Truckee frosh football on winning track
The Truckee High freshman football team scored 35 of its 48 points in the first quarter en route to a 48-6 win over Dayton last Thursday.
The Wolverines’ defense set the tone early, with Ryan Zusy scooping up a fumbled snap in the end zone for the game’s initial score.
Truckee’s defense didn’t stop there, with linemen Nate Smith, Matt Duncan, Ezekiel Soto, Kyle Mullen and Chris Gallagher shutting down the Dust Devils with help from linebackers Jared McDonnell, Jonathon Ford, Luis Agiular and Zusy, and defensive backs Orlando Serna, Logan Goode and Vince Shaffer.
Also adding to the defensive effort were Alex Cramer and Alec Sahlberg, who each pulled down interceptions to seal the victory.
“We scored from all angles today. Meahan, Weed, Aguilar and Ricketts have just continued to get better at the running back spots,” Truckee coach Rick Wilson said.
“In the second half, nice holes were opened up by Tanner Keese, Nate Smith, Kyle Mullen, Chris Gallagher, Gustavo Ramirez and Luis Ramirez. Our special teams did a real good job today all around, and the onside kick was really cool. Orlando Serna placed the kick perfectly and we recovered it just like we practiced it. It was awesome.”
There were some big plays in a big game for the Truckee freshmen: Zusy’s fumble recovery in the end zone; Shaffer’s 40-yard run play to the 15-yard line, followed up by a great touchdown pass reception to bump the score up to 41-0; Aguilar’s fumble recovery for a touchdown; Cramer’s and Sahlberg’s interceptions; and defensive end Chris Gallagher’s forced fumble on a sack.
“We are firing on all cylinders right now,” Wilson said. “We could run the table in the league with a victory over Spring Creek. It should be fun.”
There are pros and cons to having a freshman football team. Playing a team twice in a season to fill out the schedule is both a pro and con.
On Thursday, Oct. 5, the Truckee High freshman football team traveled to blustery Fernley to avenge an earlier 27-0 loss to the Vaqueros. The game did not start well for the Wolverines, who committed three huge penalties to hand Fernley three consecutive first downs. With the ball on the 8-yard line, Fernley scored first, taking a 7-0 lead after the extra point.
“I was a little concerned as to how we would respond,” Truckee head coach Rick Wilson said. “With young boys, they can give up and not want to fight, but that was not the case. The boys responded and took it right to ’em.”
The Wolverine kickoff return team advanced the ball to the 33-yard line, and the offense took over on the first drive with combinations of running plays and good blocking from the offensive line, driving the team down to the 5-yard line on a 40-yard run by Jackson Weed. Luis Agiular punched it into the end zone over the right side to bring Truckee to within one after a failed extra point attempt.
Truckee’s defense stepped up, led by Kyle Mullen, Matt Duncan, Ezekiel Soto, Nate Smith, Jonathan Ford and Orlando Serna. The defensive line shut down the sweep attack, with the backers filling the holes. Serna had a huge fumble recovery for Truckee.
According to the Truckee coach, “Fernley was forced to punt on all of their second-quarter possessions, but the offense stalled for Truckee, as well.
“We shot ourselves in the foot and let them stay in the game,” the coach continued. “We fumbled three times on good drives. I was so mad, we had ’em and let ’em go.
Halftime was not pleasant, I really gave it to them. We were letting a team intimidate us and we challenged the boys to step up in the second half. The offensive line made some adjustments, and we came out in the second half and controlled the line of scrimmage.”
Truckee mounted a scoring drive in the third quarter to bring the score to 12-7 after another failed extra point.
The fourth quarter was a barn burner.
Led by some tough runs by Weed and Matt Meahan, a sweep by Agiular, several passing plays from Nate Hammil to Agiular and a key first down as a result of an unsportsmanlike penalty against Fernley, Truckee scored again.
Despite two penalties against Truckee on the extra point, the Wolverines scored on a crucial two-point conversion, a pass play from Hamill to Aguilar to adjust the score to 20-7, Truckee.
Fernley came back immediately with a big drive capped by a pass play over the middle, making the score 20-13 with four minutes left in the game.
Truckee fumbled after a great drive, giving the ball to Fernley on the 28-yard line. As the Wolverine defense started to fatigue, the sideline joined hands and Truckee fans turned it up as Fernley was knocking on the door again at the 12-yard line.
With Fernley facing fourth-and-5 on the 6-yard line, Truckee held the Vaqueros on a draw play.
The Wolverine offense took over on their own 5-yard line and ran out the clock for an exciting finish to a great game.
“Today, they played as a team and willed to win under extreme circumstances,” Wilson said. “I am proud of them, all of them.”
The Truckee freshmen host Spring Creek in their last game of the season at Surprise Stadium today at 2 p.m.