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Carson opens playoffs at home against North Valleys

Darrell Moody

Eleven weeks ago, Carson High got the best of North Valleys in a preseason scrimmage.

Carson football coach Blair Roman wants his players to erase that from their collective memories tonight (7 p.m.) when they host North Valleys in the first round of the Northern 4A regional playoffs.

Carson is 8-2 and the top seed out of the Sierra League, while North Valleys is 6-3 and the No. 4 seed out of the High Desert League.

“We are 0-0,” Roman said earlier this week. “It’s a brand-new season. If we win, we’re 1-0 and get to play another week (at home). If we lose, we’re 0-1and the season is over. A scrimmage is a lot different than a game. They (North Valleys) did some good things that day.

“We want to be the first team in Carson history to win nine games. We’ve looked, but I don’t think Carson has won nine games in either 3A or 4A. We want to be 9-2 tonight.”

North Valleys, led by quarterback Tim Herman (1,956 yards passing) and Ryan Mathes (617 yards rushing), will certainly have something to say about that.

North Valleys is coming off a 34-14 loss last week to Reed, but the Panthers have enjoyed a solid season.

“I think we’ve gotten better,” said North Valleys coach Ty Gregg. “We’ve

gone through some ups and downs through the year. I know they are (better) too. We’re both two different football teams.”

Carson’s secondary, led by Josh Peacock’s seven interceptions, will certainly be tested like never before by Herman & Co.

“The big thing about Herman is his ability to throw deep,” Roman said. “He makes a lot of plays. He is good at throwing deep when he’s scrambling. Our defensive back have to keep getting depth until he crosses the line of

scrimmage. They (defensive backs) can’t give up. They have to keep playing.

“They have three receivers (Vince Bolf, 42; Aaron Short, 32; and Nick Palko, 37) who have caught more than 30 passes. Short is probably the best of the bunch. Bolf and Palko are both solid receivers. They pass to set up the run.

Our strength is stopping the run. They are going to have to throw to beat us. I can see an 80-20 ratio pass to run.”

Gregg hopes that doesn’t happen.

“We like to do it (throw),” Gregg said. “I think we need to run to be effective. When we’re out of balance we have a difficult time being successful.”

Carson, thanks to its highly successful Winged-T attack, is averaging 40 points a contest. What makes the Senators so dangerous is the running abilities of Dylan Sawyers (86 carries, 753 yards, 14 TDs), Luke Carter (31 carries, 272 yards, 3 TDs). Mark Sinnott (87 carries, 516 yards, 10 TDs) and quarterback Blake Plattsmier (426 yards rushing, 848 yards passing).

The Senators have been a run-oriented team, but Plattsmier has completed 69 percent of his throws, mostly on short and intermediate routes.

“They have so many different offensive options,” Gregg said. “It’s tough to key on one thing.

“He (Sawyers) is a star. There is no other way to put it. He’s a very talented young man. He didn’t play against us in the scrimmage.”

Roman said that the Panthers have improved since that scrimmage.

“He (Gregg) has got is guys into flying to the ball like we do,” Roman said.

“Their linebacker play is much improved.”

Brennan Whitworth leads the linebacking corp and Robbie Kendall has played well at cornerback.

“Our linebackers are undersized, but they do a good job,” Gregg said.

The North Valleys coach went on to say that several of his defensive players have played in the Winged-T offense and hoped that would help them in defensing it tonight.