Barlow boys help buoy Senators for meeting with Mustangs; prep capsules
BY MIKE HOUSER
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
At 6-foot, 220-pounds, Carson Senators junior noseguard/left guard Justin Barlow may have quite a few pounds on his older brother, senior free safety Robby Barlow (5-11, 145), but when the going gets tough, he knows where to look for inspiration.
“(Robby’s) a really good leader,” Justin says. “He’s always taking charge. He’s our go-to guy when the chips are down. He has the most heart on the team ” without a doubt. He’s the first one in conditioning to step up and do something when no one wants to go on.”
For his part, Robby said he’s not the only one in the family who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty.
“(Justin’s) working hard. He’s non-stop,” Robby said. “He plays both ways. He’s an animal. He has good genes. And he’s probably my best friend. We’re both competitive. We talk about football and hang out. We push each other.”
In addition to motivating each other, the brothers will be looking to get physical with the Damonte Ranch Mustangs, whom the Senators will play tonight for sole possession of third place in the Sierra League standings.
The Senators, 2-1 in league and 2-4 overall, are coming off a 42-0 win over Wooster and the Mustangs, 2-1, 3-2, are coming off a tough 27-17 loss to Douglas. Last season, Damonte Ranch capitalized on seven Carson turnovers to notch a 20-18 victory.
The game begins at 7:30 p.m. at Carson High School.
Both Barlows will have to pitch in to contain the Mustangs’ most active horse in senior quarterback Ray Daniels. The dual threat has completed 66-of-140 passes for 839 yards and eight touchdowns (he also has six interceptions) and has added 180 yards on 54 carries and five TDs on the ground.
First-year Carson head coach Blair Roman said he’s been impressed how good Robby Barlow has done since moving over from cornerback.
“He’s one of our toughest kids and one of our biggest hitters,” Roman said. “He’s one of those kids that’s not very big and not very fast, but he has a great attitude and has overcome some size issues with the size of his heart.”
Roman said Justin Barlow has also adjusted well since he began to play at left guard in addition to his defensive duties beginning in league play.
“He’s played as well as any lineman in the league,” Roman said. “He’s very physical. He loves the game like his older brother. They love to play, they’re coachable and they’re doing a great job.”
Another Senator who has been making steady improvement is junior quarterback Blake Plattsmier, whom both Barlows consider a best friend and with whom Justin has played football since Pop Warner.
Plattsmier hooked up with Steven Fowzer for a 40-yard touchdown against the Colts and has completed 47-of-100 passes for 501 yards and three TDs with five picks this season.
His three favorite targets have been tight end Blake Davidson (14 receptions for 162 yards and a TD) and wideouts Ean Witter (14 catches for 145 yards and one score) and Fowzer (eight grabs for 141 yards and two touchdowns).
“In the beginning (of the season), he was nervous, but now he’s getting in the mix,” Justin Barlow said of Plattsmier. “He’s doing a lot of things for us. I’ve played with him my whole life. He’s playing like he always has. He’s a vocal leader. He gets us going. In the huddle he gets us fired up.”
Carson’s ground game is coming around as well and behind Justin Barlow, left tackle Trevor Goodale, right guard Ernesto Cortez, center Junior Valladares and right tackle Will Flores, running backs Jake Madden and Mark Sinnott are both coming off 100-yard games against the Colts.
Justin Barlow said Madden’s cross-field, reverse-S, peristaltic 54-yard touchdown run gave the Senators a burst of energy in the third quarter.
“I pulled on that crazy run and took out the middle linebacker,” Justin Barlow said. “(The Colts) were shutting us down in the first quarter and (Madden) sprung it big. It was a good play. It got us all fired up. That play right there was the biggest play, the most fun play we’ve run all year.”
Robby Barlow got in on the fun as well, notching one of two Carson interceptions against Wooster quarterback Mike Sitton, who went 0-for-11 against the improving Senators D.
“We’ve been getting down on basics every day ” tackling basics, tackling circuits,” Robby Barlow said. “Our defense is a lot tougher. Last week we got all the pieces together.”
He said the Senators would be looking to Jonathan Parker, Jae Chun and Taylor Silva to contain the Mustangs on the outside.
Justin Barlow said his team has stayed consistent with its one-game-at-a-time approach and won’t be looking past Damonte, especially with a shot at the playoffs closing in.
“It starts right here. They’ve beaten a lot of the teams we need to beat (such as Galena and Fallon),” Justin Barlow said. “We definitely need to win this week.”
Carson got off to a slow first half in wins over South Tahoe and Wooster and slowed down in the second half in a defeat to Bishop Manogue.
“That’s our focus: To beat Damonte we have to play a full four quarters,” Roman said. “They’re a team that have shown this year that they don’t quit. They came back to beat Galena and Fallon and they almost came back to tie Douglas at the end of the game. There’s no quit in them. We have to play four quarters of team ball.
“Our kids understand how big this game is. It’s an opportunity to step up and beat a team with a good record.”
DOUGLAS (5-1) AT WOOSTER (1-4)
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Wooster High School
Players to watch: Douglas ” QB Tim Rudnick, OL/DL Parker Robertson, RB Johnny Pollack, WR Zach McFadden, OL Garrett Tenney. Wooster: WR Anthonie Wright, RB/LB Matt Magee, OL/DE Landon Kendall. OL/DL Chris Seeliger, QB Mike Sitton.
The skinny: The Tigers have lost WR James McLaughlin for the season with a broken leg, which means McFadden will get plenty of attention. The Tigers still have plenty of firepower, and only have to be careful not to overlook the undermanned Colts, who are coming off a blowout loss at the hands of Carson.
DAYTON (3-4) AT MOAPA VALLEY
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Where: Moapa Valley
Players to watch: Moapa Valley ” QB/S Max Jenkins, RB/DB Brad Weiss, WR/DB Shaun Hilton. OL/LB Tyler Lomprey, DL Andrew Andersen. Dayton: RB Conner Oliver, OL/LB Randall Oxoby, OL/DL Mitch Gilgert, RB Kyle Firestone.
The skinny: Moapa is the defending 3A champion and the Pirates boast three solid skill players in quarterback Max Jenkins, who has thrown for 656 yards and six touchdowns; Matt Newton, who has 379 receiving yards and four scores, and running back Brad Weiss, who has rushed for 703 yards and four TDs. Dayton is coming off a 56-0 loss to perennial powerhouse Truckee. The Dust Devils had problems running the ball against Truckee and for them to have any success tonight, they will have to establish a running game.
FERNLEY (2-4) AT LOWRY (2-4)
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Where: Lowry High School
Players to watch: Fernley ” QB Bryce Baker, RB Mike Kendricks, DL Miguel Ovies, DE Reggie Ritchon, RB/LB Landyn Perreira. Lowry: RB Trevor Grant, RB Joel Barton, WR William Messerly, WR Zach Haught, QB August Ramasco.
The skinny: Fernley is coming off a bye following a two-touchdown loss to Truckee. Lowry will have to defend against Fernley’s strong running game, which is led by Mike Kendricks. The Buckaroos have struggled on both sides of the ball this year and are coming off a 31-15 loss to Sparks. Ramasco has thrown for 446 yards and four scores this year.
– Capsules compiled by Darrell Moody