Truckee football | Wolverines cough up late lead at Lowry
The Humboldt Sun
WINNEMUCCA, Nev. — The biggest dilemma facing the Lowry and Truckee football teams Friday night was that one of them would be 0-2 in league play and face an uphill battle toward the playoffs in November.
After 36 minutes of play, it looked like the Buckaroos were the ones that would remain winless in the Division I-A North. However, Lowry, which has played in the last four state semifinals, dominated the final 12 minutes in front of its home crowd, pulling out a 20-13 victory over Truckee.
“Like I told the kids we had our chances in the first half and in the third quarter to put the game away and didn’t,” said Lowry coach Tim Billingsley. “We had a couple of plays where we dropped the ball and had an interception in the end zone. We wanted to go to Garrett (Naveran) because we had a good match-up with him. They started to double him and that’s where they got the interception. At the end we could see Truckee was tired and we just ran it right at them.”
With the game tied at 13 and 6:24 to play, Lowry grinded out an 84-yard drive that took 5 minutes, 13 seconds. The Buckaroos used the legs of running backs Beau Billingsley, Donovan Brumm and Thomas Schwartz. Lowry (1-1 league, 2-1 overall) did not throw once on the drive.
Lowry took the lead for good with 1:08 to play when Billingsley scored from a yard out to close out the drive.
“We got a good group of running backs,” Billingsley said. “The offensive line did their job and we just wore Truckee down. We just wanted to make sure we had enough time left to score.”
Truckee led 13-7 at halftime and either team could get much momentum going in the third quarter. Truckee drove down the field to start the second half but a fumble stalled the drive and the Wolverines eventually punted.
The Buckaroos punted on their first drive and looked poised to go in front midway through the quarter. Lowry quarterback Christian Gray used two passes to Naveran and a run to go inside the Wolverines’ 20-yard line. Despite being aided by a pass interference penalty, the drive stalled out at the 6-yard line.
Truckee was in a giving mood and gave the ball right back to Lowry on a fumble and the Buckaroos looked to strike quickly. However, on the next play, the Wolverines picked off a pass in the end zone that was intended for Naveran.
The Wolverines, who could not get any offense going in the second half, were forced to punt after the interception, leading to the tying score. On the second play of the fourth quarter, Billingsley scored the second of his three touchdowns on a 56-yard scamper to tie the game after the missed extra point.
“That one was right up the middle too,” coach Billingsley said. “Truckee had the edges sealed up and we went right at them. Beau got some good blocks from the guys on the line and he found a hole.”
Truckee broke on to the scoreboard first with a 42-yard field goal by Jose Araiza with 4:39 left in the first quarter. A long kickoff return by Omar Guerrero set up Lowry at midfield on its second possession and the Buckaroos took advantage. A 20-yard run by Brumm set up Lowry inside the 5-yard line and Billingsley scored two plays later from a yard out to put the Buckaroos up 7-3 with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
After both squads traded punts, Truckee cut the deficit to 7-6 with 6:40 left in the first half on a 40-yard field goal by Araiza. Less than three minutes later, the Wolverines went in front for the second time at 13-7 on a 6-yard run by Tanner Sawyer.
That set up a crazy end to the first half as Lowry began a drive from the 16-yard line after a kickoff return by Guerrero was called back on a penalty. During the drive, Truckee was called for a pass interference and personal foul, setting up the Buckaroos inside the Wolverines 20-yard line.
The drive eventually stalled and Lowry attempted a field goal with just seconds left in the first half. The kick by Andy Mendoza was blocked and Truckee scooped the ball up and was on its way to score a touchdown when Lowry’s Caleb Ahnefeld chased down the Truckee player before the end zone as time ran out.