Pop Warner: Truckee Junior Midgets too strong for Miners | SierraSun.com

Pop Warner: Truckee Junior Midgets too strong for Miners

Special to the Sun
Truckee running back Nate Bromley (33) accelerates around the right side of the Reno Miners defense last Saturday. Bromley helped his team to a 40-6 victory by rushing for 70 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Courtesy Kim Bromley |

Up next

Truckee’s Junior Midgets will host the Carson Senators this Saturday at Riverview Sports Park. The game kicks off at 2 p.m.

Nobody is glad or relieved to see injuries in youth sports. However, last Saturday at Bishop Manogue, Truckee’s Garrett Kirk was.

Kirk, a defensive end for Truckee Pop Warner’s Junior Midget team, is not a misguided youth. He was relieved because the player down on the field gave him another moment or two to catch his breath after picking up a fumble and running it back for a 97-yard touchdown in the first quarter of Truckee’s 40-6 win over the Reno Miners.

The injured Miner walked off the field moments after Kirk’s touchdown and returned to the game a few plays later.

Kirk’s score was a breath of fresh air for the Wolverines, who had just lost a fumble on their own 3-yard line four plays earlier.

The Miners seemed poised to make Truckee pay for that fumble and pounded away with three runs against the core of Truckee’s defense to set up fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

With very little real estate behind Truckee’s defensive tackle Jackson Ellermeyer, he knew he could not yield an inch to any Miner.

Ellermeyer lowered his shoulder into the oncoming Miner ball carrier with a force that jarred the ball loose and allowed his teammate, Kirk, to pick up the unclaimed ball and score with just four seconds on the clock in the first quarter.

Just like Kirk never looked back as soon as he cradled the ball into his chest, the Wolverines never looked back in the lopsided match and scored five more touchdowns.

The Wolverines’ next score came on the first play of their second series of downs in the second quarter.

Truckee running back Patrick Hogan swept right from 13 yards out to put Truckee up 14-0 with 4:47 left in the first half.

Less than two minutes ran off the clock before Truckee was in the end zone again before the first half drew to a close.

Truckee quarterback Sam Smith made the best of his only completion of the game and hit tight end JJ Snyder in stride across the middle of the field for a 62-yard touchdown. Truckee kicker Deacon Mehler split the uprights on the point-after-touchdown and lifted the Wolverines to a 22-0 lead at halftime.

Truckee wasted no time once the second half started and scored on its first play of the second half with a 52-yard jaunt courtesy of the legs of running back Nate Bromley. The team’s leading rusher mimicked Hogan’s earlier touchdown sweep to the right but added a few extra yards. The extra yards helped Bromley lead the team in rushing for the third consecutive game.

After Bromley’s touchdown Truckee closed out the scoring in the third quarter with the Wolverines’ second defensive touchdown of the game.

Linebacker Connor McMullen trapped a tipped ball between his left arm and shoulder pad for an interception. He then tucked the ball in and found the end zone from 26 yards out for a pick six and a 34-0 lead.

Truckee’s final score of the game capped an eight-play drive that consumed nearly the entire fourth quarter courtesy of a running clock due to a Pop Warner rule that keeps the clock ticking once one team possesses a 28-point lead.

Running back Drake Riina countered left and scored from 2 yards out on the final play of the game.

The Miners’ lone touchdown came at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Miners scored on their only offensive play of the last quarter when a wide receiver out-leaped Truckee cornerback Cooper Kohnen on a streak down the right sideline that finished in the end zone 54 yards downfield.

The lopsided victory lifted the Wolverines to 2-1 on the season.

Truckee was led in tackles by McMullen and linebacker Dillon Kane with 15 tackles each. Fellow linebacker Hogan and defensive end Snyder followed with 10 takedowns each. Defensive tackle Cali Vail contributed five tackles, with two being behind the line of scrimmage. Defensive end Bromley, defensive tackle Hunter Kacarka and cornerback Owen Slusher dropped four Miners each. Slusher also led the team with four passes defended.

Defensive tackles Matt Villaba and Conrad Waters chipped in three tackles each. Kirk matched that total and also hurried the quarterback once.

Defensive tackle Tavin Hamilton and Ellermeyer both got in on two tackles each. Mehler made two touchdown-saving tackles on special teams plays. Offensive tackle Micah Ivens made two stops on Truckee fumbles recovered by the Miners.

Six other Wolverines had a tackle in the game, including center Jonathan Magana, safety Ethan Hatcher, offensive guard Gavin Kelly, defensive tackle Finn Loper, and cornerbacks Riina and Skaff.

Offensively, the Wolverines were led in passing by Smith, who had one completion in two attempts with a touchdown and no interceptions. He threw for 62 yards.

Bromley led Truckee’s running backs with 70 yards rushing on six attempts. He was followed by Riina with 41 yards on eight carries. Kane carried the ball just twice for 20 yards. Hogan finished the game with 14 yards on two carries.

Snyder led the Wolverines with 62 yards receiving with his single touchdown catch in the second quarter.

— This article was submitted to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at swright@sierrasun.com.