Rarely does the old cliche, “the game came down to 1 or 2 plays” actually stand true.
On Friday night at Galena High School, that was the case.
Galena hung on for a 6-3 Sierra League victory over the Carson High football team, but Carson would like two plays back.
“It was a game that came down to one or two plays,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “They made a couple and we didn’t.”
Trailing 6-3 with less than a minute before halftime, Carson was stopped on a fourth-and-two deep inside Galena territory and turned the ball over.
In the 4th quarter, with Galena facing a 4th-and-6 at its own 26-yard-line with 1:38 on the clock, Carson had back-to-back encroachment penalties to give Galena the 10 penalty yards and seal the game.
“Looking back on it, I probably should have kicked the field goal going into halftime,” Roman said about the decision to go for it, adding the game would have likely went to overtime.
Despite the two aforementioned plays, the Senators showed a lot of grit and heart, especially defensively.
“I thought overall the kids played their tails off. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Roman said. “Both teams deserved to win.”
After Carson punted, Carson’s defense forced a turnover on Galena’s first possession as Ivan Villegas recovered a fumble.
Carson quarterback Will Breeding connected with Ben Heaton on a 58-yard gain that gave Carson a 1st-and-goal on the 1.
The Senators couldn’t get the touchdown though and ended up with a 3-0 lead after a Jackson Kalicki 21-yard field goal.
Galena’s next drive took about 7 minutes off the clock ending the quarter with the Grizzlies facing a 3rd and goal from the 1. On the first play of the second quarter, Alex Laird scored on a quarterback sneak. Galena would miss the extra point but would take a 6-3 lead. A lead that would stick.
Carson’s best chance at scoring was at the end of the first half, when Jonny Laplante connected with Bradley Maffei on pass plays of 16 and 18 yards. One of the plays was on a fake punt. Maffei would carry for 13 yards to put the ball inside the 15 yard line where the drive ended up stalling.
The next best chance was in the fourth quarter. With 9:33 to play, Carson had the ball on its 29 before moving the ball inside the Galena 30. The Senators had a holding penalty and a sack that moved them out of field goal range. Laplante punted and pinned the Grizzlies inside the 10 with 3:49 to go. Carson’s defense was holding until the two penalties. Carson had seven total penalties for 65 yards.
Maffei had tough running but was able to get 50 yards on 12 carries. Breeding had two completions for 75 yards. Laplante had four completions for 53 yards.
“We knew what we were up against. It is a tough loss, but the kids will rebound,” Roman said.
The Senators will have their change next Friday. Carson (2-4, 0-1) hosts Bishop Manogue (2-3, 0-1). Manogue lost to Damonte Ranch on Friday.