This one hurts.
“They all hurt,” said Carson High football coach Blair Roman after his team fell, 24-20, against Galena on Friday night at home in the Sierra League opener for both teams.
But this one seemed to be a little more painful than usual. When asked if that was the case, Roman said, “ask me tomorrow morning.”
When asked, though, if this game had a “would’ve, should’ve, could’ve” feeling to it, Roman said, “Definitely. It was a tough loss.”
Carson appeared to seize the momentum in the second half when Chance Smith scored on an 84-yard run just a little more than two minutes into the second half to pull the Senators to 24-20. But that would be the last score of the game.
In the end, Carson couldn’t overcome three first half touchdown passes by Galena’s Alex Laird and three interceptions by Max Lang.
“Those six plays are the difference of the game, flat out,” Roman said. “Galena made more plays than we did. We just didn’t get it done. We just couldn’t finish.”
Carson also had to play the second half without starting quarterback Johnny Laplante, who had knee problems.
“He’s going to be OK,” Roman said. “His mobility was really limited after the first quarter. I just didn’t want to put him in a position where he was in a dangerous situation.”
Blake Menzel came on at quarterback for CHS in the second half and was able to direct some potential scoring drives, but again the Senators couldn’t finish.
The game began well for Carson when Laplante made a beautiful fake on a read option and broke free for a 23-yard run. That set up his own 23-yard scoring run. Jackson Kalicki added the extra point to give CHS a 7-0 lead.
But then came an early turning point on a busted play for Galena. Laird bobbled the snap out of the shotgun, but was able to gather himself, scramble and complete a 73-yard scoring pass to Will Munro to tie the score 7-7.
“I felt we lost a lot of momentum in the first half,” said Roman about what happened after that play.
Laird went onto complete a 26-yard scoring a pass as Galena went on to take a 17-7 lead.
Laplante came back to complete passes of 11 and 13 yards to Lucas Vanbrow to keep Carson’s ensuing drive alive to set up Bradley Maffei’s 16-yard scoring run to bring the Senators to within 17-14.
But Laird answered with a 25-yard TD pass to Austin Coombs to give Galena a 24-14 halftime lead.
Laird completed 8-of-16 passes for 215 yards in the first half. He completed his first two passes of the second half, but the CHS defense stiffened and allowed Laird just one completion the rest of the game. Laird finished 11-of-22 for 267 yards.
Carson stayed in the game thanks to Smith’s interception at the CHS 12-yard line to stop a Galena drive midway through the fourth quarter. Carson had to put the ball away, but Galena muffed JoJo Acosta’s punt and the Senators recovered at midfield.
But Yang’s third interception of the game and huge return to the CHS 35 sealed Galena’s win.
Roman did say he was pleased with his team’s effort in the second half. “The kids stepped up in the second half.”
NOTES: Smith finished with 113 yards on 13 carries...Acosta had another strong punting night, which included a 59-yard punt that pinned Galena back to its 12 in the first half.
DOUGLAS 42, WOOSTER 14
The Douglas Tigers outscored Wooster 28-0 from late in the first half to the midway point of the fourth quarter Friday evening.
The Tigers won 42-14 at Wooster High. The game kicked off at 4 p.m.
Sophomore running back Trevor Kruger and junior running back Race Coman both scored twice to lead the Tigers.
Coman grabbed a 30-yard pass from quarterback Colton Weidner midway through the first quarter for the Tigers first score.
Wooster would tie the game with 6:29 to play in the second quarter.
Josh Shaw would give the Tigers the lead for good on a five-yard run with 1:36 to play in the first half.
In the second half Kruger would score on a eight-yard run and a 30-yard run, both in the third quarter as Douglas started to pull away. Coman would score again with 9:15 to play in the game to give the Tigers a 35-7 margin. Wooster would add a score with under four minutes to play.
Douglas’ Chris Flores would score on a 70-yard touchdown with less than a minute to go for the final score.
Douglas is 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Sierra League play. The Tigers host Galena at 7 p.m. Friday for Homecoming.