Truckee defense shines in Homecoming victory
Brad Noel had an enviable day Saturday.
Along with being crowned homecoming king, he and the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines’ defense stuffed the Rite of Passage Rams, leading Truckee to its first shutout of the season.
The 28-0 win, along with the Spring Creek Spartans’ 43-36 loss to Battle Mountain on Friday, gave the Wolverines a solo spot at the top of the Division I 3A League. The Wolverines (4-3, 3-0) are undefeated in division play this season, winning their last three games.
The defense was superb. In fact, the defense won the game.
The Truckee defense held the Rams to minus 17 yards on 20 rushing attempts. It forced and recovered four fumbles – one of which was returned for a touchdown – and managed two interceptions. The line and backers accumulated four quarterback sacks. Rite of Passage had 90 passing yards on 25 attempts and finished the game with 73 yards of total offense. Only twice did the Rams cross midfield, and both times resulted in turnovers. Greg Waters, Channel 8’s player of the week two weeks ago when he rushed for 211 yards against the Spring Creek Spartans, was held to 18 yards on 13 attempts.
“We were a little afraid of their speed on the outside,” said Truckee Assistant Coach Gary Collins, “so our alignment was to stop the pass. We kept that alignment the whole game, so we had six players against nine on the run. Six against nine, and we stopped the run.”
Tudi Corral was the Wolverines’ leading tackler with nine. Corral also picked up a fumble in the third quarter and carried it 13 yards for a touchdown.
Kevin Suter, who according to Head Coach Bob Schaffer played “by far his best game of the season,” had eight tackles.
David Larson, described by Collins as being the surest tackling defensive back on the team, had seven tackles on the day.
King Noel had one and a half quarterback sacks – the second shared with Robert Acevedo – and a forced fumble. Noel, however, was bettered by Brendan McVey, a 170-pound junior, who tallied two sacks in the fourth quarter.
Matt Snatchko had an interception in the first quarter with Jose Hurtado, an inside linebacker, pulling one down in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, special teams did its part. Mark Thiel, just back from injury, booted a 61-yard punt following the Wolverines’ first possession. Nelson covered the punt beautifully, sprinting all the way down the field and making a solo open field tackle right as the ball dropped, allowing no return. Suter also was good on special teams.
“The defense and special teams did all right,” said Schaffer, “but the offense didn’t. The [Ram] defense didn’t set up like we expected and, even though we’re seven games into the season, our offense wasn’t veteran enough to make those adjustments.”
Truckee managed only to lose five yards on its opening two drives. After scoring on its third drive – on a 15-yard run by Eric Detwiler – the Wolverines were unable to capitalize on their fourth possession, which started at the Rams’ 25 yardline.
Turning the ball over on downs, the Wolverines were given a second chance when Snatchko’s interception gave them possession again, this time closer to the endzone at the ROP 15-yard line. Casey Nelson pounded in a three-yard touchdown run to extend Truckee’s lead.
The Wolverines’ offense scored again in the fourth quarter when David DeCoite connected with Jesse Owen for a 16 yard touchdown pass.
Truckee knelt on the ball for its remaining possessions.
Penalties continue to be the Wolverine’s achilles heal. The Wolverines were charged with 15 penalties for 140 yards.
Halloween comes a week early as the Black and Orange come charging into Surprise Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 23.
The Wolverines will face the Fernley Vaqueros, a team to which they have never lost in the history of the program.
Fernley is 3-4 on the season, but is 0-3 in league. The Vaqueros lost to North Tahoe last Saturday, 18-14.
The loss was the third in a series of fourth quarter losses. The inexperienced Fernley team, with only six seniors, lost to Spring Creek by giving up 16 fourth quarter points. Against Battle Mountain, the Vaqueros gave up 15 points in the last 27 seconds of the game.
Fernley also had three starters sent to the hospital during its game against North Tahoe. The Vacqueros will be playing the Wolverines without their two starting linebackers, Brad Larkin and Mark McKay. Darrin Hicks, their starting deep tackle will also not be playing
Tahoe-Truckee 7 7 7 7 – 28
Rite of Passage 0 0 0 0 – 0
TT – Detwiler 15 run (Cook kick) 1:08
TT – Nelson 3 run (Cook kick) 7:49
TT – Corral 10 fumble recovery run (Cook Kick) 6:57
TT – DeCoite 16 pass to Owens (Cook kick) 11:54
15 First downs 6
39-233 Rushes-yards 21-(-17)
4-8-0 Comp.-att.-int. 10-24-2
61 Passing yards 90
294 Total yards 73
1-0 Fumbles-lost 5-5
15-140 Penalties-yards 8-55
RUSHING – TT: Nelson 11-60 (TD), Larson 4-46, Corral 2-51, Detwiler 4-20 (TD), Wilson 7-29, DeCoite 10-20, Suter 1-7; ROP: Waters 13-18, Levingston 3-2, Castro 6-(-37).
PASSING – TT: DeCoite 4-7-0 61 (TD); ROP: Castro 10-24-2 90.
RECEIVING – TT: Nelson 1-30, Owen 2-16 (TD), Larson 1-15; ROP: Levingston 5-37, Bradshaw 2-22, Drayton 1-15, Wilson 1-6, Waters 1-9.
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The Truckee girls’ cross-country team raced to a runner-up finish at today’s Class 3A Northern League championships.