Truckee Bandits impress coach with best performance of season | SierraSun.com

Truckee Bandits impress coach with best performance of season

Special to the Sun

Submitted to swright@sierrasun.comThe Truckee Bandits kick off against Damonte Ranch on Saturday at River View Sports Park.

There was no scoreboard at the small field of River View Sports Park, where the Truckee Wolverines of the Sierra Youth Football League Bandit Division had just lost to Damonte Ranch Mustangs, 32-0, this past Saturday. That worked out just fine.

None of the 5- to 7-year-olds could see a scoreboard to argue against what head coach Marc McMullen was telling them after the game.

They were all huddled around McMullen on one knee near the 20-yard line. All were focused intently on the message and did not bother with sweaty clumps of hair standing up to the left and some clumps to an indescribable direction and#8212; possibly from one of the many gang tackles or maybe one of the several runs past the line of scrimmage that had just taken place on the field moments ago.

McMullen was telling them that they had just won their first game in his eyes. None of the players, other coaches or 50-plus parents and fans would disagree. The Mustangs got to return to Reno with the victory in the official SYFL standings, but the Wolverines got to take home the Truckee pride of playing their best game of the year as a team.

The Wolverines did not top their best rushing performance of 67 yards gained, but did finish with 44 yards. However, they did have more rushers with positive yardage than their first game of the year against Galena.

Running back Holden Woodruff led the rushing charge with 20 yards. He sped around the right side and was tackled out of bounds after gaining 21 yards for the biggest gain of the day. He was followed by quarterback Tavin Hamilton gaining 17 yards, including a four-yard keeper up the middle to the 16-yard line. This was the closest the Wolverines got to the end zone.

Recommended Stories For You

On the play before Hamilton’s, running back Jake Solberg took a handoff and swept around the right side for an 11-yard gain.

The fourth runner with positive yardage was running back Sean McMullen. He took his first carry of the season right into a pile of defenders and kept his legs moving for a gain of a yard.

Defensively, the Wolverines also did not top their best game when they only gave up 226 total yards to Dayton. However, they did turn in their second-best game of the season, allowing 231 rushing yards to the Mustangs.

Although the Wolverines did not top their best games, coach McMullen pointed out that this was the Wolverines’ best effort as an offense and defense in the same game.

Defensive highlights included Truckee having eight players with tackles and more than half the defense being in on one tackle during the Mustangs’ second drive. Cornerbacks Hamilton and Solberg, defensive ends McMullen and Hutton Johnson, linebackers Jason Roth and Ronan Collins and defensive tackle Ezra Scharp all stood up the running back and pushed him back for a loss of a yard.

The defense was led by McMullen who turned in a season-best for the Wolverines. He was in on eight tackles with two being solo and one behind the line of scrimmage. He also was in on a hit with Johnson and recovered a forced fumble.

Johnson was second on the team with a season-high six tackles. Two of his tackles were solo and four of those were behind the line or scrimmage, a season high.

Hamilton followed with five tackles, with one solo and three behind the line of scrimmage. Solberg tackled four times, with one solo and two behind the line. Roth and defensive tackle Aidan Powers had three tackles and Collins and Scharp finished with one.

UP NEXT: The Wolverines host the Lassen Grizzlies at River View Sports Park on Saturday at 9 a.m.

and#8212; This article was submitted to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at swright@sierrasun.com.