Truckee football | Wolverines trounce South Tahoe to end regular season |

Truckee football | Wolverines trounce South Tahoe to end regular season

Steve Yingling
Sun News Service

Steve Yingling/Sun News ServiceMitch Nelson (15) goes for a loose ball against South Tahoe on Saturday.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; After a sloppy performance the previous week against Lowry, the Truckee Wolverines on Saturday played more like the football team that has ruled the Northern 3A League all season.

Ben Bolton passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and Cole Roberts rushed for three scores as Truckee routed South Tahoe 55-7 in Viking Bowl.

The Wolverines (9-0), who had already clinched first-place in the league standings and a No. 1 seed for the upcoming state playoffs, completed the school’s fourth unbeaten regular season since 1997.

Truckee fumbled six times in the 22-16 triumph over Lowry, but the Wolverines were nearly flawless against the Vikings, especially in the first half. The Wolverines scored on all seven of their first-half possessions.

and#8220;We had a sharp first half; the second half left a lot to be desired,and#8221; said Truckee coach Bob Shaffer. and#8220;We’ll just keep working on that. We have to have a quality showing for 48 minutes. I’m not sure we got that today.and#8221;

Truckee spread out the Vikings’ defense in the first half with five-receiver sets, and Bolton found the open Wolverines. In fact, Bolton was 100 percent in passing in the opening two quarters, completing all nine of his passes.

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and#8220;He’s had some good, quality games in his career here at Truckee High, but I don’t know if he’s ever been 100 percent,and#8221; Shaffer said. and#8220;We just took advantage of what they were giving us. They were stacking to stop the run a little bit, so we wanted to open that up and take advantage.and#8221;

On its senior day, the Vikings averted a shutout in the final minutes, becoming only the third school to score a touchdown against the Wolverines this season. Junior tight end Alvin Tautolo pulled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Nesbitt with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining to put the Vikings on the board. Tautolo added the extra point as the Vikings gained some consolation in the lopsided defeat.

and#8220;That touchdown wasn’t for me. It was for the seniors because it was their last game, and doing it for my brothers. It’s my second family here,and#8221; Tautolo said.

After forcing the Vikings to punt on the opening series, the Wolverines only needed two plays to reach the end zone. Following a 12-yard run by Morgan Nevin, Bolton found Colin Christian open in the middle of the Vikings’ secondary and Christian took it the rest of the way for a 40-yard scoring play.

The Wolverines needed twice as many plays on their next scoring drive, reaching the end zone on Tony Rodriguez’s 31-yard reception down the home sideline. The second of Austin Ferreira’s six first-half extra points made the score 14-0 with 8:18 to go in the first quarter.

Truckee overcame a couple of block-in-the-back penalties to put together a 10-play scoring drive late in the first quarter. Roberts’ five-yard run completed the drive, putting the Wolverines ahead 21-0 with 1:35 left in the quarter.

The Vikings (3-7 overall) responded with their longest drive of the day, moving from their 16 to the Truckee 5 and#8212; 38 yards coming on a reception by senior Andrew Contaxis. But after moving to the Truckee 6 on Nesbitt’s inside keeper for six yards, the Wolverines bottled up STHS running back Jacob Stowell for two straight plays. On third down, Nesbitt’s pass to the corner of the end zone was swiped by Trevor Auldridge.

and#8220;I thought our defense played really well,and#8221; Shaffer said.

Roberts utilized a strong trap block to score on a 41-yard run on Truckee’s next possession.

South Tahoe pinned the Wolverines back on their 15 midway through the second quarter, but that didn’t matter. Bolton and Braden Waters chewed up 61 yards of real estate on a pass play that reached the Vikings’ 24. Christian capped the quick-scoring drive by taking a handoff from Bolton directly at the teeth of the Vikings’ defense and jaunting 24 yards for the score.

Mitch Nelson recovered a South Tahoe fumble at the 31, nimbly getting his feet inbounds after picking up the loose pigskin along the Truckee sideline. On the next play, South Tahoe’s entire defense bit on Bolton’s play fake in the backfield, and the senior quarterback bootlegged his way for the 31-yard touchdown run, giving Truckee a 42-0 lead with 3:21 remaining before halftime.

Auldridge’s second interception set up Truckee’s seventh touchdown of the opening half. Auldridge returned the pick of Nesbitt to the South Tahoe 27, and a personal foul penalty moved the ball to the 14. After the Vikings’ Wade Norberg tackled Christian for a seven-yard loss, Christian bounced back for an 11-yard gain to set up Roberts’ for his third score and#8212; this time from 10 yards.

and#8220;They play every play like it’s the last play,and#8221; said STHS coach Kevin Hennessee. and#8220;If there is something that our program has to get to, that’s what we have to go to.and#8221;

Stowell finished with 73 rushing yards on 16 carries. Nesbitt completed 9-of-19 pass attempts for 101 yards.

Bolton is being recruited by the University of Nevada, Fresno State and Portland State.

and#8220;That would be great, wouldn’t it. I know his dad would be pretty excited,and#8221; said Shaffer about the possibility of Bolton staying close to home and playing for the Pack.