Carson High’s JT Heaton (42) pushes his way through the pile while Roman Gantt (72) blocks on a rushing attempt against Bishop Manogue during the regular season.
Photo by Carter Eckl.
Thursday night’s Class 5A regional postseason opener is going to be an uphill battle for Carson High football.
The Senators enter as the No. 8 seed with a 2-8 overall record, while Bishop Manogue is the top dog in Northern 5A. At 8-2, Bishop Manogue hasn’t dropped a game since late August.
Three weeks ago, the Miners put up 77 points against Carson en route to a 77-28 win.
There were bright spots for the Senators, certainly, but the Senators will have to find a new level of effectiveness in order to keep their season alive.
Players to watch
For Carson, Senator faithful know whom to look for.
Dynamic athletes and guys capable of getting down field in a hurry will be crucial in Thursday’s game plan.
Three weeks ago, DeCarlo Quintana came in as a replacement at quarterback after an injury and immediately made an impact, going 59 yards for a score on a read-option look.
Marcus Montes also was capable of stringing together some runs in the first meeting with the Miners.
Montes, who has 401 rushing yards this year, picked up 88 yards against Bishop Manogue and had one of his three trips to the end zone.
Parker Story, who is always capable of making things happen with his legs, didn’t play in the two teams’ first meeting.
In six games this season, Story is averaging 8.4 yards per carry.
Carson is going to need to score to hang with the Miners, but the Senators’ defense also will have to step up as well.
Isaac Avina has been a staple at cornerback and isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with some of Bishop Manogue’s bigger athletes.
Trying to minimize the mismatches also will be crucial as the Miners’ offense has been the most potent in the 5A North by a wide margin.
Quarterback Logan Howren (No. 15) has thrown 36 touchdowns to four interceptions this season and has 2,384 passing yards.
He was nearly perfect in the first meeting this season, going 14-of-17 with four touchdowns.
Howren will scramble with the ball — as shown by his 400-plus rushing yards — but the Miners prefer to hand it off to Cody Fleischmann (No. 24).
On the outside, Ben Scolari (No. 8) and Dom Marcanato (No. 14) both have double-digit receiving touchdowns.
Tight end Kristian Ingman (No. 85) will get involved plenty around the goal line as his 6-foot-5 frame has allowed him to catch eight touchdowns this season.
No matter where the Miners choose to go on offense, it will certainly be Carson’s toughest test this season.