RENO — When Bradley Maffei burst through the line on his 55-yard touchdown run early in the second half, it was like he was carrying all of the Senators’ frustration with him. Seven weeks of frustration.
Maffei burst up the middle twice in the second half on touchdown runs, also scoring on a 58-yard scamper as Carson went on to win at Wooster, 40-20, on Friday. The Senators (2-7, 1-3 in the Sierra League) broke a seven-game losing streak in the process heading into next week’s showdown with arch-rival Douglas on Thursday at CHS. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“It feels great after the last seven weeks,” Maffei said. “It’s been a rough seven weeks.”
Maffei burst up the middle on a scoring run of 55 yards less than two minutes into the second half to give CHS a 19-7 lead.
The Carson defense then stiffened when Wooster went for it on fourth down and forced a fumble with Johny Laplante recovering the fumble at the CHS 42-yard line. On the ensuing play it was deja vu all over again as Maffei burst up the middle again on a 58-yard scoring run. Jackson Kalicki added the extra point to give the Senators a 26-7 lead.
“I tell you what that was, a hard-earned victory,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “Bradley, I thought, was kind of the difference.”
Maffei ran behind Carl Cavner at center on his two scoring runs up the middle as Cavner was moved to center to match up with Wooster’s best defensive player, nose guard Joe Perez.
“He matched up physically with No. 55 pretty well,” said Roman about Cavner going against Perez.
“The kid plays both ways, hardly comes off the field,” added Roman about Cavner.
Maffei rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries.
“The whole line played their ... off tonight,” Maffei said. “I was proud of them.”
Carson extended its lead to 33-7 thanks to a splendid pass play between quarterback Blake Menzel and Lucas Vanbrow. On fourth and six from the Wooster 36, Menzel threw a perfectly placed pass on the sideline and Vanbrow did a brilliant job of keeping both of his feet in while making the catch for a 10-yard gain to the Colts 26.
Laplante came back in at quarterback to finish off the drive, scoring on an 8-yard run to give CHS a 33-7 lead.
Laplante scored on a 21-yard run and Leo Rodriguez added the extra point to give Carson a 40-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
Carson scored on its opening drive of the game when Laplante ran for 24 yards down to the 1-yard line to set up Maffei’s 1-yard TD run to give the Senators a 6-0 lead. The Senators struck on their next possession when Laplante hit Chance Smith on a 71-yard scoring pass to give Carson a 13-0 lead.
But Wooster came back to score on Jamel Wright’s 1-yard touchdown run to pull to within 13-7.
Smith intercepted a pass at the CHS 40 and returned it to the Wooster 38 midway through the second quarter, but Carson couldn’t take advantage and the score remained 13-7 at halftime.
LaPlante added 60 yards rushing on six carries and Gilbert Vasquez gained 51 yards on five carries for CHS.
Now it’s on to Douglas. “Looking forward to that one,” Maffei said. “It’s going to be an exciting matchup.”
“It’s the best rivalry in the state of Nevada,” Roman said. “It’s just going to be a lot of fun. We’re really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fun game.”
Notes: Carson’s win didn’t come without a cost as starting defensive back Ben Granados had to come out of the game in the first half with an injury and spent the rest of the game on crutches on the sideline.