If last week’s win over Douglas High is any indication, North Valleys (1-1) has enjoyed new life under first-year head coach Anthony Doucette.
The Panthers, who host Carson Friday at 7 p.m., have outscored opponents 70-40 in the opening two weeks of the season.
“It sure seems that way,” said Carson coach Blair Roman, who coached at North Valleys. “They beat Douglas 42-7. Obviously the kids are buying in. They are making improvements. It was an impressive win.”
The Panthers are still operating out of a spread offense, and quarterback Melando Cachapero is dangerous both as a runner and passer. He has completed 14 of 26 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown. He has also run for 216 yards and four scores.
“A lot of the running game is designed around him,” Roman said. “He does a great job of improvising in the passing game. Containing him is very important. Containing their run game is our No. 1 priority.
“We have to be disciplined with our pass rush and keep him inside (the pocket),” defensive end Brady Rivera said. “We can’t let him get outside.”
Alex Palko leads Division I rushers with 307 yards on 41 carries. He has scored four times. Micah Millar (3-66), James Wheatley (2-57) and Joey Toole (3-56) are the top receivers.
“Palko is very impressive,” Roman said. “They have a couple of good receivers. They are scary. They have the ability to move the ball on everybody.”
Conner Eastman is NV’s top tackler with 12 stops in two games.
Roman said he plans no changes at quarterback, meaning Nolan Shine will start and Joe Nelson will get some time since Shine is also starting at linebacker.
“How much Joe plays depends on the situation,” Roman said. “I feel good about where Nolan is at. I think he’s coming along.”
The biggest issue with Shine is he’s thrown five picks thus far. Nelson has one interception. Shine has thrown for 138 yards in two games.
The injuries to Josiah Pongasi (collarbone) and Tyler Rogers (bacterial infection) have had a domino affect on the Senators’ secondary. Pongasi is out for the season, while Roman hopes to have Rogers back for the Spanish Springs contest on Sept. 19.
Dilyn Rooker has moved from safety to cornerback and Asa Carter has moved to free safety.
CARTER FILLING IN
Paul Carter, JV head coach, has been filling in coaching the linebackers while Shane Quilling is tending to family business in Montana. Quilling is expected back for Friday’s game at North Valleys.
NOT A RIVALRY
A rivalry is only a rivalry when the games are competitive. The past five CHS-NV games have been anything but. Carson has enjoyed a decided advantage, outscoring the Panthers 229-65, including a 50-0 playoff thrashing.