JVs storm back in second half to beat Sparks
The Truckee High junior varsity football team hosted rival Sparks in their season finale Saturday.
The Wolverines finished their season in dramatic fashion, overcoming a halftime deficit and running away with a 27-13 victory. Truckee finished the season 7-2 overall and tied for the league’s best record, at 4-1.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, they fell one game short of the championship. Their season did not lack any excitement, however, as Truckee finished with a league-best 284 points while allowing only 98 points.
Team captain Vince Shaffer shared his wisdom.
“Doing little things well is a step toward doing big things better,” he said. And the Wolverines accomplished many big things along the way, including avenging last year’s loss at Colfax, among other gritty performances.
On Saturday, quarterback Maclane Brady had his best game of the season, throwing two touchdowns. His longest on the day was a 60-yard strike to Cory Sharp on Truckee’s opening drive. He also hit Tyler Ferris in the corner of the end zone at a critical point in the game. Brady, in his first season of football, showed his potential and leadership skills. He also ran the ball like an accomplished veteran.
Most of the fist half was knotted at 7-7, but the Railroaders scored with nine seconds left to head into halftime with a 13-7 lead.
The Wolverines showed no panic in the second half. As a matter of fact, they came out swinging.
Truckee scored 20 unanswered points while completely shutting down Sparks’ offense.
“Wow, these guys certainly saved the best for last,” said head coach Tom Mohun of the second half. “The true character of this team shone through. I can’t tell you how proud I am of these guys. We’ve fought hard all year, and today especially, these men played like champs.”
Truckee moved the ball up and down the field throughout the half and had solid runs from Matt Mehan to keep the chains moving. Luis Aguilar and Jackson Weed also ran well and each had a rushing touchdown.
The Truckee O-line dominated the line of scrimmage led behind freshman Shane Fisher, who started in place of injured Ryan Zusy at center. Alex Corral, Tanner Keese, Vance Brown, Andres Frutos and Chris Gallagher anchored a physical line that kept a large Sparks team under duress for the entire contest.
The Wolverines also received great blocking from Alex Cramer, Victor Montana and Trevor Patrick.
On the other side of the ball, Truckee’s defense pounded the Railroaders, forcing six turnovers (four in the second half). Leading an aggressive defense were linebackers Weed and Brown. Jon Ford, Aguilar, Gallagher, Corral, Frutos, Ezekiel Soto, Kyle Mullen and Marshall Lipke all played relentlessly in preserving a second-half shutout.
Shaffer picked his first pass of the season late in the game, and Jordan Diero added two interceptions while shoring up the secondary and limiting Sparks’ passing game. The surprise of the day was freshman end James Depew, who made his first start as a JV. He created havoc in Sparks’ backfield all day, sacking the quarterback and forcing a fumble.
“The way we played late was indicative of our defense’s personality all year,” said defensive coach Ryan Weiler. “We played our best when our backs were to the wall, and our guys made plays when they had to. With sheer aggressiveness and determination, we pounded a very good team today.”
The year saw some very exciting football for the Wolverines. Truckee played a very tough schedule. Truckee’s first four non-league games were in California, where they went 3-1 and scored 85 points. The defense was stingy, allowing only 8.75 points per game through four.
The Wolverines’ only loss was to eventual champion Fernley. On the year, the Wolverines’ losses were by a combined 13 points, and they played well against teams who were larger in numbers as well as physical stature. The JVs also sent 12 players to varsity at season’s end for the playoffs.
Overall the season was a success and the Wolverine JVs of 2007 have showed much promise. For most of these guys, this is only the beginning.
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