After blowout, Wolverines look to drop first-place Elko
Passing: M. Bellon 5-9-1-124, D. Allen-Gill 1-1-1-26.
Rushing: S. Kelly 2-74-1, J. Skaff 4-65, K. Malo 4-40, C. McMullen 3-30, M. Bellon 3-30-2, D. Laferriere 3-14-1.
Receiving: K. Malo 1-73, M. Bellon 1-26-1, D. Laferriere 2-20. B. Conklin 1-19, C. McMullen 1-12.
After a dominant showing in a 58-6 blowout against Dayton, Truckee’s football team will return home on Saturday to face Elko in one of the biggest matchups of the season.
The undefeated Indians made a statement last Friday, taking a 42-19 win at home against Fernley, and will now face Truckee in a key contest for playoff seeding.
With four games left in the season, Truckee (5-1, 4-1 Northern League) will look to hand Elko (5-0, 5-0 Northern League) its first loss of the season, which would push the Wolverines into second place behind Churchill County (5-0, 5-0 Northern League).
“They have it rolling, Elko Coach (Luke) Sellers always does a phenomenal job with whatever personnel he has,” said Truckee Head Coach Josh Ivens. “We fully expect a physical football game this Saturday.”
The Wolverines come into this week’s game after picking up more than 400 yards of total offense against Dayton. Senior quarterback Marcus Bellon led the way with a career night, pulling off the rare feat of catching a touchdown, rushing for a touchdown, and throwing for a touchdown.
After senior Derek Laferriere’s 49-yard punt return for a touchdown, Bellon added to his prolific night, scoring again on a rushing touchdown to trigger a running clock. Bellon finished his evening with 124 yards passing, and 30 yards rushing.
In the second half, Dayton notched its only points of the night, scoring on a 31-yard touchdown pass from senior Justin Schmidt to sophomore Sunny Rojas. The touchdown marked the Dust Devils’ first points against the Wolverines since 2014.
Senior Sean Kelly later added another touchdown for Truckee on a 56-yard touchdown run to make the score 42-6. Laferriere would then find the end zone for a rushing touchdown.
The Wolverines struck again with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter on junior George Skaff’s interception return for a touchdown. The game’s final points came on a safety by senior Brennen Conklin. Offensively, Conklin also caught a 19-year touchdown pass from Bellon.
As a group, Truckee dominated the line of scrimmage, as runners piled up more than 253 yards and gashed the Dust Devils on numerous occasions with runs of more than 20 yards.
“It was strictly business tonight,” said senior guard Ryland Ward. “We just came in, knew what we had to do, and just got our twos on the field as quickly as possible. We got that running clock going, so we could get our backups in and get the some reps.”
The win against Dayton also moved Ivens into third place all-time at Truckee High School with 35 wins. Ivens surpassed Coach John Stewart, but still trails Ron Estabrook (50) and coaching legend Bob Shaffer (170).
“For me it was one of those milestones to pass a legendary coach in Truckee History,” said Ivens.
After two consecutive wins, Truckee will now look to climb the league standings by toppling Elko. A win over the Indians would help secure home field advantage or a possible first-round bye when the playoffs begin in late October.
The Wolverines have won in dominant fashion in the last two meetings between the teams, and while undefeated thus far, Elko’s only competition outside of last week’s win against Fernley, has been against the bottom four teams in the league standings.
“We’ve got to stay focused on practice all week,” said Ward. “We can’t give them any momentum, and we need to execute everything we’re running.”
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29, at 1:30 p.m. at Surprise Stadium.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.