Carson football rolls past Galena
For the second straight week, Carson High started fast and won big.
The Senators scored on their first two possessions en route to an easy 40-13 homecoming victory over outmanned Galena in the Sierra League opener for both schools Friday night at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex.
Carson improved to 4-2 overall heading into next Friday’s road game at Bishop Manogue.
“I thought we played exceptionally well,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “We came out of the chute nicely. I liked how we started the game. It was good to see.
“We were able to get a lot of (back-up) guys in, and they needed that work to get better.
“Defensively, I thought we played very well except for the one play (59-yard TD reception) they scored on. We’ve been working hard in practice on stripping the ball, and I think Landon (Truesdale) was going for the strip instead of securing the tackle. I thought it was tougher to prepare for them because we didn’t know what to expect. They were missing some key pieces. I thought they played very well against Spanish Springs.”
The Grizzlies were without Jake Berger, the team’s leading rusher, and speedy Mateo Lemus, both of whom are dangerous offensive weapons. They left the team two weeks ago. The Grizzlies, unofficially had 205 yards of total offense.
The quick start on Friday can be attributed to some poor special teams play by Galena.
Four plays into the game, punter Ben Sluchak dropped the snap, and Jesse Case recovered at the Galena 18. It was Case’s third big play in the last two games. Against North Valleys, he recovered a fumble and blocked a punt.
“Spencer (Rogers) and I were rushing the punter, and the ball hit him,” Case said. “He went after it, but I dove and got it.”
Four plays later, Abel Carter scored from the 3. Johnny Barahona’s PAT gave CHS a 7-0 lead after just 2-minutes 7-seconds. Carter had a “quiet” night, carring just 11 times for 162 yards and two scores.
A shanked Sluchak punt on the next possession gave the Senators great field position at the Galena 46, and this time it only took Carson two plays to score.
Spencer Rogers gained 11 on the first play, and then Jace Keema found a wide open Luke Myers for a 35-yard TD pass. Myers missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury.
“I ran a corner route,” Myers said. “I started inside and then came off real hard and that helped me because he turned his hips.”
Galena drove to Carson’s 26 on its next drive, but the Senators stopped the Grizzlies well short of a first down. A 57-yard punt by Brandon Gagnon pinned the Grizzlies back at their own 20, and after getting one first down, they were forced to punt the ball away.
Carson took over at its own 41 and drove to Galena’s 21 before the drive stalled and Barahona kicked a 38-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead.
The Senators opened the second quarter in impressive fashion, driving 71 yards in 11 plays with Carter capping the drive with a 4-yard TD run. The PAT made it 24-0 with 4:50 left in the half.
The key play was Carter’s 21-yard run to the 4 on a fourth-and-6 play.
Galena made another special teams mistake on the ensuing series. On fourth-and-4 from the 30, the ball was snapped over Sluchak’s head. Sluchak tried to run with it, but was tackled by Carter at the Galena 11.
Rogers carried for 10 yards on the first play, and then plunged over from the 1 on the next play. Barahona’s PAT made it 31-0 with 2:40 left in the half.
Galena scored on the aforementioned pass play with just 21 seconds left in the half, slicing the deficit to 31-7.
The Senators scored on their first drive of the second half, as Keema connected with a wide-open Tyler Huling on an 18-yard TD strike to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive to make it 37-7. Carter had a 15-yard run and a 21-yard run on what turned out to be his last series of the game.
“We came out fast and took it to them tonight,” Carter said. “It’s always good when you can get a rest even tough I don’t really need it.”
Carson made it 40-7 with 11:51 left in the game on a 45-yard field goal by Barahona.
Galena’s Mike Dennis broke off a 59-yard run on the second play of the ensuing possession which led to Derek Kline’s 12-yard scoring pass to Adriel Brandt with 9:38 left.
Carson has allowed just 30 points in its last three games, and hasn’t allowed more than two TDs in a game in that span.