It was 2007 since the Carbon High Dinos football team won a game in front of the hometown fans. The energy of playing in front of a hometown crowd and the adrenline that situation provides is something each and every player and coach on the football team feels each and every time they march out onto the field. No one wanted the home losing streak to continue on into the 2011 season.
With that knowledge in mind, the Dinos wasted no time erasing that streak from their memory as they defeated Monticello 27-20 in exciting fashion on Friday night to open their season at 1-0 for the second year in a row. Carbon defeated the Buckaroos last year in Monticello for their only win of the season.
The opening game excitement from the crowd was quickly quieted as Monticello took the kickoff drove down the field for a touchdown with a run that seemed to summon back all the demons from past years. But the Dinos blocked the point after and then put together a sustained march down the field for a touchdown of their own as Dinos quarterback Dakota Cisneros connected with wide receiver Nick Haycock. Tanner Gagnon missed the extra point leaving the game tied at 6-6.
Carbon's defense began to step up and it was the second quarter before the Buckaroos added another touchdown. Once again the Dinos answered with a drive of their own with a one-yard rush from running back Daulton Nelson. Gagnon was able to add the extra point and Carbon went to the locker room leading by one, 13-12.
Both teams were not able to do much offensively in the third quarter of play, but the Dinos added another touchdown to their total early with a goal line pass from Cisneros to Haycock and another successful kick by Gagnon.
Monticello seemed to dig deep and late in the game put together one last drive down the field to score. The Buckaroos scored a late touchdown on a 4-yard run by Austin Wilcox closing the gap to 20-18. Needing a two-point conversion to tie the game, Monticello's Wilcox converted, tying the game at 20-20.
With much of the crowd holding their breath, Carbon began a new march down the field. Before anyone could get settled in, Cisneros connected with Haycock again as he took a pass and broke the game with an incredible 81-yard run that sent a rush of energy through the hometown crowd and gave the Dinos the lead for good at 27-20.
The Buckaroos were not able to move the ball and Carbon took over on downs. The crowd watched as Cisneros took the snap and went down on one knee for each down to run out the clock.
Cisneros ended the night 15 of 29 with 311 passing yards and three touchdowns. Haycock pulled in eight of those throws and had 184 yards on the night including three touchdown receptions of 4, 3, and 81 yards. Nelson had 41 rushing yards and one touchdown.
On defense, linebacker Dillon Manzanares finished with 11 tackles, Kris Murdock had eight tackles and Ozzie Loaiza had a pair of tackles and two sacks.
Overall Coach Jeff Blanc was very pleased with the outcome of the game.
"Minus one big play our defense played solid. We are playing smash mouth defense this season," said Blanc. "Our sophomores were able to come in and relieve the varsity players without us missing a beat and we did not sustain any injuries."
One of the biggest problems last Friday was that it was the first time the team had played the spread offense in a game. It made for some shaky snaps from center, but Blanc is confident that that will resolve now that they team has some real game experience under their belt.
"I think this team is going to respond when things are not going in our favor. We answered their opening run back with a great drive that capitalized on things and had some key plays," Blanc said. "I thought Dakota Cisneros had a great game. We have some things to work on, but I think many of those things will be fixed by this Friday's game."
This Friday night will see the Dinos host another home game as they take on American Leadership Academy. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Games with ALA have always been close and Blanc feels like this time Carbon will be the team on top.