Truckee football | Wolverines hammer mistake-prone Dust Devils
DAYTON, Nev. and#8212; In a game marked by turnovers and special teams miscues, Truckee steamrolled Dayton, 51-14, Friday night.
The win pushed Truckee’s winning streak to 38 games, which is now fourth-best in the nation among 11-man high school programs.
Dayton fumbled the ball away four times in the first half as Truckee built a 30-6 halftime lead before cruising in the second half.
and#8220;You can’t give bad or mediocre teams that many opportunities,and#8221; said Dayton Coach Rob Turner. and#8220;We gave them field position all night. When you give a team like Truckee those kinds of opportunities, you pay for it.and#8221;
The Dust Devils team was on its heels from the opening kickoff. Louden Smith’s pooch kick caught Dayton by surprise, as the Wolverines recovered at Dayton’s 21-yard line.
After Dayton’s defense held and#8212; forcing a fumble on fourth-and-9 and#8212; the offense couldn’t move the ball, turning it over on downs after a fake punt from its own 31.
The Dust Devil and#8220;Dand#8221; looked like it would hold again, but Truckee quarterback Erik Holmer broke the logjam. Holmer converted a first down on fourth-and-6 from the Dayton 26. Four plays later, senior running back Graham Christian scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night on a 7-yard run.
Smith and the Wolverines used the pooch kick again on the kickoff, this time recovering the ball on the Dayton 16-yard line, and Smith converted a 27-yard field goal to give Truckee a 10-0 lead.
Electricity hit the crowd in the second quarter when Dayton’s Payton Morena picked off a Holmer pass near midfield and broke free for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, but Dayton looked to be in the ball game, down four (10-6) with 10:18 left in the second quarter.
But that was the last time they pressured the Wolverines, who went on to score four unanswered touchdowns. Dayton broke up the scoring barrage when Morena returned a kickoff 90 yards for a TD early in the third quarter.
The Wolverines responded with two more touchdowns, both by Christian, who scored on a 58-yard pass delivered by Smith and a 17-yard run. Christian also scored on a 35-yard run in the second quarter and led Truckee’s offense with 94 yards receiving and 93 yards rushing. And that was just on offense, as the senior linebacker finished with a team-high 12 tackles on defense.
Truckee forced Dayton into six turnovers in the game. Javier Virrey and Ian Wilson each intercepted a pass, while Tyler Curtis, Tyler Slusher, Cody Poulsen and Wilson all recovered fumbles. Poulsen, a 240-pound lineman, recovered his fumble in the end zone for a touchdown late in the second quarter, giving the Wolverines their 30-6 halftime lead.
Zak Pettit also caused havoc on defense, as he finished with nine tackles and a sack, while Julian Aguirre and Virrey each tallied seven tackles and Curtis had five tackles and a sack. Holmer, who is still not 100 percent as he recovers from a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand, recorded six tackles. Lance Bokinskie added five tackles.
Smith, who replaced Holmer at quarterback in the third quarter, was sharp for the second game in as many weeks. The junior finished with 111 yards on 7-of-8 passing, including the 58-yard touchdown strike to Christian and a 19-yard touchdown pass to Sean Daniels to open the second half.
and#8212; Sierra Sun sports editor Sylas Wright contributed to this story.
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