Senators shoot for another perfect year in Sierra League
Carson High (7-1 and 3-0) goes for another undefeated Sierra League season when it visits Douglas Thursday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Carson, coming off a 51-21 win over Galena, has won five of the previous seven rivalry games since Blair Roman became head coach in 2008. He’s 2-1 in games at Douglas, winning 19-13 in 2013, 16-13 in 2010 and had a 48-20 loss back in 2008.
Douglas’ defense has struggled in the last month, giving up more than 50 points three different times, including 68 last week to Damonte Ranch.
“Because it’s a rivalry game, they are going to come out and play hard,” Roman said before Monday’s practice. “We’ve never had an easy game down there. We have to be ready to go.”
The Tigers have moved the ball well offensively behind the play of Bryce James, who averages around 270 yards a game of total offense.
“The best thing about them is their quarterback (James),” Roman said. “He is able to make a lot of things happen with his feet. He has improved as a passer. They have a lot of quarterback designed runs like we do. When you have a quarterback that can run it means you have to account for him (with a player). He is a big part of what they do.
“Ernie (Monfiletto, Douglas coach) does a good job of keeping defenses off balance.”
Roman has also been impressed with Cody Ball, Tomas Leitenbauer and Travis Tierney. He feels they are the key performers (along with James) on the offensive side of the ball.
The Senators have pounded opponents with a bruising ground game most of the year, but they may have opened a few eyes in their last game when they completed passes downfield regularly.
Jace Keema hooked up with Connor Pradere seven times for 139 yards and a score in the 51-21 win over Galena. It was Pradere’s best game of the season.
“Joe (Nelson) has had a lot of bad luck,” Roman said.
“He has had a lot of passes dropped this year. We want to throw the ball, and as we go along in the season we have to be able to complete passes.”
Certainly Carson’s effectiveness throwing the ball will open more holes for Asa and Abel Carter and Greg Wallace in the running game.
TWO QBS THURSDAY
Roman indicated it’s likely Keema will get some time under center, and that’s wise. The first reason is he is coming off a good game and secondly this is a good game to get extra work because it’s a meaningless game in terms of the standings. Both teams are headed to the playoffs no matter the outcome.
Quarterback Joe Nelson (bruised knee), tight end Ian Schulz (ankle), wingback Tyler Huling (shoulder) and center Austin Ackerman (foot) all practiced on Tuesday, which means all four will see action for the regular-season finale on Thursday at Douglas.
The only possible scratch could be defensive end Connor Chech (hip).
If he can’t go, Schulz or Alex Estrada will get the start.