Truckee hosts Spring Creek in key game as season winds down
Northern League standings
Churchill County 6-0
Spring Creek 3-3
South Tahoe 2-5
North Valleys 0-6
The Truckee football team will have a key matchup in terms of league standings this Saturday at home against Spring Creek.
The Wolverines are coming off a 21-7 win at Sparks last Friday, and could potentially move up in the Northern League standings with a win against the Spartans.
“It’s that time of the year where intensity picks up,” said Coach Josh Ivens on Truckee’s week of practice. “I feel like our team is still young, but we are learning how to practice — how to pick it up.”
Last Friday at Sparks, Truckee jumped out to a quick 7-0 advantage behind a 17-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jackson Kahl to junior Jackson Ellermeyer. Kahl finished his evening 3 of 9 through the air for 28 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Ellermeyer had a pair of receptions for 22 yards, and also ran for 42 yards on two carries.
The Wolverines scored again in the opening quarter on a rushing touchdown by senior Tyler Estabrook, who finished his evening with 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Sparks’ lone touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a short rushing touchdown.
Offensively, the Wolverines were led by senior running back Deacon Mehler, who finished his night with 85 rushing yards on 12 carries. Mehler also caught a pass for six yards.
Defensively, junior Dillon Kane led the team with 14 tackles. Kane was also credited with 1.5 sacks. Senior George Skaff had 12 tackles. Junior Finn Loper also posted 12 tackles, including four sacks. Loper caused a fumble in the game as well.
As a team, the Wolverines sacked the quarterback eight times. Senior Dayton Broad had two sacks, and senior Mason Cutler had half a sack as part of three tackles for a loss.
Senior Ethan Hatcher intercepted a pass, and junior Micah Ivens recovered a fumble.
While the Wolverines came away with the win, the team still committed too many turnovers said Ivens. Truckee turned the ball over twice on fumbles and once on an interception.
“It’s been all year,” said Ivens on the turnovers. “Most games, especially in tight games, the team that wins has won the turnover battle. It hasn’t been the case this year. We’ve lost the turnover battle, I think, in every single game. Some of it’s taking chances as a play caller, but a lot of it’s been poor decisions and a lack of ball security. Those are things we focus on each week.”
Truckee (4-3, 4-2 Northern League) will now host Spring Creek (3-4, 3-3 Northern League) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Surprise Stadium. The Wolverines have won two straight against the Spartans, including a 33-0 drubbing last season.
“Their main deal is running power. We’ll probably see power over 30 times,” said Ivens.
“They’re a good team and we’re taking them very seriously. We have to come and play our best game this week if we are going to win.”
Saturday’s contest will play a key role in how seeding shakes out ahead of next month’s Class 3A Northern League playoffs. A win could propel Truckee into a three-way tie for second place with Lowry (6-2, 5-1 Northern League) and Fernley (6-2, 5-2 Northern League). Truckee beat Lowry earlier in the season, but lost to Fernley, which fell to Lowry.
Lowry still has difficult games against Elko and league leaders Churchill County on its schedule.
Truckee and Lowry likely won’t be able to claim the second seed, which includes a first-round bye, by the end of the regular season. Fernley owns the three-way tiebreaker based on margin of victory in the games played between the three teams. Fernley also plays its final league game today against winless North Valleys.
If Truckee can top Spring Creek on Saturday the Wolverines will lock up a home game in the opening round of the postseason.
The Wolverines close out the regular season on Oct. 26 at home against rivals South Tahoe (3-5, 2-5 Northern League).
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com or at 530-550-2643.