SPARKS – Shooting blanks.
Unfortunately that’s what the Carson High offense is doing these days. For the first time in the Blair Roman era, the Senators have suffered back-to-back shutouts.
The Senators managed just 141 yards of total offense in a 35-0 loss to undefeated Reed on Friday in a non-league football game at the Dave Nolte Track & Field Complex.
It comes on the heels of a 19-0 loss to Reno. The final 42 minutes and 3 seconds on Friday were played with a running clock, just the first time since 2008 that has happened to a Carson team, according to Roman.
Carson’s offense is still making its way back from the injury to senior quarterback Dan Morrison in the season-opening 14-13 win over Lewiston. Neither junior Blake Menzel or sophomore Jon Laplante took any varsity snaps before this season, and both unfortunately are having to learn on the fly. Not exactly an ideal situation for the most important position on the field.
“We are behind (offensively),” Roman told reporters after the game. “We are in the infant stages of developing two young quarterbacks.
“Reed’s offense sputtered the first two games, but they played well tonight. They executed well. Reed’s defense played well, and they didn’t have one of their best players (Charles Tuavao).”
Reed held Abel Carter to 49 yards rushing. Carter has now been held to under 100 yards two straight weeks. He simply never had a chance to get started. The Carson offensive line was unable to stop penetration by Reed’s defensive front. Carson didn’t have a first down until the second quarter.
Carter said the Senators shouldn’t have lost by such a wide margin.
“They are good,” he said. “They have a lot of speed. We shouldn’t have lost by that much. If we execute (we can move the ball and score). We just have to execute.”
Carson made it pretty easy for Reed. A fumble led to a 20-yard Reed touchdown and a blocked punt led to a 25-yard scoring drive.
The Raiders took the opening kick-off and struck quickly, driving 75 yards in five plays, as Cam Emerson hooked up with Grant Cotter on a 38-yard scoring pass. Aidan Sawyer added the PAT.
Cotter caught the ball along the left sideline. Carson cornerback Kyle Rudy missed an open-field tackle that enabled Cotter to get to the end zone.
Disaster struck two plays later. Menzel dropped back to pass, and the ball was knocked from his grasp, giving the Raiders great field position at the Carson 20.
Josiah Schmidt scored six plays later on a 7-yard run. Sawyer’s PAT made it 14-0 with 7:39 left in the opening quarter.
Menzel said after the game he felt his arm was moving forward when the ball came loose. Roman, however, thought it was a good call.
“I thought he got hit before the arm came forward,” Roman said.
Carson went three and out, and Jon Acosta’s 41-yard punt rolled dead at the Reed 15.
No matter. The Raiders were in the end zone four plays later, as Emerson tossed a 21-yard pass to Cotter to start the drive, and he finished it with a 20-yard scoring pass to Jayden Scott. The 2-point conversion made it 22-0 with 4:09 left in the opening period.
The 20-yard scoring pass and a 40-yard pass, both to Scott, came at the expense of Darryll Heyward, who had a rough series.
“Darryll may have been out of his comfort zone,” Roman said. “He’s played mostly safety. You can’t give up those kind of passes.”
The Raiders took advantage of a short 23-yard punt for their fourth score.
Reed set up shop at its own 44 and needed just seven plays before Schmidt scored on a 4-yard run on the second play of the second quarter. Sawyer’s PAT made it 29-0.
A 15-yard Laplante completion and a 15-yard pass interference penalty on Reed enabled the Senators to get the ball into Reed territory on their ensuing drive. Laplante was sacked on third down, and the Raiders blocked an Acosta punt leading to their final score of the first half and, as it turns out, the game.