Truckee football | Wolverines shut out Elko, improve to 2-0
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8211; The Wolverines overcame another round of coach-riling mistakes with moments of explosive offense and traditional, hard-nosed defense en route to a 34-0 win against Elko on Saturday.
Similarly to their season-opening win the week before and#8211; a 44-0 rout against Dayton and#8211; the defending state champs came out firing on all cylinders to build an early lead. But, just like the week before, penalties and miscues after the hot start halted their forward progress on a number of occasions, and drew barks of ire from the Truckee coaching staff on the sideline.
and#8220;The second half this week kind of mirrored last week and#8211; penalties, turnovers, dropped passes,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Bob Shaffer. and#8220;We’ve got to finish drives and not shoot ourselves in the foot, because right now we’re not putting together four quarters. We’re not even putting together two quarters.
and#8220;and#8230; But the good thing is, we’re winning while struggling to get better. And it’s only game two, so we understand that mistakes will be made. But now we’ve got to fix them.and#8221;
Regardless of the early-season hiccups, the Wolverines still dominated all facets of the game.
Truckee’s defense held the Indians (1-1) to just 15 yards rushing on 36 carries and#8211; a week after they ran over Fernley with 319 rushing yards and#8211; and 53 yards of total offense, while the Wolverine offense amassed 356 total yards. Truckee led 14-0 after one quarter and 27-0 at the half.
Senior quarterback Ben Bolton threw for 165 yards on 11-of-17 passing, with two touchdown tosses and one interception and#8211; numbers that would have been more impressive had his receivers not dropped at least two potential touchdown passes. Truckee used 10 different players to gain 191 yards on the ground, led by Colin Christian’s 60 yards on eight carries.
The Wolverines struck quickly after holding Elko to a three-and-out to start the game.
After a long punt return by Mitch Nelson set up the Wolverines at the Elko 22-yard line, fullback/linebacker Morgan Nevin ran for 13 yards on Truckee’s first play before hauling in a pass from Bolton and bullying his way into the end zone from 9 yards out.
Nelson scored next on a 1-yard run as the first quarter came to a close, and James Depew pushed the lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter when he picked up a blocked punt by Cory Ackerman deep in Elko territory.
Bolton then found Trent McMullen in the end zone from 8 yards to give the Wolverines a 27-0 lead before the half, and Cole Roberts ran for a 5-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.
What had the Truckee coaching staff fuming at times were the double-digit number of penalties, as well as several dropped passes, a lost fumble and an interception in the end zone.
Through all the ups and downs on offense, however, Truckee’s defense proved stingy as ever as it pitched its second shutout in two weeks.
and#8220;We talked to the defense about them needing to play well (Saturday), and I thought they did play well. They really did a great job to keep them from scoring,and#8221; Shaffer said.
Especially at the end of the first half, when the Wolverines kept the Indians off the board after a 32-yard pass set up Elko with first-and-goal at the Truckee 3. After the rare defensive lapse, the Indians rushed for minus-2, 0 and minus-4 yards before the clock ran out with them scrambling to kick a field goal.
and#8220;We just do what we’ve always done here,and#8221; said Nevin, who could be heard hollering in an effort to fire up his defense on the goal-line stand. and#8220;Defense has always been one of our strongest points, and it showed right there when we kept them out of the end zone.and#8221;
The Truckee defense held Elko’s leading rusher, Raymond Schroeder, to 24 yards on 11 carries, while Elko quarterback Marcus Leahy finished 2-of-4 for 38 yards and one interception and#8211; a third-quarter pick by McMullen.
Nevin, Roberts and Christian finished with 11 tackles apiece to lead the Truckee defense, while Ethan Manseau had 10 tackles and two sacks. Truckee had six sacks in the game.
Truckee plays at Sparks, which is off to a 2-0 start, on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.
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Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy alumnus JC Schoonmaker had a career-best day in Ruka, Finland, racing to a seventh-place finish at last Friday’s World Cup sprint event.