Carson football to host powerful Miners tonight
BY MIKE HOUSER
Appeal Sports Writer
After opening the football season 0-3, the Carson Senators trailed South Tahoe by 14 points in the third quarter on Saturday and found themselves staring into the abyss.
Apparently not liking what was staring back at them, the Senators looked deep within themselves before exploding for 31 unanswered points in taking a 39-22 victory over South Tahoe at the Viking Bowl.
“I definitely couldn’t be more pleased with our character,” said first-year Carson head coach Blair Roman. “The kids showed they could come back after being down 22-8. Basically they were faced with folding the tent or sucking it up and coming back.
“The greatest thing to come out of it is that we were able to seize the momentum and take (the Vikings’) momentum away.”
The Senators, who are 1-0 in Sierra League play (1-3 overall), will attempt to carry that momentum into tonight’s game against Bishop Manogue. The Miners are also 1-0 in league, but are 3-1 overall and are coming off a 49-14 victory over Wooster.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Carson High School.
Senators junior running back Mark Sinnott was a key player in the Carson rally, scoring three touchdowns and picking up 105 yards on 16 carries.
The 5-foot-7, 160-pound speedster ” known as “Bullet” to some of his teammates ” scored from 4, 35 and 11 yards out.
“It was a needed win. Losing three games in a row, we started to get down a little,” said Sinnott, who also competes in four events for the CHS track team (the 100, 4×100, 200 and 4×200). “The win boosted the team back up. It gives us confidence that we need to go into a game with a good team like Manogue. I think they’re with the top four teams around here.”
Manogue is certainly a threat. In their first year since realigning from the High Desert League, the Miners have also beaten Reed, 26-14, and Valley Christian (Calif.), 61-10. Their only loss was to Hug, 34-31.
Although the Senators will be playing a short week, Roman said the timely comeback over the Vikings has given his team a shot in the arm.
“It’s definitely made a difference. Any time you can come back to win, the next week you have a little more bounce in your step,” Roman said. “(The Senators) are a little more confident in what they’re doing. Quite frankly, we’re excited to play Manogue.
“(The Miners) are one of the most difficult teams I’ve seen on film. We know going in we’re playing a formidable opponent. One of the things our kids are excited about is to see if they can step up to that level and knock them off.”
Manogue presents a multi-dimensional challenge on both sides of the ball.
“In terms of quality opposition, they’re one of the best teams we’ll play,” Roman said. “They have an outstanding group of skill players. Their running back, (Josh) DuPree, is a three-year starter. They have a solid fullback and a physical front. Defensively they get after you. I’m pretty impressed.
“Their biggest strength is they run the football well. Their quarterback (Patrick Riggs) does a nice job of getting out of the pocket and making things happen. They have a solid tight end (Stephen Jeffers), wide receiver (Keith Fuetsch) ” across the board they’re solid. We have to step it up.”
Riggs has completed 40-of-77 passes for 551 yards. He has thrown for six touchdowns and has been picked off only once. His favorite target has been Fuetsch, who has 20 receptions for 396 yards and six TDs. Jeffers has averaged 15.5 yards per catch, pulling down six passes for 93 yards and one touchdown.
DuPree is the centerpiece of the Manogue ground attack, gaining 310 yards on 49 attempts and has five TDs.
“On film, they look pretty big. But even with their size, the gauge is the little things they do well,” Roman said of the Miners. “Their offensive line gets off fast and moves their feet well. The defense is pretty active and has good size.”
Sinnott, who has run 11.2 in the 100 and a 4.59 in the 40, said his team has been focusing on the fundamentals and it’s been paying dividends.
“The line is definitely getting a lot better at pushing everyone back and making better holes,” said Sinnott, who didn’t start playing football until he was a freshman and whose uncle Pete is the CHS cross country coach. “We work hard every practice. Everyone gets along really well ” sophomore to senior.
“I think we’ve been working as hard as we can. Everyone’s excited. It’s the first home game back here in a while. Now that league’s going, it means a lot more.”
Roman believes his team is headed in the right direction.
“I think we’ve been just one block away, one small assignment away from moving the ball effectively and consistently,” he said. “Against Tahoe we started to see solid things defensively, especially with our tackling. On our bye week, particularly, we spent a lot of time getting back to fundamentals. That showed on Saturday.”
Roman also expressed confidence in junior quarterback Blake Plattsmier.
“Blake is making progress,” Roman said. “In the first quarter (against South Tahoe) he played outstanding. The thing about Blake is we have confidence in him to make every throw he needs to make. He has a strong arm. This week in practice he worked on his consistency. We hope to see that Friday. Once he becomes comfortable, the game will slow down and the consistency will come.”
NOTE: The teams last met in 2006, with the Miners coming out on top… Carson running back Maciek Kuroczka, who injured his shoulder after a reception against Reed two weeks ago, is the only Carson starter who will not see action tonight.
GALENA (0-4) AT DOUGLAS (3-1)
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Where: Douglas High School, Minden
Players to watch: Douglas ” OL/DL Parker Robertson, QB Tim Rudnick, RB Jordan Cruz, WR Zach McFadden. Galena: RB Jarrod Faust, QB Beau Bickel, LB Taylor Tatro, DL Mick Johnson, OL/DL Tom Ferencik.
The skinny: Douglas barely escaped Fallon with a 14-6 win, while Galena is coming off a disappointing 21-20 loss to neighboring Damonte Ranch. The Grizzlies need a win, but it’s not likely to come against Douglas, one of the top teams in the region.
– Capsule compiled by Darrell Moody