Disappointing finish doesn’t ruin good year for Senators | NevadaAppeal.com

Disappointing finish doesn’t ruin good year for Senators

For the fifth time in seven years, Carson High football coach Blair Roman labeled the season a success.

Roman guided the Senators to a 9-3 record and a berth in the regional finals against Reed. The Raiders never trailed in edging the Senators, 28-25, last Saturday at Bishop Manogue High School.

"I'm disappointed in the result of the last game is an accurate description," Roman said. "Everybody is disappointed that we didn't win. Reed is the best public school program in Nevada and we were toe-to-toe with Reed.

"We did better than I thought. I knew we had a lot of the pieces to the puzzle. It was just a question of whether it was going to be the right fit, and when it did (fit) I knew we had a chance to win the regional title. It was nice to see the pieces fall into place."

They fell into place nicely, especially after a 55-7 loss to Clayton Valley. Carson lost two games to Northern Nevada teams, Spanish Springs (28-27) and Reed (28-25), by a total of four points. Defense, which was a weak point at the start of the season, turned out to be a major strength.

Here were some of the key happenings during the season:

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• Cameron Radtke switching from defensive end to defensive tackle, and Ian Schulz moving out to defensive end full time.

• The maturation process with quarterback Joe Nelson, which enabled Roman to move Nolan Shine to middle linebacker.

• The emergence of cornerback Caulin Bartley, who stuck like glue to receivers.

"Radtke stepping up at defensive tackle was huge," Roman said. "That was a good move by our defensive coaches. It really helped the defense. Caulin's play was not a big surprise. We knew he had the talent. He stepped up there and had a good season. I expect him to step up and have a good senior season.

"Joe's development at quarterback was key. We were able to shift Nolan to linebacker, and that made our defense much better."

And, on top of that, the Senators got sensational play from running back Colby Brown, safety/running back Asa Carter, wide receiver/cornerback Dilyn Rooker, defensive end Brady Rivera, Shine and linebacker Ikela Lewis. Brown accounted for 1,507 yards from the line of scrimmage while Carter added 929 to go with eight interceptions and 70 tackles. Lewis, who was shifted to outside linebacker early in the Sierra League season, registered 102 tackles, including 15 in the loss to Reed. Rooker was a dependable receiver and cover guy, and Shine used great instincts to make plays all over the field.

Roman pointed to the hard work of the players and the leadership the seniors showed.

"The biggest compliment is that the kids bought in 100 percent," Roman said. "The leadership from the seniors was great. It was the best I've ever had, and it started with Nolan. There was Brady, Dilyn, Maurilio (Olivares) and Josue (Orozco). We played like a family. That was our mantra. It was nice to see the team jell. That was satisfying."

Roman admits the cupboard isn't bare by any means.

"There is talent (left) and coming up," Roman said. "This group had intangibles. We'll see if next year's group develops.

"We'll see if next year's seniors step up."

CHS STAT LEADERS

Passing (att-comp-yds-td-int): Joe Nelson 120-71-1130-8-4

Rushing (att-yds-ave.-td): Colby Brown 224-1248-5.6-16; Elijah Fajayan 123-657-5.3-3; Asa Carter 54-549-10.2-7.

Receiving (catches-yds-ave.-td): Connor Pradere 24-376-15.6-4; Dilyn Rooker 24-393-16.4-2; Colby Brown 22-259-11.8-2; Asa Carter 14-380-27.1-3.

Tackles (solo-assist-total): Ikela Lewis 64-38-102; Gerardo Lobato 55-33-88; Nolan Shine 59-20-79; Brady Rivera 53-23-76; Asa Carter 46-24-70; Caulin Bartley 36-13-49; Brandon Maffei 29-18-47.

Interceptions: Asa Carter 8, Dilyn Rooker 4, Brandon Maffei, Nolan Shine and Caulin Bartley 2.

Fumble recoveries: Gerardo Lobato 4, Ikela Lewis and Brady Rivera 2

Sacks: Brady Rivera 8, Cameron Radtke 4, Sheldon Miller and Ian Schulz 2