Truckee falls to 0-2; home opener against North Valleys set for Saturday
The Truckee football team fell to 0-2 after a 41-14 defeat at Fernley in the teams’ league opener last Friday night.
The Wolverines were without the play calling of Head Coach Josh Ivens, who suffered a broken lateral tibial plateau when a player collided with him early on in Truckee’s season opener against Bear River.
“I’m not there to run the practice,” said Ivens on the injury, which kept him out of practices last week. “This is by far the hardest time that I’ve had as a coach.”
Longtime member of Truckee’s coaching staff, Nick Fertitta, took over play calling duties last Friday night for the team.
“He was always Coach Shaffer’s go-to guy for offense,” said Ivens. “And he’s been there for me too throughout the years.”
After giving up an early touchdown to the Vaqueros, the Wolverines drove the ball inside the Fernley red zone, but came away empty handed. On the ensuing possession, Fernley senior running back Lonnie Halterman took an option from inside his team’s 10-yard line, and outran the Truckee defense for a 92-yard touchdown.
The Vaqueros tacked on two more rushing touchdowns during the half to take a 28-0 lead.
Truckee would get on the board just before halftime, scoring on a 9-yard, back shoulder pass from sophomore quarterback Jackson Kahl to senior Isaac Cruz.
Kahl finished the evening 11 of 20 through the air for 141 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Cruz had two receptions for 30 yards.
Fernley added two more touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 41-7 advantage. Truckee senior running back Deacon Mehler accounted for the final touchdown of the night, scoring in the fourth quarter. Mehler finished the game with 66 rushing yards on 19 carries. Junior Jackson Ellermeyer led Truckee’s receivers with a pair of catches for 40 yards.
“I thought our offense was still not where it needs to be, but did some good things,” said Ivens on the difference between the team’s performance last Friday compared to week one. “We were able to eliminate the quarterback-center exchange problems and penalties.”
Defensively, Ivens said the team took a step back as they struggled to slow Fernley’s run-heavy attack. Junior Jameson Hogarth led the unit with seven tackles, including five solo stops. Junior Micah Ivens was next on the team with six tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Wolverines will now prepare for their home opener this Saturday against North Valleys. The Class 3A Panthers were topped 40-0 in their opener against Class 4A Reno. North Valleys was scheduled to face Dayton last Friday, but the Dust Devils aren’t playing a varsity season this year, according to the school’s athletic department, due to a lack of players.
North Valleys will come into Surprise Stadium playing a two-quarterback system, featuring sophomore Cameron Zeidler and junior Tyler Likes. Zeidler made a number of big plays with his arm and legs in the team’s opener against Reno, while Likes is more of a run-first quarterback.
The game is set for 1:30 p.m. at Surprise Stadium.
Honoring a legend
Before kickoff, legendary Truckee coach Bob Shaffer will be honored with the dedication of the Robert Shaffer Memorial Touchstone.
Al Pombo, Inc. donated the stone and a GoFundMe account was established to pay for a bronze plaque. Lopez Excavating, Inc. prepared the site and placed the stone next to the stairway leading down to the field. Bobby Jones Concrete set the stone. Eric Larusson of Village Nursery will design the landscaping around the monument, and Brian Connor of Peak Landscape, Inc. will donate time and materials to provide irrigation.