Reno takes advantage of Carson High mistakes for playoff win
RENO — Reno, more than any other Northern Nevada opponent, has been highly successful shutting down Carson’s offense.
Carson has now lost four straight to the Huskies, including Thursday night’s mistake-ridden 36-0 setback at Foster Field in the opening round of the NIAA 4A football playoffs.
The loss ended Carson’s season at 4-6, while 11-0 Reno moves on to face Spanish Springs, an upset winner over Bishop Manogue.
The Huskies have outscored Carson 110-27 in that four-game stretch. On Thursday, Carson didn’t help itself, turning the ball over three times, which led to 17 Reno points.
“That is 55-0 in two games this year,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “I’m glad I don’t have to face this group again. It was a tough season. I really enjoyed coaching this group.
“We had two scoring opportunities where we were inside the 20, and they held us. That was the difference in the game. Credit goes to Reno. There is a reason they are 11-0.”
Carson struggled from the outset, and Abel Carter (151 yards rushing) had negative yardage after three rushing attempts. Carson didn’t get its initial first down until midway through the first period.
Right after the first down, sophomore quarterback Jonny Laplante had the ball stripped after a short gain. Reno recovered at the Carson 42.
After Reno QB Sawyer Jaksick gained eight on a keeper, Brandon Kaho came into the game and ripped off a 34-yard scoring run. The PAT made it 7-0 with 3:21 left in the opening period.
Carson had a chance to match the score early in the second quarter after a special teams gaffe gave it the ball at the 37.
It was like the Senators couldn’t stand prosperity. Before they could snap the ball to start the possession, the Senators were hit with a 5-yard penalty.
The Senators got a break on a third-and-7 play from the Reno 25 when Evan Moore was flagged for interference in the end zone. That moved the ball to the Reno 13, but the drive fizzled when Laplante was called for intentional grounding on a third-and-7 play. That hurt even worse when Tanner Kalicki misfired on a field goal attempt from 40 yards.
Thanks to a 36-yard pass from Laplante to Miguel Gamiz, Carson had the ball at the Reno 21. And you guessed it, the Senators were hit with a 5-yard penalty. Zach Glanzmann got eight yards back, but losses of 5 and 17 yards enabled Reno to take over on downs.
The 17-yard play, according to Laplante was a fake reverse. Laplante and Carter had a miscommunication, and the ball was fumbled.
“Abel didn’t know it was a fake and he tried to take the ball,” Laplante said.
“I’ll have to watch the film to see what happened,” Roman said. “Trick plays are no different than regular plays. You still have to execute. We had a couple of breakdowns tonight.”
Two snaps later, Kaho broke loose for a 55-yard score. The PAT made it 14-0 with 6:14 left in the first half.
“That is what good teams do (take advantage of mistakes),” Roman said.
Two touches and two touchdowns for Kaho, and both were impressive runs. Reno coach Dan Avansino said Kaho has been bothered by a sore hand.
“We’re dealing with a little bit of injuries and different things, and based on our game plan and what we wanted to accomplish, we wanted to limit his touches,” said the Reno coach. “We wanted to see how things go. He’s a big part of what we do, but we saw some things open up at halftime, in our passing game. So we made some adjustments.”
Reno made it 20-0 on its next drive, as Jaksick threw a 71-yard scoring pass to Zane Barnard.
Laplante, who struggled with ball control, fumbled again at the Carson 39, leading to a 40-yard field goal by Coleman Schmidt and a 23-0 halftime lead.
“It’s tough to scratch back when you get down 23-0,” Roman said.
“We had a slow start, but we have to correct that,” Avansino said. “A slow start can go a long way. Momentum in high school football, really football in general, is so important. It’s important to start (playing well) early.”
Carson tried an onside kick to open the second half and it failed, giving Reno prime field position at the Carson 49.
Jaksick threw three straight complete passes, setting up Kaho’s 1-yard scoring run, making it 30-0.
Carson drove to Reno’s 37 on the ensuing drive, but Laplante was thrown for a 16-yard loss on fourth down, giving Reno the ball at the CHS 47.
The Huskies made it 36-0 two plays later on Siaosi Finau’s 13-yard run with 6:55 left in the third quarter, putting the game in running time.
Carson threatened twice more, getting to the Reno 13 both times. The first missed opportunity came when Laplante was sacked on fourth down at the 25, and Blake Menzel threw a game-ending incomplete pass on a first-down play.