Truckee football buries Lowry early |

Truckee football buries Lowry early

Chuck Smith/smithandsons.photoreflect.comTruckee High junior halfback Justin Vosburgh gives a Lowry defender a straight-arm during the Wolverines' 31-0 win on Saturday.

The Truckee High football team bucked its scoreless first quarter trend, posting 21 points in the opening 6 minutes en route to a 31-0 shutout of visiting Lowry on Saturday.

After scoring three quick touchdowns, however ” giving Truckee its only first-quarter points of the season ” the Wolverines sputtered through much of the contest. Twice they turned over the ball deep in Lowry territory while committing a number of penalties that negated big plays.

Truckee coach Bob Shaffer voiced his displeasure following a lengthy post-game chat with his players.

“We went backward more than we went forward after the first quarter. It was ugly,” said Shaffer, whose team improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Northern 3A.

The coach was particularly concerned with the Wolverines’ offense, which gained 191 yards on the ground and 86 yards through the air, yet had trouble finding the end zone.

“We’re going to challenge our offense,” Shaffer said, “and if they don’t start getting better, we’re in trouble.”

Truckee did little wrong on the other side of the ball, as its defense held the Buckaroos (0-6, 0-1) to 23 total yards ” 26 yards rushing and minus-3 yards passing.

From a Truckee fan’s standpoint, it was all about the first 6 minutes.

Following a Lowry three-and-out and a 16-yard punt by senior Luis Zamudio to start the game, the Wolverines took over at the Buckaroo 30-yard line.

Three plays later, senior quarterback Keven Sahlberg rolled out to his right from the 10-yard line and fired a strike on the run to senior Cruz Esquivel, who hauled in the pass at the goal line for a Truckee touchdown. The extra point failed, leaving the score at 6-0.

With Lowry facing fourth-and-21 from its own 19 on the ensuing possession, Zamudio muffed the snap on the punt attempt, allowing Truckee to recover at the 6.

Junior halfback Justin Vosburgh then banged his way into the end zone on the next play. Vosburgh, who finished with a game-high 102 yards and two touchdowns on 11 rushes, ran the ball in for the two-point conversion to give the Wolverines a 14-0 lead.

On the second play of Lowry’s next possession, senior QB Daniel Custer pitched to running back Trevor Grant, who dropped the ball as a gang of Truckee defenders converged.

Ryan Macken, a junior linebacker and fullback, picked it up and sprinted 35 yards for the Wolverines’ third touchdown. Esquivel kicked through the extra point, extending Truckee’s lead to 21-0 with 6:11 showing on the clock.

Penalty flags, most of which were against Truckee, littered the field from the second quarter on.

Three plays into the second quarter, Sahlberg received a Lowry punt, faked one defender and dashed up the sideline for an apparent 50-plus-yard touchdown. But, a Truckee penalty brought back the return.

The Wolverines were called for three more penalties on the ensuing drive, which chewed up more than 9 minutes of the clock before stalling at the Lowry 21-yard line on a fumbled snap. Truckee recovered, and Esquivel salvaged a score with a 38-yard, line drive field goal to put his team in front 24-0.

Looking to bury the Buckaroos early in the third quarter, the Wolverines ” led by efficient running from Vosburgh, Robert Raber and Ryan Roberts ” marched down field from their own 28 to the Lowry 17.

Facing second-and-16 after a Truckee holding penalty, Sahlberg threw a pass directly to Lowry defensive back James Walton, who made the interception in the end zone.

The Wolverines forced a Lowry three-and-out and got the ball back with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.

Vosburgh then took the hand-off from midfield and, besides the straight-arm he offered a Lowry defender, ran untouched 54 yards for another Truckee TD. Esquivel’s kick gave the Wolverines a 31-0 lead.

The fourth quarter lacked excitement, as well as any more scoring.

The closest the Wolverines came was on a Sahlberg punt return early in the fourth that was called back because of an illegal substitution.

Truckee again knocked on the door on its next possession, but a fumble at the Lowry 10-yard line abruptly ended the drive.

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