Carbon Dino ball carrier Kris Murdock (39) follows his blockers, Dakota Cisneros (13) and Brock Pruitt (50) while Tanner Gagnon (19) offers protection from behind.
The Carbon Dinos ended their football season with a final home game against Union on Wednesday night. It was another case of the final score not reflecting the real flavor of the game. The Dinos lost the game 28-6, but gave the Cougars everything they could muster despite having seven defensive and six offensive players out of the line-up due to injuries.
Union received the ball first and quickly broke free on the kick for a big gain. But that was called back because of a penalty and Carbon made the Cougars earn every inch of ground they gained. A former Carbon High student, JJ Morley, ran in the first score of the night for Union in the first quarter.
After two failed drives, Carbon's Kris Murdock stepped in front of a Cougar pass and returned the ball 62 yards on the interception for the Dinos. The quarter ended 7-6 in favor of Union. The second period was one of defense as neither team could do much. But late in the half, Dakota Cisneros connected with his receiver and suddenly the Dinos were knocking on the door at the Union two yard line. With less than two minutes to play it looked like Carbon could take a lead into the locker room.
But Union forced a fumble and drove down field to score. Carbon went back on offense and Union intercepted a pass and scored again. That few minutes were the turning point of the game.
A recharged Dino team came out of the locker room and played hard in the final half but could not seem to get a solid drive going. Defensively, they kept Union from doing anything in the third quarter, but minutes into the fourth, the Cougars finished off a drive to score their final goal. The rest of the game continued to be a defensive stand-off.
Coach Jeff Blanc had a lot of kudos for his team for both the game and the season. He began by pointing of the effort of several of his players including Connor Rowley on defense with 14 tackles and a sack. He also noted Daulton Nelson had nine tackles and a sack; as well as Dakota Cisneros' effort that resulted in eight tackles.
On offense, he praised Tanner Gagnon who pulled in six receptions and was in on some big plays. He noted his offensive line was able to block and give quarterback Cisneros more time in the pocket. Colin Moynier also finished with two receptions for 31 yards.
He and the coaching staff are already excited about next season. They feel like they really laid the foundation for the program and it will continue to build. They will have eight starting defensive and seven offensive players returning for next season.
Blanc said the thing he was most proud of is how well the team represented Carbon High and the community this season. He said they did not have one disciplinary problem all season and the team always displayed a great attitude on and off the field.
He reminded his fourteen seniors that they can take pride in what they started this season. Blanc feels strongly that they will be able to look back and see the fruits of their efforts in a much improved program in the next several years. They also were instumental in getting the Dinos their first victory in over two years.
As for Blanc, he is planning on returning for many seasons to come to build a great football program.