|Andrew Jackson carries the ball across the goal line for the Dino's first score of the night, despite the fact he was dragging an ALA player along behind him.|
It was a new beginning for both competitors on the Carbon High football field on Friday night. There stood the Carbon team, with a new coach and hopefully a new beginning after a few years of losing seasons.
Across the field the American Leadership Academy was playing the very first interschool football game the school has every participated in.
Both teams needed to set the course for their season with a win on Friday night, but only one could do that. For the Dinos it turned out that the string of losses would go on for one more game as they were edged 19-18 by the Spanish Fork charter school.
The Dinos drew first blood, scoring in the first quarter with Andrew Jackson carrying the ball across the end zone. They missed the point after leaving the score 6-0.
ALA immediately ran the ball back and apparently scored only to have the touchdown erased by a penalty. However, they finally put the ball in the end zone late in the second quarter. They also missed their point after kick and the two teams went into the locker room at the half tied at six a piece.
In the third quarter ALA scored twice on passing plays to give them a seemingly comfortable lead. Their final TD came after Carbon had stopped them three times at the goal line. ALA then hit an outside receiver and scored. It seemed to take the wind out of the Dino squad.
As the Dinos entered the fourth quarter they were driving the ball down field for a score. Jackson carried the ball in and suddenly the boys in blue felt like they were back in the game. However, the point after was again no good, but they had gained ground and the score was now 19-12.
The defensive line was recharged and continued to stop ALA play after play. Jackson put the ball in after an impressive march down field and Carbon was within one.
Coach JP Salisbury decided to roll the dice and go for the lead. Instead on kicking for the point after, the team tried to stuff it across for two. They were stopped inches short of going in.
But there was still hope, only down by one, with five minutes to play and it soon looked like they would get the ball back for one last try.
With ALA facing third and long, they passed to the sideline and picked up a crucial first down. All that was left was for ALA to do was to run out the clock and walk away with a one point win.
It was a tough defeat for the Dinos. Salisbury knew that this would be a tough game. With starting quarter back JJ Blue out for two to four weeks, Sophomore Joey Keller had to step up and run the show.
"He did a great job for us" Salisbury commented, "He needed to stay in the pocket just a little bit longer on a few plays, but he will get better at that as the season goes on."
Salisbury felt their were two reasons that Carbon did not walk away victorious; dropped balls and taking critical and unnecessary time outs to sort out which players needed to be on the field. He gave a lot of credit to both his offensive and defensive lines. He felt their play had improved since the game last week.
Mistakes from the special teams hurt the team and that would be an area of focus as the team prepares for their next game against Uintah that will take place on Friday at home.
One of the coaches from ALA was overheard telling his team as they walked off the field that Carbon would be the most physical team they would face all year. Salisbury was pleased to hear that from the opposition despite the loss to them.
Practice is expected to be intense this week as Salisbury felt his team had lost a bit of edge in their conditioning resulting in their loss of focus.
"I could see that in the third (quarter) when it looked like we were a bunch of muppets running around out there" he laughed.
Kick off for the Uintah game will be at 7:00 p.m. on the Carbon High field.