Pirates bury TTHS’ hopes for state
The Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines’ football team, despite being the defending state champion, was the underdog for a majority of this season. Held together by bubble gum and chicken wire, the Wolverines still exceeded expectations by advancing, with ease, to the second round of the state playoffs.
The Cinderella season ended there, though.
The Wolverines traveled to Overton, Calif. and lost to the Moapa Valley Pirates 40-29 in the NIAA/U.S. Bank Nevada State Football semifinals.
Truckee was eliminated from competition while Moapa Valley advances to the state final game where it will play the Bishop-Manogue Miners. The Miners defeated the North Tahoe Lakers 28-2 and are hoping to finish the season with a 12-0 record. Moapa’s record is 10-1 with its only loss coming against Manogue.
“They passed the ball better than we thought they would,” Truckee Head Coach Bob Schaffer said. “Their quarterback really made things happen.”
Courtney May was the Wolverines’ main foe in Saturday’s contest. May threw three touchdown passes and ran for two, single-handedly unstitching Truckee’s defense. May was 12-18 passing for 255 yards and rushed six times for 80 yards.
Moapa finished the game with 372 total yards.
The Wolverines had a season-high 421 yards of total offense. Casey Nelson, Truckee’s leading rusher this season with 947-yards and 21 touchdowns, led the offensive attack. Nelson had 163 yards on 18 carries and scored Truckee’s first two touchdowns
The first was a 59-yard run to tie the game and the second was a 3-yard scamper to give the Wolverines their first lead.
May answered Nelson’s score on the next drive, connecting for an 85-yard touchdown pass to Michael Attig. Attig had four receptions for 117 yards and two TDs.
Truckee’s next score was a 12-yard run by Zach Wilson. Wilson had 75-yards rushing on 14 attempts.
Moapa scored again and, heading into halftime, the Wolverines led 21-20 due to a missed extra point.
The Pirates took the lead on their first drive of the second half.
David DeCoite , Truckee’s second leading passer behind Mike Holmes, connected with Jesse Owen for a 21-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter. The Wolverines led 29-26 at the start of the fourth quarter.
May controlled the fourth quarter, throwing a touchdown pass to Shawn Sandobal (his second reception of the day) and then, on the next drive, breaking free for a 52-yard TD run to seal the win.
Truckee was penalized 11 times for 115 yards while Moapa was penalized twice for 20 yards. Until the closing two minutes, the Pirates had only one penalty for five yards.
The loss was the last game for seniors Owen (team captain), DeCoite (captain), Mark Thiel, Tudi Corral, Wilson (captain), Jose Hurtado, Brad Noel (captain), Derrick Koch, Neil Flanders and Mike Ochoa.
“We’re not losing a lot of seniors,” Schaffer said, “but we’re losing quality. As for the others, I’m hoping this loss will motivate them to work harder in the off-season.”
“The team went through a growing period in the first four games,” Schaffer said. “A lot of the players were being tried at new positions and there were lots of key injuries. Starting at 1-3, it would’ve been easy for the kids to jump ship, but they didn’t. We went 5-0 in league and made it look easy in the first round of the playoffs. Not a whole lot of people thought we could do that. The kids were remarkable with the comeback. Then we ran into a real good Moapa team on their field.”
The configuration of the league will be different next year when the Wolverines return. The three divisions in the league will be reduced to two; a Southern Nevada Division and a Northern Nevada Division. Truckee will be in the Northern Division along with eight other teams that include Bishop-Manogue and Lowry (a school that drops next season from 4A to 3A.) The Southern league comprises four teams.
“Only three teams go to the playoffs from the Northern division for the next couple of years,” Schaffer said, “so there’s no guarantee that we’re even going to make it to the playoffs.”
Tahoe-Truckee 7 14 8 0 – 29
Moapa Valley 7 13 6 14 – 40
MV – May 19 pass to Sandobal (kick good)
TT – Nelson 59 run (Cook kick)
TT – Nelson 3 run (Cook kick)
MV – May 85 pass to Attig (kick good)
TT – Wilson 12 run (Cook Kick)
MV – May 10 run (kick failed)
MV – May 7 pass to Attig (2PAT failed)
TT – DeCoite 21 pass to Owen (DeCoite pass to Larson good)
MV – May 10 pass to Sandobal (kick good)
MV – May 52 run (kick good)
14 First downs 15
29-290 Rushes-yards 31-117
10-17-0 Comp.-att.-int. 12-18-0
131 Passing yards 255
421 Total yards 372
0-0 Fumbles-lost 0-0
11-115 Penalties-yards 2-20
RUSHING – TT: Nelson 18-163 (2TD), Wilson 14-75 (TD), Larson 3-43, DeCoite 4-9, Detwiler 2-13 ; MV: May 6-81, Adam 12-20, Adams 15-16.
PASSING – TT: DeCoite 9-16-0 107 (TD), Thiel 1-1-0 24; MV: May 12-18-0 255 (3TD.)
RECEIVING – TT: Thiel 1-12, Larson 4-51 (2PAT), Owen 1-21 (TD), Wilson 3-42, Nelson 1-5; MV: Jones 2-34, Sandobal 3-35 (2TD), Adams 2-44, Attig 4-117 (2TD), Mora 1-25.
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