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Carson notebook: Keema has breakout game

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com
Carson quarterback Jace Keema throws to receiver Luke Myers during the first half against McQueen on Friday night.
Adam Trumble / Nevada Appeal |

Jace Keema had been quiet during Carson High’s first three games.

The senior quarterback had accounted for just 234 yards total offense, 176 through the air and 58 on the ground.

And, with McQueen concentrating on stopping talented running back Abel Carter, Keema made the Lancers pay in a big way.

Keema rushed for 186 yards and two scores, and he threw for 37 yards and two more scores to spark the Senators to an easy 45-17 win Friday night at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex.

“McQueen was really focused on stopping Abel (Carter) on the perimeter,” CHS coach Blair Roman said. “Jace did a great job. The one play we had good success with was the fly read.”

Using extra defenders on the perimeter made it easier for Keema to get up inside the tackles. Keema reminded people of Blake Plattsmier with his running on Friday.

“Jace ran hard,” said Carter, who had 169 yards himself. “He did a good job. They were really concentrating on me. I knew we could wear them down if we kept grinding hard. We ran the ball well tonight.”

Keema shrugged off his accomplishments.

“I just read it (the defense),” Keema said. “We just rolled with it. The coaches did a great job (calling plays) and the line did a great job all night.”

Keema is a strong runner with the ability to run through tackles, and he certainly isn’t afraid to initiate contact, either. He also showed the ability more than once to run away from tacklers.

Of his 18 carries, 16 went for gains of 5 or more yards, and unofficially he accounted for nine first downs on the ground.

FIRST FOR BRANDON: Brandon Gagnon reached the end zone for the first time this year, catching a 17-yard fourth-quarter scoring pass from Keema,

“That was cool,” Gagnon said. “It was a fade route. I was chopping my feet. I wasn’t sure whether I got my feet down or not. I was just focusing on the ball.”

Kellen McDermott almost had his first score, but he fumbled in the red zone after a 30-yard gain.

STREAK IS FOUR: Carter has rushed for 100 yards or more in all four CHS games this year.

Carter has 824 yards rushing with 11 rushing TDs, tops in northern Nevada by a wide margin.

PLAYING FOR CANCER: Players and coaches on the Carson side wore gold wristbands to support Childhood Cancer Awareness.

The football boosters sold t-shirts, and all money donated went to St. Jude for cancer research.

“It has affected a couple of our families in the program,” Roman said. ”It’s a neat cause.”

NEW SURFACE: The Senators’ were playing on a new surface — sort of.

The field turf at Carson was reconditioned earlier in the week by a company in Sacramento, and according to Roman, is expected to add two or three years to the life of the field.

Roman said the project cost approximately $6,000. The rubberized pellets had come up to the surface which often happens when the turf is starting to wear down. Even a couple of McQueen coaches noticed the difference.

Roman said Carson probably wouldn’t get a new surface until 2020.

INJURY REPORT: Wide receiver Luke Myers suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and didn’t see action in the second half. He had two catches for 24 yards. Brandon Gagnon and Terin Keller filled in for Myers. It was Keller’s first extended action of the season on the offensive side of the ball.

Defensive end Nick Andreas missed the game because of illness.