Truckee football crashes Elko homecoming party
The Truckee football team rolled into Elko on Friday, Sept. 29, and topped the Indians during the school’s homecoming in a 26-7 win.
The victory gives the Wolverines (5-1, 4-1 Northern League) three straight wins, while Elko (2-3, 2-3 Northern League) has now dropped their last three contests.
The game began slowly, as the Wolverines adjusted to Elko’s 3-5-3 defense during a scoreless opening quarter.
“What they did versus our practice week didn’t match,” said Truckee Head Coach Josh Ivens. “Our guys were struggling a little bit in the first half with blocking what they were doing. The play calling became simplified, and we just pounded the football in the second half.”
Senior Jamie Parisi got Truckee on the board in the second quarter, hauling in a pass from junior quarterback Marcus Bellon to give the Wolverines an early advantage. Truckee failed to convert the extra point, leaving the score 6-0.
Elko senior Gavin Byington then returned the ensuing kickoff into Truckee territory, and then two plays later gashed the Wolverines on a 25-yard run down to the 1-yard line. Byington then punched in the touchdown on second and goal. The extra point gave Elko a 7-6 lead.
After getting a stop defensively, the Elko offense took the field looking for more points before halftime, but sophomore Tyler Estabrook intercepted a deep third-and-long pass to give the Wolverines the ball back.
Truckee then drove the length of the field on the following drive, which Bellon capped with a short touchdown pass to senior Michael Doughty. Junior kicker Emmanuel Valenzuela-Jones converted the extra point to give Truckee a 13-6 lead going into halftime.
Truckee opened the second half with a big return by Parisi to give the offense field position near the 50-yard line.
Junior Marcus Trotter then took over with a pair of rushes to get the ball inside the 20.
The Elko defense would hold on three straight plays with Truckee inside the 10, but on a fourth and goal, Trotter bulldozed his way in for the score. Truckee took a 20-7 lead after Valenzuela-Jones’ extra point.
On Truckee’s next possession, Parisi again made the Indians pay, this time taking a handoff up the middle, shaking the defense, and outracing the secondary for a 69-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, leaving the score 26-7.
The Truckee defense would go on to finish the job, holding Elko scoreless over the final quarter to secure the win.
The Wolverines caused four turnovers on the night. Senior Cole Eichele, junior Sean Kelly, and Estabrook all came down with interceptions; while Trotter recovered a fumble caused by Doughty.
Junior Jake Bullion picked up Truckee’s only sack on the night, and finished tied with Parisi for a team high, 9 tackles.
“The defense played really well,” Ivens said. “We had 17 penalties for 146 yards, and still held them to seven points. We overcame a lot out there.”
Offensively, most of Truckee’s damage was done on the ground with the Wolverines handing the ball off 42 times for 272 yards. Parisi led the team with 92 yards, while Trotter took the bulk of the carries to finish with 82 yards on 16 rushes.
The Wolverines will next travel to Sparks (2-4, 2-3 Northern League) for a game against the Railroaders. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6.
“We’re not completely healthy,” said Ivens on this week’s matchup. “So it’s getting the next guy up and involved. We’re still a young team, and we need to get better at what we do.”