Wolverines leave Dayton in the dust | SierraSun.com

Wolverines leave Dayton in the dust

Staff reports

Truckee High football coach Bob Shaffer often talks about the importance of his team controlling its own postseason destiny.

With two regular-season games remaining, the Wolverines have a firm grasp after improving to 3-0 in the Northern 3A (6-1 overall) with a 28-6 win at Dayton on Friday.

Truckee remains tied with Sparks (3-0, 5-1) in league after the Railroaders defeated Lowry 50-12 on Friday. Spring Creek, which edged Fernley 19-18 this past weekend, is in third with a 2-1 league record, and Dayton is fourth with a 1-2 league mark. Fernley and Lowry (both 0-3) remain winless in league.

The Wolverines play at Spring Creek on Friday and wrap up the regular season at home against Sparks on Oct. 27.

Senior defensive end and halfback Cruz Esquivel stepped up big Friday in the absence of several injured starters ” including halfback Justin Vosburgh and three offensive linemen, among others ” by accounting for three touchdowns and a blocked punt.

After Dayton fumbled away the opening kickoff, Esquivel put his team on the board with a one-yard run up the middle just 1:07 into the contest. Quarterback Keven Sahlberg ran in the two-point conversion to put Truckee up 8-0.

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The Dust Devils answered on their next possession when Trace Feemster found a hole and scampered 61 yards for a TD. The extra point missed, leaving the score 8-6, Truckee.

Despite having good field position on a number of occasions, Dayton did little else on offense, managing only one first down in each half.

While Truckee remained inefficient throwing the ball ” finishing with zero completions and two interceptions ” the Wolverines pounded away all night at the Dayton defense, rushing for 245 yards.

Conversely, Dayton’s offense struggled. The Dust Devils, despite an 89-yard effort by Feemster, managed 63 yards unofficially, 61 of those on the ground. Dayton quarterbacks Ryan Ransdell and Cory Linberg were sacked four times for minus 38 yards and combined for 2 passing yards.

In the second quarter, Truckee linebacker and fullback Ryan Macken gained 11 yards on a third-and-7 play for a first down at the 41. He then gained five more to the 36, setting up Esquivel’s 36-yard scoring run for a 14-6 lead with 5:05 left in the first half.

Truckee was on the verge of scoring in the closing minute of the first half, but Dayton intercepted a pass in the end zone that was intended for Ryan Roberts.

Midway through the third quarter, Sahlberg ran 16 yards on a keeper for another Truckee TD. Esquivel’s PAT adjusted the score to 21-6.

Esquivel was not done.

Following a Macken interception and return from near midfield all the way to the Dayton 15, Esquivel took a handoff on second-and-7 from the 12-yard line and ran into the end zone for his third TD. Esquivel then kicked through the extra point to give Truckee a 28-6 lead with 9:28 remaining.

” Keith Thomas contributed information to this report