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Football wins homecoming squeaker

Dan Savickas
Colin FisherJ.R. Murphy comes up with a huge grab over a Lowry defender during Saturday's Homecoming game.
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The Truckee High School football team squeaked past Lowry High School for a 21-17 win at Saturday’s Homecoming game.

On the opening drive Lowry’s offense came out running. First down left them with 10 yards to go, but on second down they managed a gain of eight. On third down Lowry’s quarterback Tyler Crnkovich rushed for the first down and picked up an additional 34 yards.

But on the next play Jimmy Williams came up with a big hit causing Lowry to fumbled the ball and the Wolverines were able to recover.

First down for the Wolverines found Nick Smith wide-open but unable to bring in a Paul Tierney pass. Second down Tierney was sacked to bring up a third-and-12 situation. Mike Hackley tried to split the defense on a run, but was stopped for no gain.

On fourth down J.R. Murphy pulled off his second fake punt of the year as he threw a 24-yard pass to Jamie Maehler for the first down.

The Wolverines were given new life on Lowry’s 22-yard line. First down brought on an incomplete pass and a holding call to leave Truckee with a first-and-26 situation. Ben Tonon was taken down on his run for no gain. Truckee’s offense was unable to capitalize off of its fake punt and they were forced to punt on fourth-and-32.

Murphy’s punt was downed inside the Lowry 5-yard line. This was the first time all season the Wolverines did not score on their opening offensive drive.

On second down Lowry’s Cody Gerhad rushed for a gain of 13 and a first down out to the 20-yard line.

Again on second down Lowry’s Andrew Reed gained 12 yards on an option play. On first down Lowry threw an incomplete pass, but a Truckee off-sides penalty on the next play left them with a second-and-five situation. On third-and-five Lowry was able to break through the Truckee defense to get the first down.

The Wolverine defense stepped up and finally stopped Lowry’s running game, forcing them to punt.

Starting off on the 25-yard line, Truckee began to assemble a drive with a 22-yard Tierney pass to Smith and a few runs from Hackley to gain several first downs.

But on the first play of the second quarter Tierney fumbled and the Wolverines recovered to face third-and-16. A pass to Smith left Truckee with fourth down and five yards to go.

The Wolverines decided to go for it. Tierney threw a nice pass to Murphy who out jumped his defender to bring down the pass on Lowry’s 12-yard line.

Tonon drove the ball up to the four-yard line and Hackley added a yard on the next down to bring up third-and-one. On the next play Hackley pounded his way through the defense to gain a yard and the first down, leaving the Wolverines with first-and-one situation on the one-yard line.

On first down Smith was stopped for a loss of one-yard. The next play Smith was stopped for no gain as he tried to turn up field. On third down Tierney over threw Smith in the end zone, but before the play was blown dead Smith was taken down by his defender to draw a pass interference penalty.

The Wolverines were again faced with first-and-one on the one-yard line.

This time on first down Truckee drew a procedure penalty bringing them back to the six-yard line. On the next play Tierney found Hackley in the end zone, but a penalty was called for having an illegal man down-field.

On first-and-10 Tierney found Murphy in the left corner of the end zone for the score. Murphy’s extra point kick was good to put the Wolverines up by 7.

On the kickoff Lowry returned to ball out to their 32-yard line. Lowry began to run at the Wolverine defense again with a combination of dive, option and quarterback keeper plays. Lowry’s running game was good enough to gain one first down, but Truckee’s defense shut them down on the next three plays forcing them to punt.

Truckee struggled to put another score on the board before half time, but a fourth-and-one situation on Lowrys 14-yard line turned into a fourth-and six after a procedure penalty. The Wolverines opted for a field goal attempt, but Murphy’s kick was no good and Lowry took over with less than a minute to play.

At the end of the first half the Wolverines lead 7-0.

Truckee started out the second half three and out. After Murphy’s punt and an 11-yard gain Lowry’s offense started out on their own 31-yard line.

On second down Lowry’s Gavin Owsley ran 59 yards on a reverse for a touchdown. Lowry’s extra point attempt was good tying the game at 7.

Truckee’s next offensive possession was the same, three plays and a punt. Murphy’s 57-yard punt was downed on Lowry’s 30-yard line.

Truckee’s defense stepped up to force Lowry to punt, but a roughing-the-kicker penalty gave Lowry a first down on the 50-yard line.

On third down Lowry fumbled on an option play and Truckee recovered.

On second down Smith ran 50 yards around the right end of the field for a touchdown. Murphy’s extra point was good to put them up by seven with 2:18 left in the third quarter.

Lowry’s offense took the field for three plays with no gain and they were forced to punt.

On second down Tierney fumbled as he was hit and Lowry recovered the ball on Truckee’s 36-yard line.

In the beginning of the fourth quarter Lowry came out driving. On third down Crnkovich launched a pass that intercepted by Truckee’s Murphy inside the five-yard line.

Although the Wolverines came up with a huge defensive stop, the offense wasn’t able to capitalize and Murphy punted the ball away.

After a long offensive series complete with Truckee personal-fouls and procedure penalties on Lowry, Lowry’s offense managed to score on fourth-and-12 situation. Lowry’s Michael Fox caught a pass and scrambled through the Truckee defense to find his way to the end zone. The extra point was good tying the game at 14.

Truckee’s offense was able to do little with the ball but punt it away on its next possession.

With 4:42 left in the fourth quarter Lowry’s offense took over on Truckee’s 48-yard line.

Lowry’s offense struggle to get going. After a fumble which resulted in Lowry’s quarterback, Crnkovich, to leave the game they attempted to take the lead with a field goal. With 2:30 left in the game Lowry took the lead by three points.

Tierney wasted no time getting the offense rolling after throwing a 20-yard pass to Maehler to bring the Wolverines out to the 50-yard line. On first-and-ten Tierney threw a touchdown pass to Maehler who out jumped his defender. Murphy’s extra point was good to put the Wolverines up 21-17.

With less than a minute left to play in the game Murphy ended Lowry’s dreams of a comeback with an interception to stop their last minute drive.

“Murphy had a huge game all day,” said Head Coach Bob Shaffer.

In all Murphy had two key interceptions, he caused a fumble and recovered another, had one touchdown catch, completed a 24-yard pass on a fake punt, had three touchbacks on kick off’s and had five punts for an average of 45 yards.

Tierney threw 12 complete passes out of 17 attempts for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Maehler caught six passes for 109 yards and one touchdown.

“Out defense at times would bend, but we didn’t break,” Shaffer said. “But we allowed them to hold the ball too long.”

Lowry’s offense held the ball twice as long as the Wolverines offense in time of possession.


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