Carson High snaps 2-game skid at McQueen
RENO – On a night when Carson High’s offense finally found the end zone after 10 quarters, it was the Senators’ defense that was the big news.
The Senators forced three turnovers and turned those into 10 points en route to a 21-6 win over McQueen Friday night at Robb Stadium.
The win snapped a two-game losing skid and also snapped McQueen’s two-game winning streak.
Obviously CHS coach Blair Roman was a happy man after his post-game talk with his team. Winning the turnover battle 3-0 was a big key.
“This was a big win,” he said. “Outside of that one (scoring) play, we were pretty good on defense. They really scared us on film the way they moved the ball against Bishop Manogue. We got caught in a blitz on that play, and we tried to call it off but the kids didn’t hear us.
“It’s been a while since we won the turnover battle (in a game and season). It was a big key to our success over the years. We have to win the takeaway battle. We took very good care of the ball tonight.”
Richie Romero had an interception and fumble recovery, and Vinny Hershman had a fumble recovery when Dominique Stallworth fumbled a snap in the red zone. Carson had a fourth one wiped out on off-setting penalties.
“We needed this,” Romero said. “It shows what we’re capable of doing when we get together as a team.”
“We came out nasty from the start,” said linebacker-running back Abel Carter.
Carter didn’t have an interception or fumble recovery, but he was everywhere. He had big play after big play on both sides of the ball (202 rushing yards and 10 tackles), and he also blocked a McQueen field goal at the end of the first half.
“Abel played a really good game,” Roman said. “He caused them problems. This was one of his better games though his stats don’t reflect it.”
His stats weren’t bad. Of his 31 carries, 10 went for 10 or more yards. Any coach in America would take that. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, which is surprising considering how much contact he was dishing out and enduring.
Carter had carries of 16, 5 and 9 yards to set up Tanner Kalicki’s 42-yard field goal with 10:26 left in the half to snap a scoreless tie.
McQueen moved the ball to Carson’s 31 on the ensuing possession, but the drive was thwarted when Romero intercepted a Matthew White pass at the 25 and returned it to the 38.
With Carter and Kyle Rudy running, the Senators moved the ball down to the McQueen 26 before things unraveled. Carter was thrown for a 3-yard loss and Blake Menzel was sacked for an 8-yard loss. Carter got those 8 yards back to put the ball at the 29. A 5-yard penalty moved it back to the 34.
Kalicki came onto boot a 52-yard field goal to make it 6-0. It was the longest field goal since Austin Pacheco kicked a game-winning 64-yarder to beat Manogue back in 2011.
Carter made his presence felt right before the half when he blocked Weston Levine’s field goal attempt to maintain the 6-point lead.
“The guy stepped down and I came right off the edge,” Carter said. “I think Sherman (Smith) got a hand on it as well.”
Carter made it 14-0 late in the third quarter when his 4-yard TD scamper and 2-point PAT capped a 62-yard drive. Carter had 57 of those yards, including a drive-opening 27-yarder.
After McQueen cut the lead to 14-6, Carson scored an insurance TD when Chance Smith scored on a 10-yard run. McQueen coach Jim Snelling had admitted before the game Carson scared him, and he knew that stopping Carter was paramount, and his team didn’t do the job.
“He is a helluva player,” Snelling said. “I don’t think he came off the field hardly at all. He and (Brandon) Kaho are the two best players in the north. He did a great job tonight.
“Blair does a good job of preparing his kids. They are a good team. They were a scary team because they were desperate (for a win). They came out ready to play. You can’t win when you only score six points and turn the ball over like we did. They were the better team tonight.”