Clever Carson inches away |

Clever Carson inches away

Darrell Moody
Nolan Shine lays out in effort to catch a pass thrown by Eddie Duarte during a fake punt attempt Saturday during the regional championship game against Reed. The Senators lost 28-25.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

RENO — Carson coach Blair Roman always has a few different plays up his sleeve, and he used those plays several times in Saturday’s heartbreaking 28-25 loss to Reed in the Northern Division I regional championship game.

One — a wraparound draw by Seamus Burns — resulted in a 17-yard TD run which cut Reed’s lead to 14-7 late in the first quarter.

Two of the other three plays Roman called missed by inches of being successful.

Trailing 21-7 early in the second quarter, Roman called a halfback option pass with Asa Carter, whose pass just went over the fingertips of a wide-open Dilyn Roker. Fortunately, the Senators were able to go down and score a TD to make it 21-14 with 8:05 left in the half.

Late in the third quarter, Carson faced a fourth-and-10 at the Reed 42 following Carter’s second interception of the game. Punter Eddie Duarte took the snap and lofted a pass to a wide-open Nolan Shine, who was unable to corral the ball. A catch would have resulted in a first down.

“Like I said, we missed by inches on some plays,” Roman said after the contest.

Nelson has big game

It was a tough week for Carson QB Joe Nelson.

After getting whacked by a Reno defender trying to scoop up a low snap from center last week, he came to practice Monday with a posible concussion. He was administered a concussion test and failed, and his status was in doubt for Saturday’s game. In Monday and Tuesday practices, the team worked former starter Nolan Shine and former JV quarterback Vic Castro V at quarterback.

Nelson returned to work Wednesday after passing the concussion test, and enjoyed a tremendous game. He completed 16 of 27 for 250 yards and a 16-yard TD pass to Elijah Fajayan.

Nelson said part of his health troubles may have been in part because he was already suffering from a head cold.

“I threw Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” he said. “I think this was the best game I played this year given the opponent and importance of the game.”

The loss was Nelson’s first as a starter. His play certainly bodes well for the future.

Redemption for Fajayan

Junior fullback Elijah Fajayan had an up and down series midway through the fourth quarter.

He caught an 18-yard pass from Nelson on a third-and-8 play to give Carson a first down at the Reed 32. Five plays later, however, he missed a block that resulted in Nelson being sacked for an 11-yard loss back at the Reed 16 on a third-and-six play. He redeemed himself on the next play when he caught a pass in the right flat and roared into the end zone. The ensuing 2-point PAT cut Reed’s lead to 28-25.


Carson coach Steve Dilley was flagged 15 yards for getting in the official’s way. Normally that results in a warning, but this time it ended up being a 15-yard step off … Carson had a first down wiped out on its second possession when tight end Ian Schulz, an eligible receiver, was covered up which made him an ineligible receiver. None of the officials threw a flag at the time of the play, and Reed coach Ernie Howren talked to the officials. After a delay of several minutes, Carson was penalized and lost the down for illegal touching. Roman said it was the correct call…Carson averaged just 2.5 per rush which wasn’t going to get it done against an opponent the quality of Reed … Reed managed just 196 yards total offense, which was its lowest output of the season.