Extinct no more: Dinos open 2014 season with 30-12 win over Grand
Blanc and Lessar's two TDs help Carbon and new coach Jorgensen start new future with a victory
With a new head coach, a new outlook and a new hope for a long-struggling football program, the Carbon High Dinos wasted no time in getting the 2014 season off to a good start.
Carbon used two touchdowns each from seniors Jarod Lessar and Garrett Blanc to muscle past a pesky 2A Grand team 30-12 on rain soaked and lightning filled sky on Friday evening.
Blanc, a senior who missed much of last season after suffering a concussion, scored on a 54-yard pass from Lessar on the team's first drive of the season and later added a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown on defense in the first half to give Carbon a 14-6 lead heading into halftime.
"I was just trying to get a few yards after the catch and maybe try to bust a big one," said Blanc, who led the team with four catches for 125 yards. "I got some great blocking from JJ Maestas and that helped me get out into the open field."
Lessar rushed for two second half touchdowns, including a two-yard touchdown early in the third quarter that put Carbon ahead 21-6. He led the Carbon running attack with 60 yards on 16 carries and finished 5-of-12 for 136 yards passing.
Carbon's defense held tough against a Grand attack that used fly sweeps and read-option plays to gain yards on the ground. They finished the game with 11 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
After a weather delay of over 30 minutes due to lightning that sent players to the locker rooms and fans scrambling for any kind of cover from the rain, Grand scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner White to Josh Staples on the team's first play after the restart. However, the Carbon defense stopped the two-point conversion attempt to make it 21-12 with over seven minutes left.
After the Carbon offense stalled on their next drive, Lessar, who also serves as the team's punter, used a big kick to pin Grand back at their own two-yard line. On the next play, Carbon's Oakley Bagley sacked White in the endzone for a safety to make it 23-12.
Carbon took advantage of another Grand error as Dallyn Mower recovered a fumble on a muffed punt catch at the Grand four-yard line. Lessar scored on his second rushing touchdown from two yards out to give Carbon a commanding 30-12 lead with over two minutes left.
Grand would suffer another turnover just moments later as Carbon safety Logan Olsen jarred loose a catch by a Grand receiver and linebacker Rylon Brinkerhoff recovered the fumble to seal the victory for the Dinos.
"It's an undescribable feeling right now," said Lessar after the game. "We've got to continue getting better from here."
The win was the first for new head coach Jan Jorgensen, a former CHS player (1999-2003), who returned home to coach his alma mater.
"We won," said a smiling but, exhausted Jorgensen after a long game. "We knew things would be close and knew it would be tough to get the win. The team executed and took advantage of what Grand gave us."
Carbon, 1-0 overall, will travel next Friday as they take on 2A's American Leadership Academy at 7 p.m. in Spanish Fork. Carbon has lost two straight to ALA including a 28-14 loss last season at home.
Jorgensen said the team needs to put the win behind them and put all of their focus on playing an ALA team that opened their season with a 35-19 loss to North Sevier.
"We've got a lot of areas that need to be cleaned up," he said. "I'm a very competitive person and I want our team to be concentrating on our next opponent."