One of the few things that bothered Carson High football coach Blair Roman during the Senators’ 42-7 win over McQueen was his team’s performance on first down.
Of the 23 first-down snaps, Carson had zero or negative yardage 11 times. Four times, Carson was called for penalties, twice Joe Nelson threw incomplete passes and had a third first-down attempt picked off. One running play netted no gain, and three other attempts went for negative yardage.
The biggest first-down plays of the night were a 22-yard pass from Nelson to Dilyn Rooker and Colby Brown’s 18-yard TD run following a Rooker interception.
“We had two or three false starts,” Roman said. “We can’t be doing that. We were getting behind the chains too much on first down.”
And, Roman went on to say unless you have a great passing attack it’s hard to be a good second-and-long and third-and long team. He pointed out Reed might be the best third-and-long team around.
D-line rotation working
Vic Castro, Carson’s defensive line coach, has employed a committee approach at defensive tackle this year.
Brady Rivera and Ian Schulz have been bookends on the outside. Rivera has 67 tackles, seven sacks and two fumble recoveries. Schulz has 14 tackles, a sack and three hurries.
In the middle, Castro has employed a group that includes Cameron Radtke, Jesse Medina, Jon Davalos, Chris Miranda and JV call-ups Sheldon Miller and Will Lee. Radtke has been nursing a leg injury, and his status is day-to-day. Miller filled in admirably last week against McQueen, garnering a first-half sack.
“Jesse has come on the last half of the season,” Castro said. “He’s doing well enough to play the full game at tackle. Radtke was doing a good job, too.
“If somebody can’t go 100 percent on every play I don’t want them in there. We don’t want somebody to take a play off because they’re tired. We want people that can go full speed every snap. If people need to tap out for a play or series that’s OK. We want to keep people fresh so they can go all-out and give me 100 percent when they are in there. The kids have really bought into it and we’ve played real well as a unit the last half of the season.”
Carson has given up just two scores in the last four games, and the Senators enter Friday’s game as one of the hottest defenses in the league.
Both scores in the last four games have come against Carson’s second and third-string players.
Duarte gets the nod
As of right now, Eddie Duarte will play offensive line and handle kick-offs, punts, PATs and field goals.
“We’re going with Eddie,” Roman said before Tuesday’s practice. “He did a good job last week. It doesn’t mean that I’ve lost confidence in Johnny (Barahona).”
Reno star injured
Reno running back Cole Eddy allegedly suffered a leg injury last week and missed the bulk of Friday’s 17-0 win over Bishop Manogue.
Quarterback Jeremy Smith stepped up and ran for 144 yards and threw for 113 more.
Eddy isn’t expected to play, but obviously that could change.
“I expect them to run a lot of wildcat with No. 5 (Smith),” Castro said.
Dikembe Montgomery of Hug had good success running the ball earlier this year against Carson, but the Senators have improved across the front since then.
A lot of wrinkles
Rooker said Reno will give Carson varied looks offensively on Friday.
“They will line up with nine guys on the front line,” Rooker said. “Their splits are wide up front.”
The splits are designed to spread defenses out, and Carson’s big chore will be coming up with a way to combat that.
“He’s like Dr, Frankenstein of high school football,” Roman said of Reno coach Dan Avansino, whose Reno squads have won five of the last eight meetings against Carson dating back to 2004.