Carson High’s inability to take advantage of some good field position and a couple of big penalties led to the Senators’ 34-21 loss to Bishop Manogue on Friday at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex.
Carson is now 0-2 in league and 3-4 overall heading into a Senior Night showdown with league-leading Damonte Ranch. Bishop Manogue improved to 2-0 in league and 6-2 overall, and locked up a playoff berth in the process.
“We had an opportunity to be up 24-0 or 24-7 and maybe more,” said Carson coach Blair Roman. “Bishop Manogue is a good team, and they were able to scratch back for the win. One thing that continues to hurt us is not being able to make big plays at key points in the game.”
There were many key points in this one, and the first came after Carson had jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead on the strength of a 63-yard TD run by sophomore quarterback Jonny Laplante and a 22-yard fumble return by Kyle Glanzmann, the latter coming with 5:48 left in the opening quarter.
The Carson defense forced a three and out, and the ensuing 35-yard punt rolled dead at the Carson 40.
It looked like the Senators were on their way to a 21-0 lead, especially after Laplante completed a 23-yard pass to Tucker Nichols for a first down at the Manogue 37. The Senators moved the ball to the 22, but the series went south after Carson was called for a hold on first down, and two Abel Carter runs netted just eight yards. The possession ended with a missed 40-yard field goal attempt by Tanner Kalicki.
Bishop Manogue cut the deficit to 14-7 three plays later when Peyton Dixon (202 yards rushing) broke loose for a 68-yard TD.
Carson put together a nice drive, getting to the Manogue 41 after a 12-yard gain by Kyle Rudy. However, a bad first-down snap resulted in a 7-yard loss and the Senators were forced to punt.
Carson regained its two-touchdown lead when Carter, who finished with 179 yards, broke off a 66-yard scoring run. Kalicki’s PAT made it 21-7 with 2:57 left in the half.
Josh Rolling started getting hot, however. He went 4-for-4 for 79 yards on the ensuing drive, including a 37-yard scoring pass to Crisp, who also had a 26-yard reception to start the possession.
That was just a sign of things to come for the Senators.
Another key mistake thwarted the Senators’ first possession of the second half.
A 7-yard gain by Laplante and then gains of 11 and 12 by Carter gave the Senators a first down at the Manogue 31. Carson was called for a chop block, putting the Senators back at the Manogue 46. Carson was unable to get out of that hole and punted the ball away.
The Miners drove 85 yards on the ensuing drive, and Rolling capped the possession with a 10-yard TD pass to Crisp, tying the game at 21 with 1:57 left in the third period.
Rolling went 5-for-6 for 74 yards on the drive. Carson had a mix-up in the secondary, and Crisp was wide open behind middle linebacker Dawson Lamb on the scoring play.
“They ran an empty set, and the safety was supposed to have coverage over the top,” Lamb said. “We didn’t get lined up the right way. Their quarterback made some good plays/throws all game long.”
Carson’s strategy was to shut down Dixon, and except for the 68 and 34-yard scoring runs, the defense did a solid job.
“I thought we did a pretty good job (on Dixon),” Lamb said.
Unfortunately for the Senators, Rolling had success throwing the ball vertically into tight coverage.
“Their receivers made some great catches,” Roman said.
Carson’s defense had the Miners facing a fourth-and-1 from its own 40 at the start of the fourth quarter, and Dixon broke off a 10-yard gain to midfield. Two plays later, Manogue extended the lead to 28-21 when Rolling and Jack Masterson hooked up for a 27-yard TD pass.
Bishop Manogue pooched the ensuing kick-off inside the 20. Carter fielded the ball, but apparently stepped out at the 8.
The Miners’ defense held, forcing Sven Johansson to punt from his own end zone. His 25-yard punt rolled dead at the Carson 34, and Dixon scored on the next play to make it 34-21.
Dixon had 102 of his 202 yards rushing on two running plays.
Despite the loss, Roman said he saw improvement from the Galena game, especially from Laplante.
“Overall, the quarterback play improved,” Roman said. “We didn’t do much with that last (actually next-to-last) drive.”
Laplante did manage his first varsity touchdown, scampering 63 yards on a zone read play that gave Carson an early 7-0 lead.
Carson was lined up in its trip formation, and the Miners didn’t react well to it.
“I can pull it out and option it or keep it,” Laplante said. “I got great blocks. I think I took some steps forward. I felt a lot more confident.”
Roman didn’t call the play again, however. He said Manogue made some defensive adjustments.
Carson finished with 324 yards unofficially, and 129 came on the scoring runs by Laplante and Carter.
Other than that, the Carson offense struggled, especially in the second half. Of Carson’s five second-half possessions, it failed to get a first down on three of them. The Senators were held to just five first downs in the second half.