MOODY: Carson wants to erase memory of 2009 loss
Everybody within the Carson High football program remembers Sept. 4, 2009.
It’s the night Carson let perennial powerhouse McQueen off the hook. Carson failed to recover an onside kick in the fourth quarter and McQueen went down and scored to record a 38-34 win. When you blow a double-digit lead like Carson did, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
Guess what? For those of you who live under a rock or are out of touch with what goes on in our fine city, Carson meets McQueen Friday night at Damonte Ranch in the 4A regional finals. Carson, fresh off a school-record 10th win, hasn’t been in a regional final since 1987, according to coach Blair Roman.
Carson has had to listen to a lot of unfair comments because it didn’t play either Reed or McQueen this year. It was the luck of the draw literally, but you can only play who the schedule puts in front of you on a weekly basis. Carson has already disposed of Reed, and would like nothing better than to avenge last year’s loss to McQueen which would quiet the naysayers.
“We should have won,” linebacker/tight end Tyler Collins said. “We gave it a way last year.”
“It’s stayed with us all year,” cornerback-wingback Colby Blueberg said.
Carson players are saying all the right things. If the Lancers take offense at Carson saying it should have won the game, they need to get over themselves. Carson controlled the game until the very end, and still almost won it. After McQueen went up 38-34, Dylan Sawyers almost took the ensuing kickoff back the distance. He cramped up during the run and had to pull up around the McQueen 30. He was one missed tackle away from being a hero.
This promises to be a good one. McQueen has been here before several times, and Carson is the new kid on the block and eager to belong as one of the elite teams in the state. The Senators made a big step toward that with 10 wins this year.
McQueen has allowed the fewest points in the Northern 4A this year. If Carson can play defense like it did against Reed, this could be very interesting.
Carson coach Roman has a great deal of respect for McQueen. He’s butted heads with the Lancers many times. Many feel there is a mystique about playing the Lancers. I don’t believe that. They are good, but not unbeatable.
• While we’re on the subject of Friday’s game, let’s talk about the officiating. Early in the fourth quarter, Reed was given an extra down by the officiating crew much to the dismay of the Carson players and coaches. Reed threw an incomplete pass on first down and then ran three times without making 10 yards. You have five guys on the field and not one of them can count to five? Amazing. Even Reed knew it was out of downs and was sending its defense on the field. I’ve officiated and lost the count on balls and strikes, but there are things built into the rules to get the call right, and maybe football should explore that. There are a few people on the field that keep a play-by-play. It also seemed like the referee (white hat) didn’t give Carson a chance to calm down and get ready for the next play. Carson did stop Reed on the next play, but that’s not the point. What if Reed had kept the drive alive? It could have changed things dramatically. It could have changed things to a one-possession game had Reed scored.
That reminded me of a high school playoff game in the Bay Area where there was a four-man crew, but only the plate umpire had an indicator. There was confusion on whether it was ball four and a runner had been forced in. The runner started toward home and was tagged out for the third out in a one-run game. It certainly was avoidable if officials had communicated between pitches and the officials should be indicating to each other what down it is.
Roman indicated that he would talk to the NIAA about the situation this week, and hopefully the NIAA will listen.
• Two former Carson swimmers, Kevin Dyer and Paul Chang, enjoyed a successful weekend for Whitman College.
Whitman beat Lewis & Clark 136-66 on Friday and toped Pacific University 128-77 on Saturday.
On Friday, Dyer won both the 500 and 1,000-yard freestyle races, while Chang was second in the 100 back and swam a leg on Whitman’s 200 freestyle relay team. On Saturday, Dyer won the 500 and finished second in the 1,000. Chang swam a leg on the 400 freestyle relay.