Truckee football | Fallon to provide most formidable test to date
Lahontan Valley News
It’s been awhile since the Truckee Wolverines have lost a football game.
In fact, the last time was November 2008 when the Wolverines fell, 35-16, to Moapa Valley in the state championship game. And with the departure of a star-studded senior class last year, including 3A Player of the Year Ben Bolton, some figured Truckee might be vulnerable.
The Wolverines haven’t had a game closer than 19 points all season and have resumed to pounding opponents into submission. But on deck may be the Wolverines’ most formidable challenge to date this season, a Northern 3A matchup with Fallon at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in Truckee.
and#8220;We put in a good week of preparation and hope that carries into the weekend,and#8221; Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. and#8220;We feel good about three in a row, but the kids know the task at hand.and#8221;
While the Wolverines are coming off a 35-7 rout over Wooster, Fallon is riding high on its first three-game win streak since 1989. The Greenwave dropped Fernley, 17-12, last week and hope to pull off the season’s biggest upset.
Riding the legs of Shawntrell Hubbard, Fallon’s offense has recovered from a fumbling start to open the season. Nine turnovers in the first three games led to a 1-2 record. Coupled with the emergence of quarterback Morgan Dirickson, Fallon’s offense has found its groove.
Hubbard, who is third in the 3A with 1,094 yards on 115 carries (9.51 average) and has 10 touchdowns, provides a blistering spark for Fallon. Hubbard, paired with Frank de Braga, give the Wave a solid one-two punch at running back.
But Fallon has focused on the passing game in recent weeks with its sophomore quarterback. Dirickson had his best game last week, completing 7 of 12 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Joining Dirickson for the offense are wideouts Dylan Tedford (four receptions for 76 yards last week), Alonzo Williams (seven catches, 105 yards and 2 TDs on the year) and Dalton Johnson (nine for 88).
and#8220;We have to sustain some drives,and#8221; Hill added. and#8220;They are a very good defensive ball club. We got to make some plays. Obviously, we have Shawntrell and Frank, but Dylan stepped up last week and Scott Hutchings had a couple picks against Sparks.and#8221;
Conversly, Truckee’s offense is led by the 3A’s top signal caller, Patrick Shaffer. Shaffer has completed 64 of 107 passes for a league-high 1,211 yards and 12 TDs.
As usual, the Wolverines’ ground attack is running back by committee. Jake Pettit leads the team with 473 yards and seven TDs, while Roberts is second with 404 yards. Truckee’s other options are Graham Christian (168 yards) and Tyler Curtis (159 yards), among others.
and#8220;They run a Wing-T, but not like Elko,and#8221; Hill said. and#8220;They can spread you out. We have to adjust and prepare for two different offenses. We feel like we have good athletes who can match up fairly well.and#8221;
Defensively, though, the Wolverines are a physical group who swarm to the ball. Truckee allows 8.6 points per game and has held every opponent this season to under 20 points.
Truckee’s defense has been stout all year, although the Wolverines lost star linebacker Cole Roberts two weeks ago to an injury. Roberts is questionable to play against Fallon after missing last week’s game at Wooster, according to reports.
For Fallon, though, last year’s game will serve as a reminder of what it takes to compete and, ultimately, defeat the Wolverines. The Wave were the first team to score on Truckee and#8212; and it was the seventh game of the season.
Fallon led 14-7 in the second quarter, but the Wolverines put up 57 unanswered points to cruise to a 64-14 blowout win. Emotions ran high for the Wave during the first half and the result was a deflated team coming out in the third quarter. Although it was unlikely Fallon would have won the game, the emotional roller coaster showed what it takes to play four quarters against Truckee.
and#8220;Last year was last year,and#8221; Hill said. and#8220;We gained some confidence, but they still put it to us. We have a lot of respect for them, and they are the best program in the 3A. We know we have to play a clean ballgame.and#8221;
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