Carson wins first division game |

Carson wins first division game

Staff reports

Don’t count the Carson High School football team out of the Northern 4A playoffs just yet.

The Senators won their first division game of the season Friday night at Fallon 34-17 to move back into the Division II playoff race. Carson, now 1-3 with two division games remaining, is in sixth place in Division II and needs to finish at least fourth to qualify for the postseason. Fallon fell into the Division II cellar at 0-3.

The Senators’ first win of the division season didn’t come easily. Carson trailed the Greenwave 17-16 more than three minutes into the fourth quarter.

But Carson, starting at its own 36-yard line following a short 13-yard punt by Fallon deep in its own territory, took advantage of the tremendous field position to take the lead three plays later on Evan McQuirk’s 20-yard run with 8 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the game. When Doug Brooks ran for the subsequent conversion, Carson had a 24-17 lead.

After the Senators upped their lead to 27-17 on Matt Leck’s second field goal of the game on Carson’s ensuing possession, Marc Liveratti sealed the win for the Senators by returning an interception 30 yards for a touchdown and a 17-point Senator lead. For Liveratti, who scored several touchdowns last season as a receiver but is now concentrating on defense, it was his first touchdown of the season.

Carson won the game in familiar fashion, keeping the ball on the ground the entire game except for six passing plays. The Senators’ running game was effective, piling up 242 yards against the Greenwave defense.

Doug Brooks and Evan McQuirk combined for 226 of those yards, with Brooks recording 130 yards and a TD and McQuirk registering 96 yards and two touchdowns for his best statistical game of the season.

Sixty-six of McQuirk’s yards came on the Senators’ second play from scrimmage, as McQuirk outraced the Fallon defense to the end zone to give Carson an early 7-0 lead.

The Senators increased their lead to 10-0 on their second possession of the game on Matt Leck’s 44-yard field goal, the longest Carson field goal of the season.

After Fallon’s Rickie Burrell scored on a 20-yard run to cut the Carson lead to three points, Brooks scored on the last play of the first quarter on a 65-yard scamper.

The Greenwave took the lead, however, by scoring the only points of the second and third quarters on another Burrell touchdown and a 15-yard field goal to take the 17-16 lead that lasted until McQuirk’s run in the fourth.

Carson next hosts Northern Nevada powerhouse Reed High on Friday in a non-division contest which won’t affect the Senators’ playoff chances.