothill’s D’Angelo Jones had 7,860 yards, Shaquille Powell of Gorman finished at 5,305, Las Vegas’ duo of Antoine White had 4,965 and Eric Jordan had 4,889. Carter needs 135 to equal last year’s output of 1,887.
His five-touchdown effort tied him with Hug’s Isaac Porter (2002 vs. South Tahoe), Gorman’s DeMarco Murray (2003 vs. Bonanza) and Julio Mora of Durango vs. Pahrump in 2009 and Spring Valley in 2010).
Defensive back Kyle Glanzmann, who had an interception last week against Douglas, has a broken foot and will miss Thursday’s playoff game against Reno.
Chandler Tiearney (groin) and Clayton Green (ankle) will be game-time decisions, according to Roman. Certainly this is one time where a short week isn’t good.
Glanzmann is the latest Senator starter to go out with a season-ending injury. He follows quarterback Daniel Morrison (knee), lineman Blaise Bonomo (neck/shoulder) and safety Bradley Maffei (shoulder).
Roman is unsure of who will start for Glanzmann. One candidate is speedy junior Ben Granados, who has seen action mostly on special teams this year.
“He has really improved (in recent weeks),” Roman said. “He came to us with very little football knowledge. I wish we could have played him more during the season. He is not afriad to hit. He had a couple of good ones against Douglas last week.”