Truckee football: Wolverines pull off comeback win at Sparks
Truckee 28, Sparks 27
Truckee 7 0 7 14 — 28
Sparks 7 13 7 0 — 27
RUSHING — T, 39-187: Harrity 15-114; Retzlaff 10-29; McCarron 4-26; Jepsen 1-17; Acevedo 4-14; Bokinskie 1-2; Bellon 1-0; Davis 3-(-15). S, 44-268: O’Meara 17-105; Van Patten 7-68; Sanchez 9-53; R. Po’oi 9-28; Anguiano 1-13; T. Po’oi 1-1.
PASSING — T: Davis 8-15-102-1-0. S: Sanchez 6-12-105-0-2.
RECEIVING — T: Bullion 2-27; Retzlaff 1-26; McCarron 1-24; Englert 1-12; Jepsen 1-6; Harrity 1-6; Eichele 1-1. S: Van Patten 3-86; Anguiano 2-14; T. Po’oi 1-5.
Other Northern Division I-A scores
Spring Creek 26, Fernley 14
South Tahoe 24, Wooster 8
Lowry 40, Dayton 0
Fallon 23, Elko 3
Northern Division I-A standings
Spring Creek 5-0
South Tahoe 2-3
Truckee football coach Josh Ivens was hardly thrilled with his team’s performance through two-plus quarters Friday night. The final 22 minutes is a different story.
After falling behind 27-7 early in the third quarter, the Wolverines stormed back with 21 unanswered points to pull of a crucial league win, 28-27, at Sparks.
“I’m certainly happy that we got the win, but I feel like this team is more capable than what they’ve showed at times,” Ivens said. “But the one thing I will say about our guys is that they have character. It wasn’t like we changed anything at the half or gave them any great speech.”
Junior fullback Wulfe Retzlaff scored three touchdowns in the second half, including the go-ahead score with about six minutes remaining, while Truckee’s defense stepped up to hold the hosts off the scoreboard after the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Ivens said the Railroaders also had a number of costly penalties in the second half that helped the Wolverines sustain drives.
As it turned out, one of the key plays of the game happened late in the second quarter, when junior lineman Orlander Simms blocked a point-after attempt by Sparks to keep the score at 20-7.
The Wolverines recorded another key play on their winning drive when Retzlaff and junior quarterback Tyler Davis connected for 26 yards on a third-and-19 play.
“We beared down in the second half,” Ivens said. “Once our offense got going, we were able to kind of feed off of that.”
Cole Harrity led the Wolverines’ ground game with 114 yards on 15 carries, while Carson McCarron, who finished with 26 yards rushing on four carries, scored Truckee’s first touchdown in the opening quarter.
Nick Van Patten led the Railroaders with 154 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, including a 52-yard pass play that put Sparks up 27-7 two minutes into the second half. Hunter O’Meara rushed for 105 yards on 17 carries and scored a 49-yard touchdown for the Railroaders.
Both teams needed the win to remain in the playoff picture. Truckee improved to 3-2 in the competitive Northern Division I-A while Sparks fell to 1-4. The Wolverines are now in fifth place with four games remaining, trailing undefeated Fallon (5-0) and Spring Creek (5-0), Fernley (4-1) and Elko (3-2), which owns the tiebreaker over Truckee. The top four teams advance to the postseason.
Truckee will have its work cut out with another crucial game this Saturday against Spring Creek, which is coming off a 24-14 win over Fernley on Friday.
“Our players were fired up and excited to get a win and stay in the hunt,” Ivens said. “But we read them the riot act after that. Spring Creek is a good team, and we definitely cannot play like we did this week against them.”
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.