Hug ‘Knowles’ how to run the ball vs. Carson
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – The Carson Senators had their chances early and stayed with the Hug Hawks in the first half, but Hug sophomore running back David Knowles ran for 247 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Hawks to a 34-6 victory Friday at Hug High School.
The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Knowles reminded Hug coach Rollins Stallworth of another one of his past great backs as he ran through several tacklers and broke into the open field for scores from 80, 2, and 66 yards. He also tore loose for 41 yards on a pitch during a second-quarter fake punt.
“The last sophomore we had that looked like that was Isaac Porter – he sure brings back memories,” said Stallworth of Knowles, who put Hug up 7-0 after breaking first through the Carson defensive line, then its linebackers before racing up the right sideline for an 80-yard score at the 10 minute, 28-second mark of the second quarter. “He’s a phenomenal two-way starter (Knowles is also a linebacker). He gets better each week.”
With the win, Hug stayed in second place in the Sierra League with a 3-1 mark and 3-4 overall, while Carson fell out of second and is 2-2, 2-5.
The Senators created some opportunities early, but couldn’t cash in.
Carson was stopped on a fourth-and-11 from the Hawks 30 in the first quarter.
Later on, senior defensive end Eric Gundrum recovered Hug running back Kenny Lee’s first-quarter fumble on the Hawks’ 33-yard-line, but after senior running back Chris McBroom had an 11-yard run to the 22, the Senators went three-and-out, with Alfonso Miranda sacking Hammond on a third-and-22 on the 40.
Hammond backed the Hawks up to their own 2 with the punt and the Carson defense kept Hug pinned inside their 5. The Senators got the ball on the Hawks’ 42 after Hug punted, but were eventually stopped on a fourth-and-1 on the 10 to start the second quarter.
“We had some opportunities in the first half, but on that fourth-and-6 inches, we got stoned,” Quilling said. “Their tackle stood and stuffed us. We missed the backer on the other (fourth-down) series. We kind of dominated the first quarter and had nothing to show for it.”
After Knowles ripped off his 41-yard run on the fake punt, he took it in from two yards out two plays later to give Hug a 13-0 lead, with 3:56 left in the half.
Carson stay composed, however, and Hammond capped off an eight-play drive with a 2-yard stretch into the end zone with 1:02 left in the half. Place kicker Bogart Parra’s extra point was blocked and Carson was down 13-6.
It was as close as Carson would get.
Knowles exploded for a 66-yard cross-field run in which it looked like he pulled out of grasp of all 11 Carson defenders to make it 20-7 with 4:54 to go in the third quarter.
Hug knocked Hammond out of the game with a concussion in the third quarter and in came Gabe Ramirez, who has been fighting a separated shoulder.
“There’s only one way to deal with it and that’s to deal with it,” said Ramirez, who was 1-for-3 for minus-three yards passing, but picked up 17 tough yards on four carries. “(The shoulder) is all right. It’s just a little sore.”
“It’s not an easy situation,” Quilling said of Ramirez’s playing time. “He didn’t get a lot of reps in practice. He had to go in and play. We weren’t even throwing well with Mitch in the game. We were trying to make some things happen.”
Hammond ended up completing 5-of-6 passes for 37 yards and gaining 57 more on eight carries. He was sacked three times. McBroom led all Senators with 94 yards on 20 carries and sophomore Mark Sinnott added 76 more on 15 attempts.
“Sinnott and McBroom ran the ball well,” Quilling said. “We did some good things running the ball. But I’m disappointed that we’re not getting it in from the red zone. We had our chances, but we just didn’t get it done.”
Hug outrushed Carson 310-244 and finished with 342 total yards to the Senators’ 278.
“What happened with us is we had five or six kids who were injured come back,” Stallworth said. “We weren’t in sync early. It was a do-or-die game for both teams. They still have Douglas and we still have Reno (in league play). The winner of this game has three wins and puts themselves in position for the playoffs.”
Quilling didn’t feel the loss was devastating to Carson’s chances at going to the postseason.
“The season ain’t over,” Quilling said. “We’re 2-2 in league and play Damonte Ranch and North Valleys. We have a shot to go to 3-2 in league next week (against Damonte Ranch) and put ourselves in position for the playoffs. The better team won.”
Hug senior tight end Popo Kilioni hauled in a 21-yard pass from back-up quarterback Giovanni Bisio with 26 second left in the third to make it 27-6 and senior running back Tali Kavapalu scored from 3 yards out to round out the scoring for Hug.
Starting quarterback Michael “Duke” Williams was 2-for-4 for 11 yards, while Bisio was 1-for-2 for 21 yards and the TD.
The Senators will host the Mustangs Friday at 7:30 p.m.