Midgets beat South Tahoe in first round
The Truckee Wolverine Pop Warner Midgets defeated South Lake Tahoe 33-14 in the opening round of the Sagebrush Empire playoffs.
The first score of the game came on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Braden Waters. The point-after attempt failed, leaving Truckee ahead 6-0.
Quarterback Pat Shaffer then hooked up with Cole Roberts on a 22-yard play-action pass for the next Truckee score. Excellent blocking by Carlos Ramirez, Buddy Gray, Dylan Murtha, Zack Thomas and Jose Vidaca gave Shaffer plenty of time to complete the pass. Again the extra point failed, and the score stood at 12-0.
The Vikings came back and scored on a broken run and made the point after to get the tally to 12-7. Following a great run by Mitch Ray, Roberts again found some open ground on the next play and ran for a 26-yard touchdown. The extra point by Griffin Brown was good, bringing the score to 20-7 at the half.
In the third quarter, rookie running back Stephen Zissimos got the Wolverines a big gain and Roberts followed on the next play by breaking a 35-yard run for another touchdown to get the score to 26-7.
The Vikings then broke another run to move the score to 26-14. The Vikings attempted an onside kick, but Nick Gordon recovered and Truckee got the ball.
Wingback Trevor Auldridge threw an 18-yard pass from a run to Waters for Truckee’s final touchdown. On the extra point attempt, the ball was bobbled and Shaffer made an excellent pitch under pressure to Brown, who ran the ball into the end zone to reach the final score of 33-14.
Truckee’s defense did a remarkable job of preventing the Vikings form making much progress on their final two possessions. Strong play from Tyler Cavaness, Austin Brock, Bryce Walker, Gray, Vidaca and Ramirez contained the Viking attack.
On the Wolverines’ final possession, Auldridge again threw a pass from the wingback position to Gordon. Gordon gained about 40 yards on the play, but was stopped just short of the goal line as time ran out.
Roberts, who finished with 191 yards on 13 carries, had this to say after the game: “It seems easy when you have great downfield blocking form guys like Zissimos, Ramirez, Vidaca, Gray and Thomas.”
The Midgets, now 5-2 on the season, play the tough Reno Patriots in Reno on Friday. If Truckee wins, it will earn a spot in the Snow Bowl. Truckee ended the season in third place.
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