For at least one night, Carson High School football stands alone at the top of Class 5A North Div. III.
With a 17-0 shutout win over the Hug Hawks Thursday evening, the Senators are 1-0 in their new league.
Offensively, Carson got the quick start it has been looking for all season.
Defensively, the Senators were the epitome of bend, but don’t break defense.
“It’s a good sign. Our first half, I thought we really worked well,” said Carson High head coach Ryan Boshard. “It was a really good feeling. … I really put it to these boys to come out in the first quarter and own it.”
Getting up early
On Carson’s second offensive series, the Senators were able to move the ball 55 yards on 10 plays, leaving Christian Rey to cap the drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 3:42 left in the opening quarter.
The Senator defense held strong on the Hawks next possession, allowing Carson to get the ball back after forcing a turnover on downs at the 1.
Staring down a 99-yard field, Carson took advantage of a Hug pass interference to grab some space between the line of scrimmage and the goal line.
Two plays later, the Senators handed the rock to one of their best playmakers in space and Jake Weninger bolted up the middle for a 73-yard touchdown run, giving Carson a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The two teams traded empty possessions before Carson took advantage of a muffed Hug punt.
With 4:59 left in the opening half and a short field in front of them, the Senators went 16 yards on six plays.
On fourth-and-15, Carson trotted out Aaron Witt, who booted home a 32-yard field goal, giving the Senators a 17-0 lead before the break.
“It felt great. Everyone was doing their jobs,” said Senator running back Angelo Macias of leading into the half. “I’m so glad I have my offensive lineman. They’re the best I’ve ever had.”
It was all that Carson would need with its stout defense.
There will be notes and lessons learned from Thursday’s win, but Carson’s defense will be brimming with confidence upon posting its first league shutout since week two of 2021.
The first crucial defensive stand came after Carson scored its first points of the game.
Hug didn’t look phased and moved the ball down to the Senator one-yard line with a second-and-goal.
The Hawks tried three times to run it in from the one, but all three attempts were snuffed out by Carson’s defense.
Holding Hug off the board allowed the Senators to double its lead early in the second quarter.
After going up 14-0, Hug moved the ball back down to Carson’s 23 before Roman Gantt picked up his first of two sacks on the evening.
The sack set up a fourth-and-18 for the Hawks where Johnathan Alvarado broke up the Hug try for a first down.
Zack Lopez added an interception in the first half for Carson as well.
To start the second half, Hug took advantage of a Senator muffed punt and once again faced a fourth down inside of Carson’s 10.
Hug’s pass attempt fell incomplete once again giving the Senators’ offense possession.
All in all, Carson had four, fourth down stops inside of its own 20-yard line.
“We were all doing our jobs. It shows,” said senior Odin Riley. “It brings a lot of confidence (to hold a shutout).”
There will be one main area for Carson to clean up moving forward.
Though, it didn’t ultimately hurt them Thursday, the Senators’ inability to avoid turnovers will hurt them moving forward.
Unofficially, Carson committed at least six 15-yard penalties in the win, varying from blindside blocks to unsportsmanlike conducts and pass interference.
“We have to stop being selfish. We have to put the team above anything else,” said Boshard postgame.
UP NEXT: Carson (2-4, 1-0 in Class 5A Div. III) will be back at home Friday, September 29 against Wooster.
(Carson High’s Dawson Herbert (40) and Odin Riley (50) combine to wrap up a Hug ball carrier with an assist from Tallan Duran (30), during the Senators’ 17-0 over the Hawks Thursday night. Carter Eckl / Nevada Appeal)