Football: Wolverines stomp Manogue 21-9
The defense kept the varsity Wolverines’ football team in the game during the first half, then took it upon themselves to provide the offense in the second half, scoring three defensive touchdowns to propel the Wolverines to a 21-9 win on Saturday against the visiting Manogue Miners.
The Miners led midway through the third quarter before the Wolverine defense returned a fumble and two interceptions for touchdowns to stun the Miners. Truckee improved to 1-1 while Manogue fell to 0-2.
The Miners scored on their first possession of the second half to take a 9-0 lead that silenced the crowd at Surprise Stadium.
After the Wolverine offense went three and out on their next possession, the Miners took over near midfield and seemed to be in control with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.
But on third-and-seven play from the Wolverine 43-yard line, Miner QB Alex Bybee fumbled the ball on a botched draw play, and Defensive End Jason Ames scooped it up and ran 55 yards for the Wolverines’ first score.
Trailing 9-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Wolverines drove into Miner territory from their own 27 before an illegal procedure penalty and a sack forced Truckee to punt.
But the Wolverines’ defense was their best offense in the second half, and after a personal foul-penalty pinned the Miners back at their own 13-yard line, TJ Dwyer picked off Bybee’s pass at the Miner 20 and ran untouched into the end zone to give Truckee a 14-9 lead with 9:48 left.
A desperate Miner offense went to the air on the ensuing possession, but on third down Wolverine outside linebacker Kellen Babb stepped in front of a Miner receiver for another interception and streaked down the sideline for a touchdown to cement the win.
Before Saturday’s game, Head Coach Bob Schaffer knew that he would need a strong performance from his defense.
“A huge part of the game is going to be our ability to stop their running game,” Schaffer said on Friday.
On Saturday, Schaffer got that from the stingy Wolverine defense, and a lot more.
Schaffer’s other concern – “the offense being able to sustain drives” – turned out to be justified, as the Wolverine offense was never able to establish itself.
The offense did, however, put together a productive drive in the second quarter that almost gave them the lead at halftime.
Trailing 2-0 with 5:51 left in the half, the Wolverines took over on their own 42 and proceeded to take almost five minutes off the clock while driving down to the Miners’ 20. The drive included a clutch 15-yard completion from Wolverine QB Kevin Schlesinger to wide receiver David Larson on third and thirteen play.
But four plays later, Schlesinger threw into coverage and the ball was intercepted in the Miner end zone.
The Wolverines blew a chance to score in the first quarter after Evan Birchard returned a punt 67 yards to the Miner 28-yard line. But a penalty and an incomplete pass stalled the drive.
The junior varsity Truckee Wolverines suffered a heartbreaking 14-7 loss Saturday when the Miners scored on four yard pass play from QB Thomas Peregrin to Tight End JP Todd with 16 seconds left in the game.
The winning score was set up two plays earlier, when, with exactly one minute left and the young Miners facing third and 15 from their own 45, Miner running back Daniel Flocchini found Andrew Bonaki on a halfback option play.
A wide open Bonaki caught the ball just shy of the Wolverine 20-yard line and raced all the way down to the 6 before being brought down by a Wolverine defender.
Two plays later, Peregrin found Todd a step in front of Michael Hackley for the winning touchdown.
The offensive fireworks in the final minute were in stark contrast to the rest of the game, in which the defense of both teams was dominant.
The Wolverine varsity and junior teams were scheduled to play their next game Friday at Spring Creek; however, many sporting events scheduled for this weekend are being postponed due to the terrorist attacks on the East Coast.
Please call Tahoe-Truckee High School at 582-7630 to confirm if the game is being played.
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The Truckee football team dropped their Class 3A Northern West League opener at Surprise Stadium this afternoon, falling 28-21 to North Valleys.