Truckee Mavericks tame Panthers, win big
Some of the mothers admitted to crying in the stands. One of the coaches took a break from yelling at his defensive end to “stay wide” and not get “sucked in” to hug, not high-five, his running back.
The same coach did not say a word to the same running back about spiking the ball after his first touchdown of the season, which drew a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration.
The Truckee Wolverines in the Maverick Division of the Sierra Youth Football League played that spectacular to deserve the tears, hugs and coach’s indifference to penalties for celebration, penalties for blocking in the back that canceled a kick return touchdown and even a penalty for holding that brought back a rushing touchdown.
The 7- and 8-year-olds scored early and often with plenty of big plays last Saturday in Reno and were able to gaze upon a scoreboard at the end of the contest that revealed they had caged the North Valleys Panthers, 49-25.
The Wolverines scored an opening-drive touchdown for the first time all season with a no-huddle offense. On the third play of the game running back Hutton Johnson hit his hole with speed and blew through the middle of the Panthers defense for 14 yards and the score that brought on a spike.
The Wolverines then stopped the Panthers on their opening drive when defensive tackle Matthew Seline’s helmet jarred the football loose from the running back and defensive tackle Peter Reoutt pounced on it for an early turnover. This marked the first time all season that the Wolverines defense stopped an opponent on their opening drive.
Truckee capitalized on the turnover and Johnson crossed the goal line for the second time after quarterback Tavin Hamilton orchestrated an impressive 11-play drive that spanned two quarters.
The drive was the Wolverines’ longest of the year and part of an 18-play second quarter that also witnessed Truckee’s first safety and first touchdown pass of the year.
The Panthers recovered Truckee’s only turnover of the game at their own 5-yard line. Three plays later safety Jason Roth and linebacker Colton Conklin blew through the Panthers line and wrapped up the running back immediately after the hand off in the end zone for 2 points.
Three plays after receiving the Panthers free kick after the safety the Wolverines were back in the same end zone. This time it was wide receiver Galdino Bravo-Karvonen who caught his first pass of the year and took it 35 yards for the Wolverines’ first touchdown through the air.
The Panthers did manage to answer back with big plays of their own but the Wolverines never let them get closer than 7 points the entire game. Despite trailing the entire game, the Panthers never stopped coming at the Wolverines. North Valleys burned the Truckee defense for the longest scoring play of the season with an 85-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
They then recovered an onside kick at the start of the fourth quarter and poised themselves to make a late run at the Wolverines.
However, cornerback Bravo-Karvonen came up with the biggest play of the game and picked off an overthrown ball and took it 52 yards for the pick-6. The Panthers never threatened again.
Bravo-Karvonen contributed touchdowns from both sides of the ball and finished with one catch for 35 yards and a touchdown. Defensively he set a personal best with five tackles.
The Wolverines’ leading scorer was Johnson, who found the end zone four times. He also led Truckee with 17 carries for 173 yards. Johnson also helped out on special teams with two tackles.
Running back Damon Parisi had a 27-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He finished second on the team with 76 yards on five carries. He also brought down four Panthers on special teams play.
Running back Conklin broke the plane of the goal line twice but both times were for extra points after touchdowns. He finished the day with 44 yards on six carries. He also caught two screen passes for 32 yards. The linebacker led the team with 11 tackles, a fumble recovery and a safety.
Quarterback Hamilton connected on all three of his pass attempts for 67 yards, including his touchdown pass. He rushed three times for 10 yards and had one special teams tackle.
Running back Jackson Kahl racked up 22 yards on three carries. He also knocked down five ball carriers. His tackles included a sack and a forced fumble.
Linebacker Hunter Hansell was exploding off the ball all day on defense and racked up 10 tackles. He led the team with two sacks and disrupted several other plays.
Defensive end Carsen Jensen floored eight ball carriers. He saved a sure touchdown by tracking a running back 57 yards and brought him down from behind at the Truckee 8-yard line.
Seline set an early defensive tone with his forced fumble to thwart the Panthers first offensive drive and earned five tackles as captain of the defense.
Defensive tackle Reoutt recovered Seline’s forced fumble and tackled four.
Linebackers Mitchell Mueller and Roth made three tackles. Mueller set a personal best with his performance and two of Roth’s tackles were behind the line of scrimmage, including a safety.
Nose tackle Aidan Anderson stuffed two runs up the middle early in the game.
Defensive tackle Jacob Moule was in on an eight-man tackle to stop a point after touchdown. Cornerback Alex Robertson made the first hit of the game and brought a Panther down on their first offensive play. Nose tackle Luis Castaneda blew through the Panthers line and sacked the quarterback on the Panthers final drive.
UP NEXT: The Wolverines (2-5) play their final game of the year against the Hug Hawks (3-3-1) on the road Saturday.
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