Carson meets Douglas in regular season finale
BY MIKE HOUSER
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
When the Carson Senators and Douglas Tigers step onto Keith Roman Football Field today at 7 p.m., it will mark the 59th meeting between the two rivals since 1923.
Though the Senators own a 37-19-2 advantage, it will fall on the arm of junior quarterback Blake Plattsmier to lead his team in trying to end the six-game victory streak of the Tigers, who are second in the Sierra League with a 5-1 record and 7-2 overall.
The 17-year-old Plattsmier led his team to a 19-13 victory over Fallon last week, but the Senators (3-3, 3-6) saw their postseason hopes disappear with a Galena victory over Wooster on Saturday.
Now it will be the Tigers, coming off a 48-6 victory over South Tahoe, who will have to make do as Carson’s foil in lieu of a playoff game.
“Douglas is a real good rivalry for us,” the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Plattsmier said. “They are a tough opponent. We’re going to come out Friday and give it all we’ve got.”
In his first year on the varsity squad, Plattsmier has consistently given it his best effort, completing 75-of-156 passes for 739 yards and five touchdowns, while throwing seven interceptions. He began the season running the Pistol formation, but as the season evolved he moved back under center and has steadily improved since then.
First-year Carson head coach Blair Roman said his young quarterback endured some rough moments early in the year and has emerged a better player.
“He was thrown in the fire right away,” Roman said. “(In the season-opener) we played a pretty good Spanish Springs team that is 6-3 now. McQueen is the No. 1 team in the state and Reed is a playoff team. We had our hands full those (first) three games.
“I think Blake grew in those three games, as did the rest of the team. When you’re thrown in the fire, two things can happen: You can have a stick-with-it attitude or you can go in the tank. We kept sticking with it. Blake did the same. That’s the best compliment I can give him. Same with the team.”
Roman also credited Plattsmier for being one of the players who have bought into his coaching staff’s building process.
“We’ve improved a lot this year in many places ” I feel like the quarterback position is one area that has made progress,” Roman said. “As we showed last week against Fallon, the team won, but he made key plays to get us over the top.
“We didn’t have (junior running back) Mark Sinnott, (senior running back) Jake Madden wasn’t 100 percent. Fallon was being tough on the run. Blake had to make some great passes. Both touchdown passes (one to Steve Fowzer, one to Erik Roberson) were great plays.”
Plattsmier, who has been playing football since he was 8, has been part of a group of Carson players that have grown up together on the gridiron, including seniors Blake Davidson and Robby Barlow along with fellow juniors Justin Barlow, Josh Peacock and Ryan Hoskins.
“We all get along real well, especially the guys I’ve played with for quite a while,” Plattsmier said. “We have a lot of leaders on the field. I’m not impressed with our record, but I am impressed with how we’ve played. Everyone is having a really good time and playing hard.”
Plattsmier’s favorite targets this year have been tight end Blake Davidson and wideouts Fowzer and Ean Witter.
“We’re all real close ” you couldn’t ask for anyone better,” Plattsmier said of his receiving corps. “They all have great hands and feet. We’re all on the same page and, if not, we’re on the sidelines trying to get there.”
Against Douglas, Plattsmier will try and enjoy one more time the differences his go-to players bring to the field.
“Fowzer is more of a speedy guy (than Witter) ” he’s always flying around,” Plattsmier said. “He’s a little quicker, has a little more acceleration. Both have great hands; both have the same top speed.
“Witter is more of a possession receiver. He’s taller and can jump a little higher. Blake is a big threat to teams. He’s a great tight end. His blocking is (solid) and he has great feet as well.”
Plattsmier will need all the help his teammates can give him against Douglas, which has not only survived an injury-plagued season, but has somehow found a way to thrive.
The Tigers are led by quarterback Tim Rudnick, who leads the Sierra League with 136 completions in 254 attempts for 2,078 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has also thrown 13 interceptions.
Johnny Pollack is Douglas’ leading rusher with 773 yards and three TDs on 131 carries, while Zach McFadden has snared 41 receptions for 723 yards and six touchdowns.
“They have an explosive offense, no doubt about it,” Roman said. “We were joking the other day that they have passed for more yards than we have total. As always, they run the ball very well.
“Rudnick has impressed me all year with his poise in a running offense. He makes plays and sees the field really well. I’m also impressed with how accurate a passer he is. Their receiving corps is as good as any we’ll face all year. They’ve had some injuries, but they have guys who have stepped in and done a great job. We have to slow them down.”
For Plattsmier, the rivalry with Douglas goes back a lot further than high school. He recalls scoring his first-ever touchdown against Douglas in Pop Warner, when he scored on a reverse from his position in the slot.
“I won’t ever forget that one because it was against Douglas,” Plattsmier said. “It’s a great rivalry. We’ll be ready to play. We’re all excited. We’re all bummed out about missing the playoffs, but we’ve got Douglas. We’ll make the most out of that.”