Truckee football | Wolverines come back in second half, beat Fallon | SierraSun.com

Truckee football | Wolverines come back in second half, beat Fallon

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

Sylas Wright / Sierra SunTruckee quarterback Pat Shaffer is sacked by Fallon's Logan Service in the second half of the Wolverines' 20-14 win against Fallon. Shaffer found himself under pressure much of the day from the Greenwave pass rush.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8211; Clearly, Fallon was not impressed with Truckee’s win streak.

The visiting Greenwave provided the two-time defending state champs a formidable test and then some, controlling the first half and leading 14-7 at the midway point, before the Wolverines responded with two unanswered touchdowns in the second half to escape with a 20-14 win Saturday.

Truckee, which ran its win streak to 31 consecutive games, improved to 6-0 in the Northern 3A while Fallon fell to 4-3.

and#8220;They played hard, and they played with a lot of intensity,and#8221; Fallon head coach Brooke Hill said of his team. and#8220;We have a tremendous amount of respect for what they (the Wolverines) do, but our kids were ready.and#8221;

A normally prolific rushing team, averaging 288 yards on the ground, Fallon caught the Wolverines off guard in the first half with an efficient passing game that repeatedly gouged the Truckee secondary.

Sophomore quarterback Morgan Dirickson found five different receivers and was 12-of-21 with 138 yards in the first half alone. During that two-quarter span, the Greenwave ran 38 offensive plays to Truckee’s 16, while also forcing two turnovers and recovering an onside kick to open the game.

Recommended Stories For You

But Truckee tweaked its defense at the half and did not allow a point the remainder of the contest, while its offense did just enough to pull off the comeback win.

and#8220;We knew they were a very talented football team coming in,and#8221; Shaffer said of Fallon, which was led by one of the fastest sprinters in the state in running back Shawntrell Hubbard, who had only 26 yards on 10 carries in the game. and#8220;We expected them to run the ball more. We were not prepared for the pass. But they didn’t score the last two and a half quarters, so I thought we adjusted well.and#8221;

Hill said it was all part of the game plan, as he knew the Greenwave would not be able to run the ball against the Wolverines’ vaunted defense, despite its previous success this year.

and#8220;We knew they could stop the run. That is normally what we do, is run the ball. But we knew we had to (throw it) to have a chance,and#8221; Hill said.

The Wolverines held Dirickson to 28 yards passing on 3-of-14 in the second half, while Fallon gained only 10 yards on nine rushes.

Truckee, which went almost exclusively to the run in the second half after Fallon effectively shut down its passing game, tied the score midway through the third quarter and took the lead for good with 3:46 left in the fourth.

Aside from one highlight play by the Wolverines, the first half was all Greenwave.

After missing a field goal on its first possession, Fallon forced a Truckee three-and-out before driving 59 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 5-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper.

Fallon forced a second three-and-out before Truckee senior Trevor Auldridge ignited the home crowd with a 69-yard punt return. Auldridge caught the ball and was met almost immediately by a Fallon tackler, whom he shed from his back before spinning and racing up field for the long TD. The big play knotted the score, 7-7, with 10:41 remaining in the second quarter.

Momentum did not remain on the Wolverines’ side for long. On the first play of their next drive, running back Tyler Curtis fumbled after a 16-yard gain and Fallon recovered at the Truckee 35-yard line.

Six plays later Dirickson scored again on a keeper, this time from 2 yards out to push the lead back to 7.

The teams then traded three interceptions within six plays just before the intermission. Fallon halfback Alonzo Williams threw the first, picked off by Auldridge. Truckee quarterback Pat Shaffer was next, intercepted by Jake Wisdom. And then it was Dirickson’s turn, as he was picked by Jake Pettit with less than 30 seconds left in the half.

The Wolverines seized control of the game in the second half, although they still had to scratch and claw to put points on the board.

and#8220;I thought we played good in the second half,and#8221; said Curtis, who carried the load for the Wolverines with 132 yards on 28 rushes, including 107 yards after the break. and#8220;The first half we were a little eager.and#8221;

Behind the hard running of Curtis, Truckee drove 28 yards in seven plays on its first possession of the half and#8211; overcoming a holding penalty that brought back an 11-yard TD by Curtis and#8211; before Ty Englert ran around the left side of the line for a 5-yard score. Austin Ferreira kicked through the PAT to tie the game again at 14-all with 7:07 left in the third.

The Wolverines then forced a punt, which was bobbled and lost by Auldridge as Fallon’s Nick Marsan jumped on it at the Truckee 20-yard line for a turnover.

Put to the test, Truckee’s defense stepped up, holding the Greenwave to a field goal attempt by Williams that sailed wide left.

After turning the ball over on downs its next two possessions, Truckee received an emotional boost when Carlos Ramirez recovered a fumble by Dirickson near midfield.

Truckee proceeded to drive 47 yards in eight plays, ending with a 5-yard TD run between the tackles by Curtis. The PAT missed, however, leaving the door cracked open for the Greenwave, who trailed 20-14 with 3:46 on the clock.

Fallon appeared to be in business after picking up a first down and benefitting from a 15-yard facemask penalty, putting the ball at the Truckee 45-yard line. But the Truckee defense caused three incomplete passes, one that was broken up at the last second by Luke Theis, while Max Collinson came up with the sack of the game for an 8-yard loss.

and#8220;They came up a little short, but it was a great-coached game by them,and#8221; Shaffer said of the Greenwave. and#8220;They came in with a game plan.and#8221;

Curtis credited the Truckee coaching staff for adjusting at the half and the defense for buckling down.

and#8220;Our coaches were one of the main keys. They changed the plays up and got our defense pumped up,and#8221; he said.