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Defensive affair

Jason Kelley/Sierra SunTruckee junior Cruz Esquivel tries to escape a tackle against Bishop at Surprise Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
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It was a tale of two sides for the Truckee High football team in Saturday’s 10-0 loss, with a stingy defense allowing just 164 yards and a touchdown to visiting Bishop and a young offensive unit sputtering out to a 141-yard output worth zero points.

“I thought our defense did an outstanding job. Our lack of maturity on offense, with all the young players, reared its ugly head today,” said an unhappy Bob Shaffer, Truckee’s head coach.

While disappointed with his team’s performance in its home opener, Shaffer credited a quality Bishop team that finished last season 9-3 and made it to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals.



“They’re a good team. They know how to win,” Shaffer said of the Broncos (1-0). … “They didn’t kick our rear end. They got one big play on offense, and that’s all they needed.”

On the second play of the second quarter, Bishop senior all-purpose back/safety Dan Burton caught a short pass in the flat, turned upfield and sprinted 61 yards down the Truckee sideline for a touchdown, bringing the score to 10-0.




It was the only big play Truckee’s defense allowed Burton, who rushed for minus 4 yards and caught four passes for 72 yards.

“He’s a good player,” Bishop head coach Bill Egan said of the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Burton. “He has that potential every time he touches the ball. He had some room to run on a couple of those punt returns, too. That’s how I know Truckee does a good job; he’s very elusive, but they were able to tackle him.”

The touchdown by Burton followed a 30-yard run up the gut by Broncos fullback Will Mack that, had it not been for an open-field tackle by senior defensive back Sam Silver, may have gone the distance for a touchdown.

Bishop capitalized on a Truckee turnover in its own territory to score the game’s initial points on a 30-yard field goal with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter. The score came after Bishop strong safety Tommy Alden rushed in unblocked and blind sided junior quarterback B.J. Carter, whose fumble was recovered by Bishop’s Clay Boyd at the Truckee 38.

For the Wolverines and their offense, things were looking positive after receiving the opening kickoff of the game.

Starting from its own 25, Truckee moved the ball with efficiency the first five plays ” a four-yard run by junior Tucker Nevin, a four-yard reception by junior Nick Myers, four more yards from Nevin, an 11-yard reception by junior Tucker Ballister and a 15-yard run by junior Cruz Esquivel.

Then came the inefficiency ” an incomplete pass, a holding call that brought back a 7-yard screen pass to Myers, a fumble recovered for a 1-yard gain and a punt.

“It pretty much resembled the way we practiced during the week,” Shaffer said. “We didn’t practice well on offense, and it showed today.”

The young Truckee offense ” which was missing senior fullback Drew Stewart due to a twisted ankle ” felt the brunt of large, physical Bishop defenders who laid down viscous pops from whistle to whistle. And despite out-rushing the Broncos 104 yards to 27 and picking up 8 first downs to Bishop’s 6, the Wolverines could not muster a scoring drive.

Desperate for points in the fourth quarter, Truckee used junior halfback Keven Sahlberg ” originally slated not to play after suffering a compressed vertebrae during a scrimmage against North Valleys the week prior, Shaffer said ” on special teams in hopes of the speedy runner returning a punt.

Sahlberg almost did with about five minutes remaining when he received a punt and darted through the middle of the field 18 yards before being tripped up by the last defender he needed to beat.

After waiting more than three quarters for something to cheer about, the crowd at Surprise Stadium let out a collective moan of shattered anticipation.

In a last-ditch effort to spark a scoring drive with 2:30 remaining, Truckee senior Izzy Serna dropped back for a punt, faked and threw a pass through the hands of his intended receiver for an interception at the Truckee 44.

That’s the way the game went for the Wolverines, who hope to get in the win column this coming Friday at Colfax.

“This is a very good win for us,” Egan said. “I knew we had a big game on our hands. I came in here just hoping we would play well against this quality team. To come here and win, now I’m very optimistic about our chances. This team has the potential to be very special.”

Bishop 10, Truckee 0

Bishop 3 7 0 0 ” 10

Truckee 0 0 0 0 ” 0

First quarter

B”Seitz 30 field goal, 3:40

Second quarter

B”Burton 61 pass from Rigney (Bertain kick), 11:25

Team statistics

Offensive plays: Truckee 57, Bishop 61. Total offense: Truckee 141, Bishop 164. Rushing: Truckee 30-104, Bishop 38-27. Passing: Truckee 37, Bishop 137. First downs: Truckee 8, Bishop 6. Penalties: Truckee 8-55, Bishop 6-40.

Individual statistics

Rushing”(Truckee 30-104) Nevin 16-51, Esquivel 7-36, Mazzini 4-20, Hodges 1-2, Carter 2-(minus) 5. (Bishop 38-27) Mack 5-31, Gadea 9-21, Salas 5-11, Moxley 3-11, Gavin 1-0, Riesche 1-0, Alden 1-0, Griffiths 1-(minus 1), Burton 3-(minus 4), Rigney 9-(minus 42).

Passing”(Truckee) Carter 7-19-1-37, Serna 0-1-1-0. (Bishop) Rigney 10-15-2-137.

Receiving”(Truckee) Myers 5-37, Ballister 1-11, Esquivel 1-(minus 11).

Defensive notes for Truckee:

“Ryan Macken had five tackles that resulted in negative yardage, plus he recovered a fumble.

“Paris Tenorio had one interception, one sack and had a strip that resulted in Macken’s fumble recovery.

“Nick Tennant interception

“Truckee had six quarterback sacks overall and Brian Cordell was in on four: (Kirk Haynes-Garrett Carvolth), (Nick Krasensky-Brian Cordell), (Tenorio), (Cordell), (Cordell-J.D. Wright), (Cordell)


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