If there’s one word to describe the theme for the Carson High football team, it’s complete.
Carson has had its moments this year but has yet to put together a complete effort in which it has played four solid quarters. There’s no better time than now for the Senators to finally come up with that complete effort as they face arguably their toughest test of the year.
The Senators (1-6, 0-2) will host undefeated Damonte Ranch (7-0, 2-0) on Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Carson coach Blair Roman has told his team it has played quality teams throughout the season. “Damonte’s probably the best of all of them,” Roman said.
So Roman has stressed to his team to be able to put together the type of effort needed throughout an entire game.
“I think that’s the big thing can we get that for four quarters and give us a chance,” he said. “That’s been a big emphasis.”
Roman stated the obvious about facing Damonte when he said, “It’s going to be a really, really monumental challenge.”
The Mustangs showed they were the team to beat in the Northern 4A with a resounding 63-28 win over Manogue. Of course Damonte has quarterback Cade McNamara, who has committed to Michigan. “He’s pretty special,” Roman said.
McNamara has completed 84-of-142 passes for 1,380 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions.
But Damonte’s offense actually starts with running back Derrick Knoblock, who has gained 1,208 yards on 224 carries and scored 22 touchdowns. Knoblock rushed for 221 yards earlier this season against Rocklin.
Roman said Damonte has the ability to spread teams out defensively, which essentially allows the Mustangs to set up the run for the pass.
Carson is coming off a 48-16 loss at Manogue in a game in which it trailed just 13-9 with five minutes left in the first half. But then the Miners pulled away for a 27-9 halftime lead. “It kind of got away from us right before the half,” Roman said.
Roman added about facing Damonte. “We’re going to have to play our best game of the year.”
He also continued to stress Carson will have to finish drives on offense. “We’ve had our moments offensively this year,” Roman said. “We’ve got to finish better.”
So ball control will be a key against Damonte as the Senators will need to control the ball behind the running of Chance Smith and Bradley Maffei.
Carson played well defensively last year against Damonte as it trailed 13-0 at halftime before the Mustangs pulled away for a 39-7 win.
Roman is hoping for a similar defensive effort on Friday and added, “we’re going to have to create some turnovers.”
About Damonte’s defense, Roman said, “they have good team speed on defense. Just a fast, physical defense.” Roman described Damonte’s defense as a “ball-hawking defense.”
Johnny Laplante, who missed last week’s game against Manogue with an injury, will return against the Mustangs and will start, Roman said,
Roman also said, Blake Menzel, who started at quarterback against Manogue, will see time at quarterback against Damonte as well.