Truckee football to wrap up regular season at Sparks
October 31, 2008
Five down, one to go for the Truckee High football team. Then its on to serious business as the Wolverines seek a ninth Nevada State Championship, a sixth under head coach Bob Shaffer.The first five Northern 3A opponents didnt offer much of a fight, mustering just 39 points against a punishing Truckee defense. One of those teams, Dayton, didnt score at all.Led by a prolific running attack, the Wolverines (5-0 league, 6-2 overall) have amassed 153 points against the Northern 3A while outscoring opponents 221-99 overall on the season.Despite the point discrepancy, Shaffer fully expects Sparks (3-2, 4-4) to put up a stiff challenge when the two teams square off today at 1:30 p.m.Im expecting them to give us all we can handle Friday, said Shaffer, whose team is coming off a bye week entering the final regular-season contest.Win or lose, Truckee already has secured the Northern 3A title and homefield advantage in the first round of the postseason, which kicks off Nov. 8.Only time will tell if the bye week created when Yerington forfeited the remainder of its season earlier this month will work in the Wolverines favor, Shaffer said.We didnt play last week, so were ready to get out there and play before the postseason begins, the coach said.What (the bye) did was allow us to go back and work on the small things, like blocking and assignments, and things you dont necessarily have time for when preparing for a team in one week, Shaffer added. Well find out Friday if it helped us or not.While Truckee has endured its share of injuries this season to linemen in particular Sparks has truly been tested with health issues, most recently when quarterback Joe Puccinelli went down with mono, leaving a roster of just 20 players to take on Fernley last week. Junior Angel Guillen started in his place.Shaffer said the backup quarterback looked rusty, but also showed the type of athleticism that can guide a team to victory.Sparks lost 27-14 at Fernley, a team Truckee defeated 21-7 at home on Oct. 4. The Railroaders beat Dayton, Lowry and Yerington (by forfeit) in league play, while losing to Fernley and Spring Creek, 40-6, on Oct. 3.Theyll likely need more than six points to get past Truckee and its pounding ground game, which is averaging 8.2 yards per carry and has accounted for 28 of Truckees 33 touchdowns on the season. Shaffer has always been about using a multitude of backs. This year is no different, as eight players have tallied at least 100 yards rushing, with seven of them averaging 8.2 yards or greater. Senior fullback Robert Raber leads the team with 425 yards on 52 carries, and senior wingback C.J. Ackerman leads the group with a 14.6-yard average (102 yards on seven carries).It doesnt stop there. Junior halfback Jordan Deiro, who exploded for 208 yards and three touchdowns in Truckees most recent win at Spring Creek, has rushed for 349 yards on 38 carries. He has a team-high eight TDs six rushing and two receiving.Deiro is followed in the rushing game by teammates Luis Aguilar (281 yards, 25 carries), quarterback Justin Vosburgh (261 yards, 49 carries), Jackson Weed (241 yards, 25 carries), Ryan Roberts (172 yards, 21 carries), and Vince Shaffer (168 yards, 20 carries).They didnt gain all those yards on their own. Truckees offensive line, despite battling through injuries all season, has held its own and then some against its often larger competition. The unit is responsible for many of the gaping holes that have led to breakaway runs hence the impressive yards-per-carry averages.On the receiving end, Roberts leads the Wolverines with 13 catches for 186 yards. Vosburgh, a first-year quarterback, delivered those passes. Hes completed 39 of 90 attempts this season (43 percent), with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Vosburgh also has two rushing TDs.And when Truckees offense has stumbled, its hard-hitting defense led by senior linebacker Ryan Macken has more often than not wrested the ball right back. Its been a recipe for success so far.