Senators face another stiff test – this time it’s McQueen |

Senators face another stiff test – this time it’s McQueen

Dave Price

Life just isn’t getting any easier for the Carson High School football team.

The Senators kicked off their season last Friday and came out on the short end of a 35-10 score against Moapa Valley, a team that figures to contend for the state 3A championship. Next up, they host McQueen tonight at 7:30 p.m. in a nonconference test against a team that may well compete for the 4A state championship.

“We’re playing a very good team in McQueen,” Carson coach Shane Quilling said. “They have a lot to prove last year, so they’ll come out and play with a lot of fire.”

Of course, the Lancers will be playing their first game since losing 23-14 in the first round of last year’s Northern 4A playoffs to eventual state champion Reno. It was a rare loss for a program that had won four straight Northern 4A championships and nine titles since 1990. Furthermore, McQueen has won five state titles since 1990 and coach Ken Dalton has compiled a 176-60 record overall since the Northwest Reno school began playing football in 1982.

Tonight will be a challenge, to say the least, but Quilling said the Senators have no intentions of backing down.

“If we just come out and do what we’re capable of, we’ll be OK,” the coach said. “We’ve got to execute and we’ve got to believe we can do it.”

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The Senators won’t be able to turn the ball over eight times like they did in last year’s season-opening 28-0 loss at McQueen. Nor will they be able to give up four turnovers – on three pass interceptions and one lost fumble – as was the case last Friday in the loss against Moapa Valley in Overton.

“We get the ball the first time and drive right down the field, only to fumble the ball away, and then we had three picks deep in their territory,” Quilling said. “We’ve got to do better than that. And we can correct the mistakes. Everything we saw on film is very fixable. We had our chances, we just need to do a better job of executing.”

The Senators played without scheduled starting quarterback Kyle Bacon, who was sidelined with a flexor injury. Bacon is questionable for tonight’s game, which would give senior Les Reddick his second varsity start.

Now for the good news. Other than Bacon, the Senators will take the field tonight with a healthy squad.

“Nobody’s really banged up, so that’s encouraging,” Quilling said.

Noseguard David Cadwallader is expected to play after sitting out the opener with a strained MCL.

“He got the doctor’s clearance today,” Quilling said of the 5-foot-11, 235 pound senior. “It will be good to get him back because he’s a tough kid.”

His return should help a defensive unit that had a tough time against Moapa Valley.

“Defensively, we played poorly,” Quilling said. “especially the D line. Everyone did their own thing, and we paid dearly.”

And the Senators might be happy they won’t face Zach Davis again this season. The senior scored four touchdowns, including a 95-yard return of the second half kickoff to give the Pirates a lead they never relinquished. Davis also caught 41- and 60-yard touchdown passes on the night.

“That Moapa Valley kid is pretty special,” Quilling said of the senior. “He also kicked a 51-yard field goal and he put every one of his kickoffs into the end zone. We started on the 20 every time – that means we had to go 80 yards for a touchdown every time – that’s a weapon.”

Contact Dave Price at or call 881-1214.