Truckee Pop Warner | Mitey-Mite Whites storm back to edge Reds
Something unusual took place at Truckee River View Sports Park’s upper field this past Saturday.
Immediately after her son, running back Jason Roth, took a dump pass down the sideline 35 yards and into the end zone, Julie Roth ran over 150 yards from one side of the football field to the opposing side and exclaimed, “That is my son’s first touchdown in his life.”
The most unusual aspect of a mother running to the opposing side of the field is that she was met with a warm embrace by an opposing team’s mother, Cherise Williams, responding, “I am so happy for you and Jason.”
Others reacted to the scene murmuring, “That is Truckee football.”
It certainly was Truckee football as both of the town’s teams representing the Mitey-Mite Division faced off with one another.
Despite the pleasantries that were exchanged with the spectators, it was all business for the Mitey-Mite Reds and Mitey-Mite Whites on the field, and it ended up coming down to two successful points after touchdowns that made the 26-24 difference in the score.
The Mitey-Mite Whites prevailed in the game with the score that proved the two opposing head coaches nailed it when they attempted to form two evenly matched teams over three months ago.
Although the score indicates a tight game, the tale of the two halves showed otherwise.
The Truckee Reds were well prepared and dominated the first half. Roth’s touchdown catch started the scoring in the first quarter and culminated a seven-play opening drive that moved 62 yards.
The point after touchdown was unsuccessful and put the score at 6-0.
By the end of the first quarter the Reds had primarily pounded runs up the middle for a total of 41 yards before running back Damon Parisi was called upon to take a sweep around the left side on the first play of the Reds’ third drive. Parisi wasted no time getting to the left sideline and then outran the Whites defense for a 32-yard touchdown.
The point after touchdown was unsuccessful, but the Reds compiled a total of 108 yards on 15 plays in the first quarter compared to the Whites five plays for 13 yards.
The second quarter proved even more prolific for the Reds as they topped their first quarter effort with 120 yards on 13 plays.
One of those 13 plays was an 8-yard sweep around the left from Parisi again that put the Reds up 18-0 after the point after touchdown failed.
By halftime the Reds had hammered up the middle and swept around the left for a total of 228 yards, the most allowed by the Whites in any of their games this season.
However, the Whites offense did find a rhythm in the second quarter and capped a seven-play drive with an 18-yard touchdown on a reverse that running back Brian Baker finalized in the end zone. Whites quarterback Tavin Hamilton snuck the ball up the middle for the successful extra point that eventually made the difference in the game.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Reds used just two plays from 61 yards out to score again. Roth scored his second touchdown of the day when he crashed through the middle of the line and broke out left for 30 yards before crossing the goal line. The point after touchdown failed and left the Reds atop the Whites at the half, 24-7.
The third quarter was a draw as neither team scored and the Whites tallied 50 yards off nine plays and the Reds managed 49 yards from eight runs.
However, the Reds appeared to be continuing their scoring assault as they were threatening just outside of the Whites 20-yard line when defensive end Hamilton stripped the runner of the ball for a turnover as the third quarter came to an end.
The Whites advanced the ball a total of 3 yards before giving the ball back to the Reds after failing to convert a first down.
The Reds started their first and only possession of the fourth quarter at the Whites 24-yard line but backed up to the Whites 47 before giving the ball back after failing to convert on a long fourth down.
The remainder of the game was controlled by the Whites as they scored five plays later courtesy of a 3-yard touchdown run up the middle by Hamilton. The point after touchdown failed and set the score 24-13 with just 2:37 left.
The Whites then made good on an onside kick when special teamer Matthew Seline covered the ball to give his team possession at their own 46-yard line.
Whites running back Carson Jensen took the handoff and slanted left just outside of the tackle and traveled 44 yards before being caught from behind by cornerback Parisi. Four plays later Whites running back Jackson Kahl outran the Reds defense to the right to score from 8 yards out. Hamilton did the same to the Reds defense to make the point after touchdown good and tightened the score to 24-20 with just 1:13 left.
The Whites converted another onside kick but this time special teamer Hunter Hansell covered the ball and gave his team possession at the 50-yard line.
Two plays later Jensen again took the handoff to the left side but this time he was not to be denied. Jensen scored from 40 yards out and gave his team the lead for the first time. The point after touchdown failed and left the score 26-24 with 28.1 remaining.
Respecting that the Reds offense was explosive, the Whites again spiraled the kickoff into the ground the necessary 10 yards and again recovered the onside kick to maintain possession of the ball.
After scoring 19 unanswered points in the last three minutes of the game and running 17 plays for 174 yards in the closing quarter, the Whites quarterback took a knee and ran out the clock to end the game with a stunning come-from-behind victory.
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