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Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines capture first win of season

BAY KELLEY, Sierra Sun

Despite its spark being hindered by a moist fuse, TNT exploded and sent the Las Plumas Thunderbirds into orbit.

Overcoming a slow start, the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines routed the 4A Las Plumas football team Friday, 28-8. The Wolverines dominated all aspects of the game, especially on the line.

On offense, the Truckee squad accumulated 294 yards, 205 of which were rushing. The Wolverines’ starting defense, in turn, held the T-birds to only 44 yards rushing and 35 yards passing, meanwhile accumulating seven quarterback sacks.

The performance was reminiscent of the Wolverines-of-old except that the team continually demonstrated a lack of experience. Truckee threw three interceptions and dropped two fumbles, one of which resulted in a turnover.

“We’re getting better,” Truckee coach Bob Schaffer said, “But we’re not there yet. That first half was ugly as heck, but we’re getting better.”

On their first drive, the Truckee squad moved down the field with a clear goal of scoring. Starting at their own 40-yard line, the Wolverines marched 62 yards. On the Las Plumas 16-yard line, Zach Wilson – who, earlier in the drive, ran 14 yards on a fourth and 12 situation – threw a pass to Las Plumas’ Brett Walberg, who with three interceptions on the evening, was the game’s leading receiver.

Following a Walberg punt, the Wolverines started their next possession at their own 29-yard line. David DeCoite managed a 27-yard scamper that crossed the Wolverines back into T-bird territory and closed out the first quarter.

Mike Holmes, who wasn’t starting because he missed practice on Monday, took the helm and, on the first play of the second quarter, connected with Mark Snatchko for a 29-yard gain. The play led to an Eric Detwiler one-yard TD run.

The Wolverine offense promptly came to a stop. The Truckee team only ran four plays on its next three possessions, giving up a fumble, throwing an interception and giving up two downs on penalties.

“The offense is starting to come along,” said Schaffer, “But it’s got a lot of things to work on.

“Working together,” he continued. “I think that’s the most important.”

The defense compensated, though, limiting Las Plumas to four consecutive four and out situations. When they finally did give up yards and the T-birds moved into Wolverine territory, the defensive front retaliated with three consecutive sacks. Rocky Watson, Jesse Owen and Wilson collapsed the T-bird quarterback, Wesley Howarth.

When he dared to pass again, Howarth was met by Derrick Koch. On third and 21, it was defensive tackle Brad Noel’s turn. Las Plumas finally punted from its own 29-yard line on fourth and 36.

A rejuvenated Wolverine offense came storming out after halftime.

The Truckee team went 62 yards in six plays on its first drive of the second half, capped by a 34-yard touchdown pass from Holmes to DeCoite.

After another strong defensive stand, allowing only one yard on three downs, the Wolverines’ special teams corps had a chance to shine.

Gary Cook, a soccer player converted to American football, charged through the line and blocked the T-birds’ punt. Cook then scooped up the loose ball and carried it 34 yards and into the endzone.

Cook kicked his own extra point.

Truckee’s defense continued to control the game.

Curtis James and Detwiler each had a sack. Snatchko managed to block another punt attempt and the starting defense as a unit allowed only 19 second-half yards before being pulled.

The second- and third-string defense was put in after Casey Nelson capped a 57-yard drive with a one-yard TD run with 7:57 remaining in the game, putting the Truckee squad ahead 28-0.

The game was the first of three consecutive away games against 4A schools for the Wolverines.

Their next game is against Christian Brothers, a team out of Sacramento.

Christian Brothers will be a substantial obstacle for the Wolverines. The team boasts the fastest high school running back in the nation, according to Schaffer. Albert Hollis was timed at 4.28 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Hollis is aided by an enormous offensive line whose players average 273 pounds.

“We should have our hands full,” Schaffer said, adding that the Christian Brother’s team accumulated 285 yards and five TDs in one of its previous games this season.

Game summary

Las Plumas 0 0 0 8 – 8

Tahoe-Truckee 0 6 15 7 – 28

Second quarter

TT – Detwiler 1 run (Decoite kick failed) 10:27

Third quarter

TT – Holmes 34 pass to DeCoite (Holmes 3 pass to Nelson) 9:17

TT – Cook blocked punt and 34 return (Cook kick good) 6:00

Fourth quarter

TT – Nelson 1 run (Cook kick good) 7:57

LP – D. Howarth 3 run (W. Howarth 3 pass Meyers) 1:18

Game Statistics

Las Plumas Tahoe-Truckee

7 First Downs 10

40-119 Rushes-Yards 39-205

4-7-0 Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-9-3

35 Passing yards 93

154 Total yards 294

4-36 Punts-Ave. 1-55

2-0 Fumbles-Lost 2-1

6-40 Penalties-Yards 9-60

Individual Stats

RUSHING – TT:Detwiler 14-79 (TD),Nelson 12-57 (TD), Decoite 3-36, Wilson 5-20, Corral 1-13, Holmes 1-3, Tohlen 3-(-3); LP:Hall 4-49, Woodson 2-25, Hancock 4-20, Joy 8-15, Atteberry 1-1, Rash 1-4, Tisserand 4-5, Pina 3-11, D. Howarth 2-8 (TD),W. Howarth 9-(-12), Lightle 2-(-8).

PASSING – TT:Holmes 3-6-2 93 TD, Wilson 0-3-1 0, Tohlen 0-0-0; LP:W. Howarth 4-7-0 35.

RECEIVING – TT:Decoite 1-34, Owen 1-30, Snatchko 1-29; LP:Osby 1-13, Walberg 1-8, Tisserand 1-7, Hall 1-7.


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