Carson vs. Reed
12:15 p.m. Saturday
at Mackay Stadium
in the 4A state semifinal
OFFENSE: The Raiders have gained 4,418 yards this season and have tremendous balance (2,358 passing, 2,060 rushing), and they are coming off a 60-point effort against Douglas on Monday. QB Anthony Silva has completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,243 yards and 34 scores against just six interceptions. Roman said that Silva is the best Reed quarterback he's faced since taking over at Carson. Silva does a good job of spreading the ball around to Devin Gray (41-690-9), Beau Tittensor (55-481-6), Alex Young (33-606-11) and Chad Gray (32-363-6). Reed reminds me of Oregon in the sense that it can use 90 seconds for a scoring drive yet have it defense on the field for five-plus minutes. Time of possession is critical for Carson, and the Senators will need more than Dylan Sawyers (162-1349-24) to pull off the victory. Matt Nolan (70 percent) needs to be efficient passing, and Chance Quilling needs to rip off some key gains both as a receiver and runner. EDGE: REED
DEFENSE: The Raiders went into the Douglas playoff game allowing just seven first-quarter points the entire year. Reed has allowed 199 points in 12 games, while Carson has allowed 198 in 11. The Senators need to force Reed to drive the ball and stay away from big plays. Yards after catch is a big stat for Reed. Carson needs to make plays in the open field. Broc Westlake and Drew Bryant lead the Reed defense. Logan Peternell (121) and Patrick Hesse (106) are both over 100 tackles. Austin Pacheco (81) and Chance Quilling (72) have made big plays throughout the season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Carson's kick coverage was solid on the kicks that didn't reach the end zone, and that group will need to be good again because Reed averages nearly 27 a return. Silva has a two-yard advantage in punting average over Pacheco. Both kickers are adept at getting the ball in the end zone. Damonte and Manogue refused to kick to Sawyers, so it will be interesting to see what the Raiders do. Sawyers had a TD return of more than 90 yards against them as a sophomore.
PREDICTION: In the five-game series since 2004, Reed has a 3-2 edge over Carson. However, the Senators have won the last two games, 54-27 and 20-0. I'm probably the only guy, outside of Carson's players, coaches and parents who think the Senators can actually pull off the upset. Stranger things have happened, and I picked Reed to win in 2009 and Carson blitzed the Raiders. Win or lose this looks like a fun game to watch. Don't make any trips to the bathroom or snack bar because you might miss a couple of scores.
Carson 30, Reed 28
- Darrell Moody