Northern 3A football: Truckee flattens Fernley
Sun News Service
FERNLEY – Fernley coach Dave Hart knew all about Truckee’s high-profile offense led by quarterback Paul Tierney and wide receiver Jamie Maehler.
What surprised him was the way the unbeaten Wolverines played defense. Truckee held Fernley to 119 yards, and the offense chalked up 497 yards (197 passing, 300 running) and scored on eight of its first nine possessions en route to an easy 47-0 3A victory Friday night.
“That’s a good football team,” Hart said. “Defensively, they are much better than I thought. I’d seen them live once and twice on tape. We’ve been a pretty good running team this year, and we couldn’t run the ball (33 carries, 62 yards).
“In the North (they are the best team). Moapa Valley is pretty good. I don’t think anybody can pass like them (Truckee), at least in 3A.”
In fact, the Vaqueros were so focused on stopping Tierney’s passing (12 for 18, 197 yards, 4 TDs), the Wolverines ran through the Fernley defense with ease.
Nick Cabral gained 91 yards on eight attempts, and Maehler scored on a 54-yard run. Ben Tonon added 48 yards on six carries.
“It seemed like they were trying to stop our passing game,” Truckee coach Bob Shaffer said. “We made a couple of adjustments and started attacking different areas. It opened up our running game. The kids made some big runs.”
So dominant was the Truckee defense, the Vaqueros didn’t get a first down until their fifth possession which was early in the second quarter. By that time the damage was done, as Truckee reeled off 24 points in a span of 9 minutes 48 seconds.
Field position was huge key, as two of Truckee’s first four scoring drives started inside Fernley territory because of either poor punts or poor punt coverage by the Vaqueros.
The Wolverines, following a 29-yard punt, drove 54 yards on four plays and two penalties to take a quick lead. Tonon capped the drive with a 15-yard run. Benji Islas’ PAT made it 7-0 with 9:38 left. Tierney’s 25-yard pass on third-and-5 to Gordon Neelands keyed the drive.
Truckee scored again a little over two minutes later, as Tierney tossed a 13-yard scoring pass to Maehler, capping a three-play 47-yard scoring drive following a 24-yard punt. Tierney completed a 21-yard pass to tight end Alfredo Uropeza on first down, and then took a high snap and bolted for 14 yards and another first down. Islas’ second PAT made it 14-0 with 7:32 left.
Truckee made it 3-for-3 on its next drive, as Islas boomed a 55-yard field goal to make it 17-0 with 4:18 still left in the opening quarter, capping a seven-play 44-yard drive. Cabral’s 40-yard run was the key play.
The Wolverines, who host Dayton next Saturday, only had to drive 20 yards for their next score following a 29-yard punt and an 11-yard return.
On fourth-and-4 from the Fernley 14, Tonon bulled his way down to the 10 and a first down. Two plays later, Tierney delivered a 6-yard scoring pass to Kevin Embertson. Another PAT by Islas made it 24-0 with 11:51 left in the half.
The closest Fernley got to scoring was in the second half when it drove the ball to the Truckee 16, but turned it over on downs.
The Truckee High junior varsity football team beat Fernley 77 – 14 on Oct. 8.
Though Truckee had a strong game, the Wolverines had eight penalties and breakdowns on special teams, said Truckee coach Steve Ames.
“We need to correct some of these mistakes if we expect to finish strong for the season,” Ames said.
Despite the challenges, the Wolverines had a strong showing against the Vaqueros.
Drew Stewart rushed for 142 yards and had five touchdowns, one of them was a 55 yard punt return, on 17 carries. Kevin Sahlberg had 206 yards on 14 carries, and three touchdowns.
Sam Silver had three carries for 56 yards. Sean Wilson had two carries for 70 yards and one touchdown. Paris Tenorio had 38 yards on 4 carries with one touchdown.
Pablo Esquivel had a total of 58 yards and one touchdown. For a total of 572 rushing yards. BJ Carter threw twice, completing one to Brian Cordell for 15 yards.
Truckee got its first safety of the year coming from Evan Hyland and Cole Hodges, with help from Kyler Coxson. Sean Wilson had an interception in the game.
Evan Hyland played another spectacular game at defensive end, getting numerous sacks and tackles, causing another fumble with Brian Cordell recovering.
“I was really happy with the offensive rushing, offensive lineman Sean Estabrook, Cory Hoehn, Tim Curtis, Evan Hyland, Israel Serna, Sean Collins did a great job,” Ames said. “It was great to see the second team come and in not have a let down.”
“I was really happy to see Paris Tenorio rush as well as he did,” he added. “He could start anywhere in the league. I think we’ll start seeing him more.”
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The Truckee girls’ cross-country team raced to a runner-up finish at today’s Class 3A Northern League championships.