SPARKS — The time is now for the Carson High football team. No more platitudes about progress made here and there, no more two steps forward and one step back.
Actually on Friday night it was a case where the Senators may have taken one step forward, but definitely took two steps back. Carson fell to Reed, 55-21, in a game in which it was plagued by the same problems it’s been plagued by all season, something that shouldn’t be happening four games into the season. The Senators fell to 1-3 on the year.
“I feel like we’re a better team than the score,” Carson coach Blair Roman told his team after the game.
But for Roman there’s no magic elixir. “We’ve got to find a way to play better,” Roman told his team. “I know we’re better.”
Sure there were moments for Carson, who actually had its best statistical game of the season with 337 yards of total offense.
Chance Smith rushed for 117 yards on 17 carries and had 192 yards of total offense. Sethro Griffith emerged as a playmaker for Carson as he had six catches for 98 yards and also intercepted a pass in the end zone.
“We need playmakers,” Roman also told his team after the game.
Johnny LaPlante was 11-of-19 passing for 117 yards.
But kickoff returns for touchdowns, blocked punts and other big plays continued to haunt the Senators.
“I don’t know what to say,” Roman said. “I just feel bad for the players. They’re working hard every day, they’re grinding.
“I’m just at a loss for words as far as how poorly we played. We just continually shoot ourselves in the foot.”
The struggles began right from the start as Reed’s Champ Robertson returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-0.
The Senators then had a punt blocked to set up Elijah Tau Tolliver’s 2-yard touchdown run and just like that it as 14-0 Raiders three minutes into the game.
Carson, though came to life as Smith scored on a 34-yard run. Jackson Kalicki kicked the extra point to pull the Senators to within 14-7.
But the big play came back to haunt Carson again as Trevor Kibala returned the ensuing kickoff 47 yards to the CHS 35. That set up Baylor Horning’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Demarea Johnson-Cooper to give Reed a 21-7 lead.
Smith responded with a 35-yard kickoff return to the CHS 47 and Carson drove down to the Reed 34 where the drive stalled.
Alex Casarez then pulled off a reverse pass, completing a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kibala to give the Raiders a 27-7 lead.
Carson did move the football. It had one drive going on the strength of Bradley Maffei’s 13-yard run and another on Christian Davila’s 18-yard run but both drives stalled.
Christian Richer scored on a 2-yard run to give Reed a 34-7 lead. Ezra Belingheri later intercepted a passed and returned it 49 yards to the CHS 15. Tolliver scored on the ensuing run from 15 yards to give Reed a 41-7 lead.
Carson responded right before the half with Griffith making a spectacular leaping grab of a LaPlante pass for 27 yards down to the Reed 5. Then on fourth and goal from the 2-yard line, LaPlante scored on a bootleg run, just sticking the ball inside the pylon right before time expired to pull Carson to within 41-14 at halftime.
Another huge return, this time Robertson’s 39-yard punt return, gave Reed the ball at the CHS 25. On the ensuing play, Tolliver scored on a 25-yard run to give Reed a 48-14 lead.
Griffith made another spectacular leaping grab on a 35-yard pass from LaPlante down to the 5. That set up LaPlante’s 1-yard scoring run that pulled Carson to within 48-21.
Reno 51, Douglas 24
RENO — Reno ran away to a 51-24 Northern 4A victory over Douglas High on Friday night.
Douglas quarterback Colt Weidner’s 60-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 cut the Reno lead to 14-7 with 9:05 to play in the first half.
Reno would make it 21-7 on a long touchdown. The Huskies would extend the lead to 35-7 at the half when they scored on the last play of the half.
Douglas cut the lead to 35-10 on a field goal, before the Huskies scored a touchdown and a safety to close the third quarter with a 44-10 lead.
Weidner connected with Isaiah Geilenfeldt on a 20-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 44-17 with 9:29 to play in the fourth.
The Tigers would cut the lead to 44-24, but Reno would score again to make it 51-24.
The Tigers, 2-1, host McQueen on Friday night at 7 p.m.