Football: Pacheco nails OT field goal to lift Carson over Douglas
MINDEN – Every kicker dreams of kicking a walk-off field goal, and Carson’s Austin Pacheco is no exception.
Pacheco booted a 24-yard field goal in overtime to give the Senators a 16-13 win over arch-rival Douglas Friday night in a Northern 4A football game.
It was the closest game in the series since 1998 when Carson won 13-10. Carson improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in league. Douglas dropped to 1-4 overall and 1-3 in league.
“It was (a dream come true) for me,” said Pacheco, who was swarmed by his teammates and Carson students who swarmed the field. “I really had no doubt.
“I wanted to kick on first down, but coach said that we were kicking on either third or fourth down.
“All the seniors were behind me; the team was behind me. I wanted to win it for the seniors, and I wanted to win it for Dylan (Sawyers, who re-injured his hip) because he’s carried us so much.”
The game-winning kick was the third field goal of the game for Pacheco, who also converted from 45 and 26 yards, respectively. The 45-yarder would have been good from 50.
“He’s a weapon,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “We knew that coming into the season. He spent a lot of time in the summer after practices (working on kicking) and it showed right there.
“I had a dream last night that we won 17-14 and it was 16-13. My hats off to Douglas. They played a tremendous game.”
It certainly was a heartbreaking loss for the Tigers, who are going to have to get on a little roll in order to make the playoffs.
“These kids did everything they could to win the game and it just didn’t happen,” Douglas coach Mike Rippee said. “We have to come back, play hard and get on a winning track.
“We had plenty of opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize on it. They did. They made the play at the end and kicked the field goal to win it. Just didn’t happen for us tonight. We’ll regroup from here.”
Rippee was right about the opportunities. Douglas coughed the ball up at Carson’s 20 midway through the 4th quarter. The Tigers also appeared to have blocked a punt late in the game which would have given them the ball around the Carson 35.
However, the Tigers were called for roughing the kicker, enabling Carson to maintain control.
Carson’s Trey Jensen threw three incompletions before punting the ball away, and Douglas quarterback Zack Williams took a knee to send the game into overtime.
The Tigers got the ball first in the overtime period, and they went for the throat on the first play. Williams tossed one over the middle which was tipped by Carson’s Tyler Collins and ended up in the hands of Logan Peternell.
“Tyler tipped it, and I looked up and said ‘Oh my God, here’s my chance,” Peternell said. “That’s the hardest game I’ve ever played. They were a tough opponent.”
“It was a crossing pattern,” Rippee said. “We thought it was a good call. We had seen it earlier in the game, but they made a good play on it. Carson is a good football team, they played hard and they got the win.”
Dylan Sawyers, who re-injured his hip at the end of his 62-yard run late in the first half, missed most of the second half. He did play the final Carson possession and the overtime.
Sawyers gained three yards on Carson’s first play in OT, and then he was stopped for no gain. Carson called a timeout, and then Rippee called timeout in an attempt to ice Pacheco. It didn’t faze Pacheco, who easily drilled the ball through the uprights.
Carson opened the game with a bang, driving 67 yards for a score after Pacheco covered up the squib kick at his own 33 to open the game.
Facing a third-and-8 from his own 35, Jensen completed a 31-yard pass to Pacheco for a first down at the Tigers’ 34-yard line. Sawyers broke loose for 27 yards down to the 7, and Connor Beattie scored on the next play.
Pacheco’s PAT made it 7-0 with 11 minutes left.
After a three and out, the Senators were knocking on the door again. A 14-yard pass to Pacheco gave the Senators a first down at their own 46. Carson moved the ball to the Douglas 33, but there was mix-up in the backfield, and Beattie was thrown for a 6-yard loss back at the Douglas 39.
Douglas fought pack, driving 61 yards in seven plays with Williams finding Austin Neddenriep, who got away from Colby Blueberg in the end zone. Nate
VonAhsen’s PAT tied the game with 4:16 left.
The teams traded field goals on their next possessions.
Douglas squibbed the kick again, and Pacheco fell on the ball at the 39.
Pacheco collided with Douglas’ Corey Dillon, who was injured on the play.
The game was held up for several minutes, and Dillon was transported to the local hospital via ambulance. He returned to the field in the fourth quarter.
A third-down Doiuglas penalty gave Carson a first down at the Tigers’ 49.
Jensen ran for a first down and then completed an 8-yard pass to Collins for a first down at the Douglas 20. The Senators’ drive stalled when Matt Metz sacked Jensen back at the 27 on a second-down pass attempt. After a third-down incompletion,
Pacheco came on to kick the 45-yarder for a 10-7 lead.
Douglas fought back to tie the game at 10 when VonAhsen kicked a 30-yard field goal. The score was set up by a 61-yard completion from Williams to Neddenriep.
After taking the ball on downs at its own 27 on the next drive, Douglas drove down to the Carson 21 before the drive faltered, and VonAhsen came on to kick a 37-yard field goal, giving Douglas its only lead of the game at 13-10 with 3:31 left in the half.
Carson tied the game right before the half after Blueberg intercepted a pass at the Carson 20 with 28 seconds left in the half.
Sawyers, who was held in check much of the half, ripped off a 14-yard gain on first down. One the next play, Sawyers broke loose and appeared headed for a TD.
However, he was pulled down from behind inside the Douglas 10.
Pacheco came on and kicked a 26-yard ield goal as time expired, sendng the teams into the dressing room tied at 13.
Sawyers re-injured the hip on the play and didn’t play again until the waning seconds of the fourth quarter.
“It’s been messed up for two weeks,” said Sayers, a grimace on his face.
Carson had a tough time running the ball in the second half, as the Tigers’ defense led by Trevor Hemsath, Shane Connelly, Metz and Zach Falanga. Carson had a little bit of success through the air.
“I thought Trey threw the ball well in the second half,” Roman said.