Abel Carter’s 6 TDs lead Carson football to season-opening win over Desert Mountain
Carter’s game for the ages
18 carries, 295 yards, 4 TDs
2 interception returns for TDs
CARSON 49, DESERT MOUNTAIN 42
D. Mountain 7 7 0 28 42
Carson 0 21 7 21 49
DM: Hill 11 pass from Nuessle (Narveson kick)
C: Rogers 1 run (Barahona kick)
C: Carter 34 interception return (Barahona kick)
C: Carter 45 interception return (Barahona kick)
DM: Hill 2 run (Welp kick)
C: Carter 1 run (Barahona kick)
DM: Warner 11 pass from Nuessle (Welp kick)
C: Carter 47 run (Barahona kick)
DM: Warner 23 pass from Nuessle (Welp kick)
C: Carter 44 run (Barahona kick)
DM: Teller 92 pass fron Nuessle (Welp kick)
C: Carter 56 run (Barahona kick)
DM: Warner 8 pass from (Welp kick)
Carson: Carter 18-295; Rogers 6-28; Keema 3-12; Huling 3-11.
Desert Mountain: Hill 13-50; Warner 3-17.
Carson: Keema 4-2-1 53 yards; Carter 1-0-0 0 yards.
Desert Mountain: Nuessle 50-33-2 352 yards.
Carson: Gagnon 1-49; Huling 1-4.
Desert Mountain: Lasalle 3-12, Reichelt 1-6; Hill 6-39; Warner 14-182; Teller 4-35; Walker 6-78.
It was simply a case of too much Abel Carter.
The talented junior scored six times — two on interception returns and four on rushing touchdowns — and gained 295 yards to lead Carson to a wild 49-42 victory over Desert Mountain-Scottsdale in its 2016 football season opener Saturday at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex.
The teams combined for 49 fourth-quarter points, most coming in the final 8 minutes of the contest. Carson (1-0) finished unofficially with 409 yards total offense and Desert Mountain had 419. There were points aplenty and stops were at a premium.
In the end, though, it was Carter on both sides of the ball who made the difference.
Carter’s first touchdowns were on interception returns of 34 and 45 yards, respectively, on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter. The two thefts capped a 21-point second-quarter surge. In the second half, he scored on runs of 1, 47, 44 and 56 yards.
“Our line opened up holes, and once Abel got to the second level he won the 1-on-1 battle and sometimes 1-on-2,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “I can’t remember a game like this (for total points scored). It reminded me of the McQueen game in 2009 when we lost.
“I didn’t even see his second interception return. Those interceptions were definitely the key to the game. Abel was in the right place at the right time.”
Carter’s effort earned praise from Desert Mountain coach David Sedmak, who didn’t seem surprised at the outcome.
“I can’t say I’m really shocked,” Sedmak said. “We knew we would have trouble stopping them. What they do, they do very well. He (Carter) is a pretty good football player. He’s only 190? He plays much bigger than that.”
Carter, as usual, was reserved and heaped praise on linemen Josh Thompson, Bernardo Lopez, Brandon Macias, Bryceton Schilling, Sheldon Miller and Dallin Schaffer.
“The line did a great job,” Carter said. “I was able to make some people miss, and I saw the cutback lanes.”
After spotting Desert Mountain a first-qaurter score, the Senators stormed back with 21 points, 14 coming on Carter’s two interception returns.
Spencer Rogers capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run. Johnny Barahona’s PAT tied the game at 7. The key plays in the drive were a 19-yard run by Carter on the first snap of the possession, and a 49-yard pass from Jace Kema to Brandon Gagnon down to the 1.
That’s when the defense took over.
Three plays after Rogers’ score, Desert Mountain QB Austin Nuessle threw a pass in the right flat which Carter picked off and raced into the end zone to make it 14-7 with 8:54 left. Two plays later, on a second-and-7 play, he stepped in front of another Nuessle pass and returned it 45 yards for a score. The ensuing PAT made it 21-7 with approximately 7:30 left. The scoreboard clock malfunctioned. and official time was kept on the field.
“The first one the No. 2 receiver ran an underneath route and the No. 1 receiver did a quick out,” Carter said. “I just jumped in front of him (the receiver). The second one I don’t think the quarterback ever saw me.”
The two quick scores forced Desert Mountain to play uphill the rest of the contest, and the Wolves never got closer than one TD. The two scores certainly seemed to shake up the Wolves, who responded with an 80-yard drive to close the gap to 21-14 at the half. Seven of the 11 plays were runs.
“We had to slow things down a bit,” said Sedmak. “(Nuessle) didn’t want to give them 14 points.”
Carson scored on its opening drive of the second half, going 80 yards on seven plays with Carter plunging over from the 1 on a third-and-goal play to make it 28-14. Carter had gains of 21 and then 54 in the series.
The game see-sawed back and forth the rest of the way.
Nuessle (352 yards passing) tossed an 11-yard pass to Cade Warner (14-182) to make it 28-21, but the Senators showed their resilience by driving 80 yards on their next possession as Carter broke loose on a 47-yard scoring run. The PAT made it 35-21.
“That was power, and really that kind of play is designed to get four or five yards,” said line coach Vic Castro. “Abel did a good job of seeing the cutback lane.”
Warner and Nuessle hooked up again on a 23-yard TD pass to cap an 80-yard drive to make it a one-touchdown game again, 35-28, with 5:47 remaining in regulation.
Carson’s defenses have always given up a lot of yards, but kept teams out of the end zone. That wasn’t the case Saturday. Unofficially, Desert Mountain scored on six of its 13 possessions.
Desert Mountain struck again when Nuessle and Brett Teller connected on a 92-yard pass play to close to within 42-35. Teller ran right past Landon Truesdale, who was making his first-ever varsity start.
Desert Mountain tried an onsides kick that went out of bounds, and Carson took over on its own 37.
Carter capped his sensational night with a 56-yard scoring run on the second play to make it 49-35.
“This was a good learning experience for our young guys,” Roman said. “We have a long ways to go.”
Carson plays Friday at 7 p.m. at Reno.