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Football moves past Dayton in state bid

Daniel Savickas, Sierra Sun

The Truckee High School varsity football team squeaked past Dayton High School 30-20, in the first round of the playoffs Saturday at Surprise Stadium.

“I think a lot of people thought it was going to be a show up game and an easy win. We had seen the improvement Dayton was making all season after we played them,” said head coach Bob Shaffer.

The Wolverines struck in the first quarter on a 1-yard Nick Smith touchdown run. Murphy’s extra-point attempt was no good.

Dayton was quick to answer back with a 33-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Travis Wood to senior Dylan Morris. Dayton’s extra-point attempt was good to give them a 7-6 lead.

The Wolverines were forced to punt on the next possession. Murphy’s 63-yard punt pinned Dayton inside the 1-yard line. Dayton would punt three plays later, but not with Murphy’s success and the Wolverines took over on the Dayton 38-yard line.

On first down, Truckee quarterback Paul Tierney was sacked for a loss of 10 yards. The Wolverines could not make up the difference, and they were faced with a fourth-and-15 situation. Truckee ran a fake punt, but Murphy’s pass fell incomplete and Dayton took over.

Dayton was again forced to punt by the Wolverine defense. After a bad snap, Dayton’s punter was taken down on the 23-yard line.

Smith pounded his way through the defense on two separated plays to find the second Wolverine touchdown of the day. Mike Hackley ran in the ball for the two-point conversion and the 14-7 lead.

Dayton was quick to answer back with a passing assault. Morris picked up his second touchdown reception of the day on a 15-yard pass play. The extra point was good, and the two teams sat tied at 14.

In the second quarter, Tierney’s pass was picked off by Scott Brower on second-and-six.

Dayton quickly drove the ball toward their end zone. On second-and-nine, Randon Nunez intercepted the ball on the 1-yard line.

The Wolverines were forced to punt, but Dayton’s drive would end in a missed 23-yard field goal attempt.

Truckee marched down the field with less than two minutes left to play in the first half. The second quarter ended on a 50-yard field goal attempt by Murphy that was no good.

The Wolverines started off the third quarter with a punt. Dayton returned the favor.

On the next drive the Wolverines drove down the field. The drive ended with a 5-yard Smith touchdown run.

In the fourth quarter Smith would score again to put the Wolverines up 27-14. Murphy’s extra-point was no good.

Murphy would score two drives later with a 40-yard field goal.

Dayton would score once more on a 31-yard touchdown pass, but the two-point conversion was no good and Dayton fell 30-20.

“For the most part, I expected a hard-nosed game,” Shaffer said. “Special teams made us and broke them.”

Dayton left the Wolverines with excellent field position three times in the game – twice on punts and once on a turnover.

Dayton’s freshman quarterback, Travis Wood, threw for 244 yards, one interception and three touchdowns; but Dayton rushed for only 37 yards in 24 carries.

Wolverines junior quarterback Paul Tierney threw for 214 yards, one interception but no touchdowns. The difference was Smith, who ran 17 times for 109 yards and four touchdowns.

Running and special teams sealed the victory for the Wolverines as they head into this Saturday’s game against Virgin Valley.

Last year the Wolverines met Virgin Valley in the same round of the playoffs and Truckee walked away with a 21-14 victory. According to Shaffer, Virgin Valley heads into Saturday’s game with nearly the same team as last year.


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