It’ll be no secret to the Carson High football faithful what kind of challenges Bishop Manogue will present Friday.
The Miners are 2-3 this year, but are coming off a 2018 campaign in which they fell to Bishop Gorman in the 4A state title game.
Two of Bishop Manogue’s losses have come in the last two weeks to Spanish Springs (28-19) and Damonte Ranch (27-10).
Miner starting quarterback Drew Scolari (No. 12) missed last week against Damonte Ranch, and freshman Logan Howren was inserted into the frey.
Howren was 9-of-20 for 96 yards through the air and Senator coach Blair Roman isn’t sure which QB Carson will see in the starting lineup on Friday.
“Everyone knows they’re a talented team,” said Roman. “If he plays against us, with a varsity game under his belt, I bet he will be a little more up to speed.”
Howren (No. 19) didn’t present the same dual threat presence that Scolari had in his first game, but the Miners turned to running backs Zeke Lee (No. 24) and Vai Kaho (No. 4) as the two combined for 169 yards on the ground and Manogue’s lone trip to the end zone.
If Bishop Manogue is without Scolari, expect the Miners to go back to their ground game as their main attack, but Bishop Manogue’s coaching staff has shown it’s not afraid to let Howren air it out if need be.
“Everything Manogue does starts with the run game,” said Roman. “Trying to make them as one dimensional as you can is pretty important.”
Roman emphasized that any Senator player who gets matched up with a Miner one-on-one has to be able to make a solo tackle to keep Bishop Manogue to as few big plays as possible.
Also of note, the Miners have a few Division I prospects on their offensive line, according to Roman, putting even more attention on making tackles when they are there.
Blocking up front
Carson’s offensive line play is going to need to be playing at a high level come Friday.
If the Senators thought Galena’s pressure was tough, the Miners have proven even more effective at getting to the quarterback through the first half of their season.
The Miners have 16 sacks through five games and three players in Malcolm McClure (No. 42), Kaho and Jameson Helu (No. 54) in the top 11 in the league in sacks this season.
“Block them,” laughed Roman of his biggest priority. “We’ve played two really good defenses and we’ve got another one this week. We will have our work cut out for us.”
The coaching staff at Bishop Manogue is one that Roman has history of facing and he is expecting to see their traditional 3-5-3 defensive fronts.
“You have to use past history as a little bit of a guide,” said Roman, who added he has faced the same coaching staff for 12 years since they were coaching at Reed.
Senator defensive improvements
Carson’s defense has shown its consistent improvement in the last few weeks as the Senators have allowed just six points in two of their last three contests.
The head coach wants to continue to see that trend develop against Bishop Manogue.
“Improvement, honestly,” said Roman. “I do feel like we are an improved team. In the last three weeks, in particular defensively, we have shown nice improvement in a lot of areas.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Carson High School.