Carson football takes care of Douglas
MINDEN — The explosiveness of Abel Carter and the entire Carson High offense was front and center Thursday night.
Carter rushed for 203 yards on just seven carries, including TD runs of 70 and 80 yards, respectively, as the Senators wrapped up a perfect Sierra League season with a 42-13 win over Douglas at keith Roman Field.
The Senators improved to 8-1 overall, extending their winning streak to eight games. Carson hosts Spanish Springs, the fourth seed from the High Desert League, next Friday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the regional playoffs.
Carson chalked up a season-best 489 yards rushing thanks to the efforts of Eddie Duarte, Austin Ackerman, Bryceton Schilling, Kevin Rusler and Logan Menzel. The group continually opened holes for Abel and Asa Carter and Greg Wallace, who rushed for a season-high 186 yards.
“The line did a great job of getting me to the second level where I could do what I do,” Carter said. “Nobody touched me on that first TD. The second one I was able to stay inbounds (down the right side).”
That’s vintage Carter. Always quick to praise the line and never one to toot his horn much. He has coach Blair Roman to do that for him
“Abel was phenomenal,” Roman said of his sophomore running back. “I don’t know if there is anybody in the league playing as well as he has all year.
“Douglas gave us everything they had in the first half. We regrouped at halftime, and we put things together in the second half. Tonight we showed our explosiveness. We had very few drives.”
All six of Carson’s scores were from 12 yards or more, and the scoring drives encompassed just 24 plays, or an average of four plays per drive.
Carson overcame a bizarre first half. The Senators had 17 plays from scrimmage, including two punts. Douglas, meanwhile had 45 first-half snaps, including punts. The Tigers were in Carson territory on five of their six first-half drives, yet came away with just one score.
“We were on the field for a long time,” CHS linebacker Ikela Lewis said. “I think every down we were giving up 5 or 6 yards.”
“That (first half) was partly the offense’s fault and the defense’s fault,” Roman said. “We scored so quick that we weren’t giving the defense much rest, and defensively we didn’t do a good job of getting off the field. We got up 14-0 real quick, but didn’t do much after that (rest of the half).”
“It was really great to see the kids hunker down and play the way they did in the first half,” Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto said. “We played a 5-2 and the kids did a good job. They didn’t adjust to it (right away). They sure did in the second half, though.”
Carson’s first score was set up by a 16-yard punt. Carson needed less than a minute to get in the end zone, as Joe Nelson tossed the first of two TD passes to Connor Pradere, this one from 14 yards. After Douglas turnd the ball over on downs, Abel Carter broke loose on a 70-yard run to make it 14-0 with less than 30 seconds left in the first quarter.
Douglas, which was thwarted at the Carson 1 earlier in the half, got on the scoreboard with 4:01 left in the half when Bryce James and Cody Ball hooked up on a 28-yard TD pass to make it 14-7.
Roman agreed it was a case of role reversal.
“It was weird,” he said. “We’re the ones normally putting together drives. I thought we should have had 21 or even 28 that first half.”
The third quarter proved to be Douglas’ undoing, as the Senators scored on their first three drives of the period.
The first one came 28 seconds into the second half after Douglas kicked the ball out of bounds, giving Carson great field position at the 35.
Wallace broke loose for a 41-yard scoring run on the third snap, and Johnny Barahona’a PAT made it 21-7. Asa Carter got the drive started with a 29-yard run on first down.
Douglas pinned Carson back at its own 15 on the next drive, but when you have backs like the Carters and Wallace, it doesn’t matter.
After a 5-yard gain by Wallace, Abel Carter broke loose down the right sideline for 80 yards and a score to make it 28-7.
The Tigers took advantage of a fumbled punt by Pradere to drive 54 yards with Ball catching a 52-yard pass from James to make it 28-13.
The Senators roared back with an impressive 84-yard, 10-play drive caped by Wallace’s 14-yard run to make it 35-13.
Douglas would have three more opportunities, and the Tigers got into Carson territory each time on the strenth of James’ passing, but the Senators were able to keep them out of the end zone.
Roman admitted his defense wasn’t at its best, but he was happy to hold the Tigers to two scores.