Football escapes Spring Creek with a last second win
The Wolverines made good on a road trip to Spring Creek and a last second 14-yard game-winning touchdown run by quarterback Kevin Schlesinger, winning 38-34 Friday night.
The game was a potential playoff preview between Truckee, 6-0 (6-1 overall) and Spring Creek, 5-2 (5-3 overall). Now Truckee is tied for first with next week’s opponent Bishop Manogue. If they lost, they would have been bumped down to third place in Northern 3A play.
Next week’s game is the likely state title game, too. Bishop Manogue has literally been steamrolling the state. The Miners defense has allowed only six points all season.
“The whole state is hyped about Manogue and kind of forgot about Truckee,” defensive tackle Justin Vivian said. “We’re going to show them we’re still here.”
Bishop Manogue’s offensive and defensive lines average more than 230 lbs. across. Truckee is short and lighter, but that hasn’t deterred the Wolverines.
“That’s nothing we haven’t seen yet,” offensive tackle Kevin Finn said. “They’re going to be tough, but we’ll stick with them.”
The offensive duel got started with Finn being twisting his ankle on Truckee’s first offensive possession, but he was already back in Monday’s practice.
“He should be good to go Saturday,” coach Bob Shaffer said.
The Wolverines got on the board first with a 35-yard touchdown toss to receiver Jamie Maehler. That was followed by Spring Creek’s Mike Brouse taking the ball 55 yards for a touchdown run plus a two-point conversion to put the Spartans up 8-7.
Starting defensive end Jason Ames came in on the offensive side and ran 36 yards into the end-zone putting Truckee back up 13-8.
But the Spartans fired right back with two touchdowns, a 44-yard touchdown pass to Brad Dillenburg with a failed extra point and 64-yard touchdown pass to James Pond, also with a failed kick, putting Spring Creek up 13-20.
Ames got another touchdown run, capping a long drive with a two-yard plunge. But they failed to tie up the game by missing the extra point, staying behind at 19-20.
Spring Creek still had some first half scoring to do.
Brouse came out with a 65-yard touchdown run to end the quarter 19-27 Spartans.
But with Schlesinger’s arm and the TNT offense, Truckee outscored Spring Creek 19-7 in the second half. Mike Acuff caught a 12-yard toss from Schlesinger to make the score 25-27. That was followed by an interception returned for a touchdown by defensive back Jacob Bohart to take back the lead, 32-27.
But Spring Creek came back before the end of the third quarter with another long run, this time from 36 yards out by Dillenburg to go up 32-34.
Spring Creek was suddenly able to contain Truckee’s offense, stalling them the remainder of the game until the last drive. Spring Creek started their own drive making it into Truckee’s red zone. But right before the coffin was nailed shut, defensive back J.R. Murphy picked off Brouse and ran to Truckee’s 20-yard line. That gave Shaffer’s squad new life and they made a memorable drive. It was capped with nine seconds left, when Schlesinger took the ball in for a 14-yard plunge, putting Truckee up for good, 38-34 on the sixth lead change of the game.
Schlesinger finished the game 13 of 27 passes with 203 yards plus two touchdown tosses. He rushed for 78 yards on 12 carries plus the game-winning touchdown. Ames, a starting defensive end that’s seen limited offensive action, ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Nick Smith had 74 yards on 17 carries. Maehler had a big game on the receiving end with five catches, 89 yards and one touchdown catch.