Carson High defensive back DeCarlo Quintana (9) pulls down an interception against McQueen last Friday, during the Senators’ homecoming game.
Jeff Mulvihill, Jr. | InstaImage
By the middle of the third quarter against McQueen last Friday, the Senators were still within a possession of the Lancers.
Carson High head coach Blair Roman said that was one of his main takeaways from Friday’s homecoming loss.
A 30-6 final didn’t represent the players’ feelings either as several Senator seniors said they could feel the whole team still coming together.
“We came out second half and drove it right down the field,” said senior running back Jacob Campbell. “We really got hyped up. I think we saw how good we can be tonight, even if the score doesn’t show it.”
This Friday, Carson will head up to Sparks to take on Spanish Springs (2-4, 0-2) at 7 p.m.
The Cougars record may be a bit deceiving to this point with one score losses to both McQueen (34-29) and Bishop Manogue (14-6) over the last two weeks.
“We’re going to need to play well defensively this coming week against Spanish Springs who throw the ball quite a bit,” said Roman.
Adjusting to the Cougars
After the Lancers ran for 288 yards and four touchdowns last week against Carson, the Senators will have to make sure the Cougars don’t take advantage of passing plays over the top.
JJ Dain (No. 1) is Spanish Springs’ main weapon on offense, tossing the pigskin for 1,178 yards and nine touchdowns through six games this season.
Dain does have four interceptions, meaning the Senators could have a chance to snag a turnover if they are in the right position.
“We have to keep them in front of us,” said Roman. “They’ve had a few turnovers, but it’s not like you can bank on that. You have to create the takeaway, is our mentality.”
The Cougars have used a number of different options as three senior wideouts have at least 224 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Malachi Thomas (No. 2), CJ Stinson (No. 3) and Trace Patterson (No. 80) have been Dain’s top weapons on the outside.
Staying true to their identity
The Senators will have to account for the Cougars’ defensive line, which Roman says contains a couple of players he has turned his attention to while watching tape.
After two weeks of having a tailback rush for more than 100 yards on the ground, Roman is hoping to get his passing attack back into a groove again.
“I felt like McQueen really gave us some problems in our passing game,” said Roman. “Hopefully, this week we will see a more balanced attack.”
It hasn’t been all ground-and-pound like the Senator teams of the past, but Carson is hoping that the passing attack can flourish once again.
“That’s the nature of our offense,” said Roman. “One of the things we are proud of this year, is we have been really balanced.”
So far this season, Carson has rushed for 526 yards on the ground with six touchdowns while throwing for 500 yards and another six scores through the air.
Along with the defensive line, the Cougars’ linebackers have been active this season.
Jake Penney (No. 24) and Marco Casci (No. 40) lead the way with 67 and 54 tackles, respectively.
Spanish Springs also has 39 tackles for loss this season along with 12 total team sacks by six players.