Truckee football | Wolverines thump Fallon in playoff opener |

Truckee football | Wolverines thump Fallon in playoff opener

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Sylas Wright/Sierra SunTruckee quarterback Ben Bolton throws a pass against Fallon on Saturday. Bolton finished 17 of 24 for 252 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Different venue, same result.

In similar fashion to the regular-season matchup between Truckee and Fallon, the visiting Greenwave played the defending 3A champs tough through one half before the Wolverines ran away with a lopsided win, this time 47-14 in a Northern 3A playoff opener Saturday.

and#8220;We played one half again against them. It was the same thing as the game at Fallon,and#8221; said Greenwave head coach Brooke Hill, whose team finished 4-6 overall in its first year competing at the 3A level.

and#8220;We played well in the first half, and then they (the Wolverines) came out and took it to us in the second half. But that’s what good football teams do.and#8221;

Just like in the previous meeting at Fallon and#8212; which ended in a 64-14 Truckee drubbing and#8212; the Wolverines led by only a touchdown, 14-7, at the midway point.

The second half was a different story.

The final two quarters the Wolverines scored 35 points on 387 yards of offense while holding Fallon to a mere 3 yards and#8212; 4 yards rushing and minus-1 passing. Frankie de Braga broke off an 80-yard return on special teams to give the Greenwave their one touchdown in the second half.

and#8220;We came out in the second half and did the same thing as the last time we played them, and that was drive down the field and score,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Bob Shaffer, whose Wolverines (10-0) have now won 22 straight games dating back to last season.

Shaffer was particularly pleased with the play of his senior quarterback, Ben Bolton, who finished 17 of 24 for 252 yards and three touchdowns, as well as several players who filled in for banged-up starters.

and#8220;With a lot of young guys coming in and playing like they did, and Ben throwing and running the ball well, we did some good things,and#8221; the coach said.

Most notably, the Wolverines played without All-State senior tight end/defensive end James DePew, who has a sprained ankle, and two-way linemen Taylor Wulff-Morrison and Dillon Sheedy.

and#8220;A bunch of kids stepped up and filled in nicely today,and#8221; said Truckee senior running back/linebacker Colin Christian, who posted a game-high 184 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries. and#8220;I thought our all-around effort was good.and#8221;

The Wolverines started the game as planned, forcing a Fallon three-and-out before driving the ball 69 yards and into the end zone on a 4-yard run by Morgan Nevin. Austin Ferreira kicked through one of his five extra points on the day for a 7-0 lead.

Truckee nearly took a two-touchdown lead on its next possession, but Christian fumbled when reaching for the goal line at the end of an 11-yard run, and Fallon recovered in the end zone.

Aided by two encroachment penalties and a costly roughing the punter, the Greenwave then drove 80 yards in 12 plays, capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Alonzo Williams to Joseph Floyd. The extra point by Donovan Marshall knotted the score at 7-7.

The Wolverines answered with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Bolton to Tony Rodriguez on their next drive, and almost scored once more before running out of time in the half.

None of Truckee’s four possessions in the third quarter ended short of the end zone.

The first time with the ball, the Wolverines drove 73 yards on 10 plays before Mitch Nelson scored on a 9-yard run. After a Fallon three-and-out, Christian broke free for a 45-yard run on the first play to set up a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Braden Waters, who finished with four catches for 48 yards in DePew’s absence.

The Greenwave showed signs of life after allowing the two quick TDs, however, as de Braga caught the ensuing kickoff, found a seam and sprinted about 80 yards untouched for a touchdown. The extra point trimmed the lead in half, to 28-14.

But the excitement on the Fallon sideline didn’t last long.

On Truckee’s next offensive play, Bolton connected with Rodriguez for a 50-yard gain, and on the next play, Christian took the handoff and rushed 30 yards through the defense for a touchdown.

After yet another Fallon three-and-out, the Wolverines scored again on the second play of their next drive, as Bolton threw a perfectly placed, 37-yard touchdown bomb into the hands of receiver Trent McMullen, giving Truckee a comfortable 41-14 lead after a missed extra point.

With their reserves in the game the entire fourth quarter, the Wolverines added a final touchdown when Griffin Brown burst up the middle and ran 28 yards for the score.

and#8220;I thought what helped in the second half is that we weren’t getting penalized, which didn’t allow their offense the chance to stay on the field,and#8221; Shaffer said. and#8220;They (the Greenwave) did a lot of punting in the second half, so we kept getting the ball back. So I thought our defense did really well.and#8221;

Cole Roberts led the Wolverines with 14 tackles, while Nevin finished with 12 tackles.

Truckee, the top seed from the North, will now face second-seeded Elko at home on Saturday, Nov. 13 in a state semifinal. Third-seeded Lowry, which defeated Spring Creek (No. 3 North) on Saturday to advance, plays at top Southern seed Moapa Valley in the other semifinal. State is scheduled for Nov. 20 in the Las Vegas area (unless two Northern teams meet for the championship, in which case the game will be played in Reno).

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