Carson executes in key victory
RENO — No adjustments were necessary. It was just a simple matter of execution for the Carson High football team.
Those involved in Carson’s 47-0 win at North Valleys on Friday night say they didn’t do anything differently. But Mike Dittenber did look like a different quarterback.
Dittenber, who played well and sometimes extremely well at times this season, put it all together on Friday, completing 10-of-12 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns. Dittenber showed how difficult it can be to defend a quarterback who’s a threat to run or pass. But while it looked like the Senators were rolling Dittenber out more and using him to pass out of the veer option more, they said that was the design all along.
“We didn’t change one thing anywhere,” said Carson coach Shane Quilling, who added Dittenber’s performance was simply a matter of taking what the Panthers defense was giving.
“We had to take advantage of it,” he said. “We executed very well. We had great protection.”
Dittenber also gave all the credit for his performance to the offensive line. “They gave me all the time on the world to pass,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been waiting for all season. It was awesome.”
Admittedly, the Senators can’t be too giddy about a 47-0 win over arguably the weakest team it will play this season. But Carson was pleased with how it played.
“Obviously they’re not as tough as some of the people we played, but we executed very well,” Quilling said. “Hopefully we’ve turned the corner.”
It helped that Carson held onto the ball. After committing 23 turnovers in its first four games, Carson lost just one fumble against the Panthers.
The defense again was outstanding, holding North Valleys to 96 total yards. “Our defense played awesome,” Quilling said.
Carson outgained North Valleys 275-38 — holding the Panthers to one first down in the first half — and finished with 383 total yards. Dittenber was 9-of-10 for 196 yards in the first half.
The Senators opened the scoring on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Dittenber to Wes Kaylor. Tilor Smith then blocked a punt out of the end zone to give Carson a 9-0 lead. After Jared Wulff’s 8-yard run, Nick Shine rumbled 56 yards for a touchdown after catching a pass from Dittenber to make it 16-0.
On Carson’s next possession, Kaylor made a spectacular catch on a 24-yard pass from Dittenber to set up Matt Mitchell’s 27-yard field goal. Mitchell was also 6-of-6 on extra points.
Tsuyoshi Curtis scored on a 27-yard run to give Carson a 26-0 lead. Brian Welch took over on defense with pressure that forced an errant pass that was intercepted by Derek Shoaf at the Panther 33-yard line, but that’s when Mike Handley committed Carson’s only turnover when he lost the ball fighting for extra yards.
Handley made up for the mistake when he returned the ensuing punt 38 yards to set up his own touchdown on a 27-yard pass from Dittenber.
On the ensuing kickoff, Smith caused a fumble that Tyler Raponi scooped up and carried into the end zone to give Carson a 40-0 halftime lead.
The Senators scored on their opening possession of the second half. The running of Austin Watson and Ryan Sarkissian helped set up Dittenber’s 16-yard TD pass to Handley. After Carson’s opening possession of the second half, Dittenber came out and didn’t play for the rest of the game.
North Valleys’ best chance to score came after Rob Ghiglieri couldn’t get off a punt after a high snap and was tackled at his own 17. But the Carson defense held. Danny Rotter also had an interception to help preserve the shutout.