|Carbon's Andrew Jackson fights for some yardage as a Uintah player brings him down during play Friday night on Carbon's home field.|
It's only the preseason, but it feels as if it is the middle of league play.
And soon it will be.
It even could be said that a team was too prepared for an opponent, Coach JP Salisbury said it on Friday night. Knowing that Uintah had run the option 75 percent of the time against Juan Diego the previous week, Salisbury drilled the option defense into his team so they would be ready.
But it takes more than defense to beat another team, and with just a few defensive lapses in the early going, and a Dino squad that could move the ball around in the middle of the field, but not into the end zones, Uintah came to Price on Friday night and handed Carbon there second loss in a row this season, 25-0.
With the Carbon defense ready to take on their foe based on the past, the Utes changed their game plan and went to the outside. The Utes hit right away, scoring on a long pass down the sidelines. Then after stopping Carbon again (the Dinos had the first set of plays in the game but went out in four downs) they went right back in the end zone on a long run.
Just like that it was 14-0 and Salisbury and his defensive coaches began to suspect they needed to adjust. It took the defensive squad a bit of time to change their frame of mind. During their defensive transition, the Utes took the ball across one more time. They missed the extra point and the score stood at 20-0.
That was all by halftime.
Carbon's offense had trouble moving the ball at the beginning of the game. They began to get their offense in gear and got within striking distance on several drives. Each time they approached the 20 yard line they ran into a brick wall. The red zone offense just couldn't get anything to click. Salisbury felt like even though his team has come a long way, they have not come far enough to really understand what it takes to have a great red zone offense.
"We need to have pride in the zone" he stated in an after game interview.
On the opposite end, the defensive line was playing great red zone defense. The defense made several great stands for the second straight game and forced turnovers. The defense stopped the Utes at the goal line in the third quarter. The Dinos took over, but gave up two points when they got tackled in the end zone. That was the only score of the third period of play.
The Utes scored one more time in the fourth as the Carbon defense stopped them at about their 10 yard line. They kicked for three to make the score 25-0. Even though the Dinos made one last impressive drive down the field, they were once again stopped short of punching it across. A couple of dropped passes took them out of their final chance to avoid a shut out.
Salisbury saw signs of improvement in his young team, but he still feels like they have a long way to go. He sees a maturing of quarterback Joey Keller each game, but it would be good to get JJ Blue back in the line up from his injury. He also stated that even though the offense was not able to get the ball across the end zone, they were just one block or a few plays away from breaking the game open.
"We didn't take care of business" he sighed, "but we did bring out an intensity in the second half that we needed."
The team will play Union, then Canyonview, and then Emery in three straight games on the road.
They will return to meet Delta in a home game on September 22.