Truckee football | Wolverines shut out by first-place Elko |

Truckee football | Wolverines shut out by first-place Elko

Sylas Wright
Truckee ball carriers had trouble finding space to run against the first-place Indians on Saturday. Here, Joey Gravell is wrapped up on a kickoff return during the Wolverines' 46-0 loss.
Sylas Wright / Sierra Sun |

Elko 46, Truckee 0

Elko 12 22 12 0 — 46

Truckee 0 0 0 0 — 0

First Quarter

E — Conklin 54-yard run (kick failed) 2:50

E — Wilson 18-yard run (conversion failed) 1:52

Second Quarter

E — Puentes 68-yard run (Glenn kick) 11:08

E — Wilson 28-yard run (Klekas pass from Conklin) 8:32

E — Bullock 62-yard pass from Puentes (Glenn kick) 6:46

Third Quarter

E — Klekas 54-yard pass from Conklin (Glenn kick) 11:01

E — Van Kirk 56-yard punt return (kick failed) 9:49

Individual stats

RUSHING — E, 35-235: Wilson 10-74; Puentes 7-71; Conklin 1-54; Jones 3-20; Bullock 4-7; Smiley 4-4; Bejarano 3-3; Wickersham 1-2; Vera 2-0. T, 27-32: Jacobs 7-15; Retzlaff 9-10; Gravell 1-9; Sawyer 5-7; Dearogon 2-6; Davis 1-(-7); Bokinskie 2-(-8).

PASSING — E: Conklin 1-2-54-2-0; Puentes 1-2-62-1-0; Smiley1-1-0-0-0. T: Davis 1-6-27-0-1; Bokinskie 3-10-19-0-2.

RECEIVING — E: Klekas 2-63; Bullock 1-62; Pengelly 1-0. T: Sawyer 3-45; Retzlaff 1-1.

TRUCKEE — The mismatch was evident before they even took the field.

On the visitors’ sideline of Saturday’s Division I-A contest, Elko looked fresh, confident and sizable, with 54 players who were eager to uphold their undefeated record.

On the home sideline was a shell of a Truckee team, shorthanded — with only 20-something players — and underworked, spirits dampened by two weeks of walk-through practices in the school’s gym, courtesy of the King Fire and its choking smoke.

The game played out accordingly.

After a three-and-out on Elko’s opening possession, the Indians scored touchdowns on their next five possessions en route to a 34-0 halftime lead, and 46-0 rout.

The loss dropped the 12-time state champion Wolverines to 0-4 in league play and 1-5 overall, marking their worst season opening in decades.

The Indians, meanwhile, improved to 4-0 in league heading into their first-place showdown against Fallon, which shares the same record coming off a 62-7 thrashing of Dayton.

Truckee got off to a promising start against the league leaders.

In a steady drizzle — a welcome sight to the region after two weeks of hazardous air quality — the Wolverines gained a first down on their opening possession before having to punt. They followed by stopping three consecutive Elko runs and forcing a punt.

It was the last time Elko punted in the half. The Indians sprinted to the end zone with little resistance on their next five possessions, scoring on plays of 54, 18, 68, 28 and 62 yards.

The visitors never cooled off during the break, as they scored again three plays into the third quarter on a 54-yard reception and added a final touchdown on a 55-yard punt return the next time they touched the ball.

Officials went to a running clock thereafter as Elko called off the dogs and emptied its bench.

The Wolverines never did get on track. They gained just three first downs in the game while turning the ball over on four occasions. They gained 78 yards of total offense to Elko’s 361.

Truckee’s main highlight came at the end of the first half, when the hosts defended their “T” on the south end of the stadium with a goal-line stand.

On a first-and-goal play from the 4-yard line, Elko’s Adam Bullock rounded the corner and had two men to beat to reach the end zone — defensive backs Sean Bokinskie and Tyler Davis. The Truckee defenders stepped up and together popped Bullock at the 1, stopping him short of the goal line.

With the clock running down, the Wolverines stuffed consecutive quarterback sneaks by Alex Puentes as the half came to a close.

But the outcome was already decided by that point.

On Elko’s second drive of the game, starting quarterback Jacob Conklin broke loose for a 54-yard touchdown run, taking advantage of several missed tackles along the way.

Running back Jason Wilson scored the first of his two touchdowns on the next possession, from 18 yards out. Puentes, who relieved Conklin at quarterback, then scored on a 68-yard keeper down the Elko sideline.

Wilson extended the lead to 27-0 with a 28-yard touchdown run, and a wide-open Bullock rounded out the scoring in the first half with a 62-yard reception from Puentes.

The Indians were not done. Three plays into the second half, Conklin, back in at QB, connected with an open Nate Klekas for a 54-yard score. After a Truckee three-and-out, Eric Van Kirk returned the punt 55 yards to the house as he ran untouched down the sideline.

Truckee senior Tanner Sawyer led the Wolverines with 45 receiving yards on three catches, including a 27-yard reception from Tyler, who took over at QB in the second half. On defense, Wulfe Retzlaff led Truckee with 10 tackles, while Chris Lefrak added seven tackles and Cody Brown had six.