Truckee beats rival, Schlesinger breaks all-time passing yards record
North Tahoe came onto the Truckee High field looking for a little more blood than the Wolverines were expecting.
But it resulted in a sloppy first half. After going down 21-7 early in the third quarter, Truckee came back with 36 unanswered points to finish off the Lakers 43-27. Meanwhile, quarterback Kevin Schlesinger broke a 20-year old record for most passing yards in a season. His three-year total passing yards stands at 4,485, breaking the old record of 4,476 set by Nicke Butera of Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas from 1980 to 1982.
Now coach Bob Shaffer’s team is getting ready for Lowry for the first round of the Northern 3A playoffs. Truckee has the second seed next to Bishop Manogue and Lowry is third. Truckee beat Lowry Oct. 4, 30-20. The playoffs offer more opportunity for Schlesinger to add to that total.
The winner of that game will go onto play either Virgin Valley or the winner of a wildcard match-up between Boulder City/Moapa Valley from Southern 3A play Nov. 16.
North Tahoe tried to keep the pressure on Schlesinger early in the game. Truckee’s first drive was three and out. The next drive, Schlesinger dropped back to pass, only to get hit as he was releasing the ball for an incompletion. The next play he was sacked. Then on third and 13, he was hit again, this time for a fumble.
The Lakers used the opportunity to get on the board first with seven points with 3:37 left in the first quarter.
But Truckee was able to put together a drive off of the next kickoff and punched in a pass off of a “hook and lateral” 11 yards out to tie it up 7-7.
But consistency wasn’t found in the first half. Two drives later, following a 75-yard punt by Schlesinger, running back Mike Hackley fumbled deep in North Tahoe territory. With 2:45 left in the half, North Tahoe’s Kevin Freeman made a 25-yard touchdown pass. They failed on a fake extra point attempt, making the score 13-7.
An ugly first half really meant pretty defensive play. Truckee had three sacks plus a fumble while North Tahoe had two sacks, plus an interception and a fumble.
The third quarter started to look as ugly with a North Tahoe touchdown drive in a minute and 26 seconds, the tides changed for good.
“I think once we had seen what they had to throw at us there in that first quarter and a half, our kids then knew what to expect and did a pretty good job of shutting it down from there,” coach Bob Shaffer said.
Jamie Maehler led an 80-yard drive, making 34-yard and 37-yard catches, the second for a touchdown, 57 seconds after North Tahoe’s score, 21-14.
The Lakers went three and out on their next drive, but the punter shanked his kick and defensive back JR Murphy was there, scooping the ball up and running 34 yards to the Laker 6-yard line. The next play, Jason Ames took the ball around the corner for a sweep, tying the game at 21 just two minutes later.
Then reaching into Shaffer’s bag of tricks, five minutes later, a fake punt resulted in a 39-yard toss to receiver RJ Ballou, making it first and goal at the 10. Ames then found the endzone again on the next play for six plus two for a quarterback sneak, taking the lead, 29-21.
After a 49-yard kickoff return by North Tahoe’s Manuel Soto, Freeman fumbled after being nailed by Wolverine tackle Bruce Knez as he dropped back to pass – Ames scooped it up and rumbled 86 yards for his third touchdown of the game at the end of the third quarter. Aldo Serna, normally at the linebacker spot, punched in a two-point conversion for a 37-21 score.
After an on-side kick, Schlesinger ran in a three-yard QB dive with a mixed extra point for a 43-21 score.
But North Tahoe had one last gasp. With just five seconds left in the game, The Lakers found a 49-yard touchdown pass. But the clock ran out so there would be no extra point and the game was over at 43-27.
“Our moms could have played better in the first half,” Schlesinger said. “We were pissed in the locker room, so we just came out and knew that we were way better than them, we just wanted to take it to them.”
Sophomore Tom Hill got a little extra playing time at running back and linebacker in place of an injured Nick Smith.
“We just came out real flat in the first half,” Hill said. “The second half we were pretty pissed off, so we just came out.”
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.