TTHS routs Pershing County
Two quarters is enough for a trip to Vegas.
The Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines condensed one of their most impressive performances this season into one half, defeating the Pershing County Mustangs 42-6 in the first round of the NIAA/U.S. Bank 3A State Championship. The win, at Surprise Stadium, afforded the Wolverines a trip to Overton (just outside of Las Vegas) for a rematch of last year’s semi-final against the Moapa Valley Pirates.
Pershing County was helpless by halftime. The Wolverines’ defense held the Mustangs to only 18 yards of total offense. Nevada’s second leading rusher, Benje Robles, who had averaged 7 yards a rush during the regular season with the Mustangs, was held to 20 yards on 12 carries. Pershing County was allowed no first downs and averaged only 3.5 yards per possession.
“The tackles really made it happen,” said Truckee defensive coach Gary Collins, “because they were completely dominating the line of scrimmage.”
Brad Noel and Robert Acevedo had little trouble clogging the middle. Pershing was reduced to a limited running scheme and the defensive reads for Truckee became less complicated.
“It was probably the most dominant we’ve been all season,” Collins said.
Meanwhile, Truckee was scoring at will.
The Wolverines’ scored on every possession but one – a drive that was stunted, not by the Mustangs, but by two 15-yard personal foul penalties and a false start – and led going into half time, 42-0.
To start the scoring, Truckee capped a 55-yard opening drive with an 8-yard touchdown run by Zach Wilson, his first of two TDs on the day.
Casey Nelson, who celebrated his birthday on Monday, Nov. 8, had consecutive punt returns of 87 and 45 yards, respectively, and, less than a minute into the second quarter, the Wolverines led 21-0.
Nelson ran a pitch play 23 yards to set up Truckee’s fourth score which was a 1-yard rush by Wilson.
David DeCoite, starting at quarterback, threw a 6-yard pass to Matt Carlson to put the Wolverines ahead by 35.
David Larson completed Truckee’s first-half rout with a 34-yard rush off of a reverse from Nelson.
With the win seemingly sealed, the Truckee offense came out in the second half with a collective hangover.
The Wolverines fumbled on their second play, giving the ball to the Mustangs at the Wolverine 5-yard line. Truckee’s defense had a phenomenal goal line stand, and the ball was turned over on downs, back to the Wolverines, at the 3-yard line.
Truckee’s offense managed to advance the ball to the 45-yard line before, again due to penalties, it was forced to punt. The punt-snap went awry and, by gift of folly, the Mustangs again had the ball deep in Wolverine territory.
Pershing County, once again, could not capitalize.
The Mustangs only managed to score on a Truckee defense that was riddled with second string and junior varsity players. Robles, who finished the day with 101 yards rushing, was held to 33 yards in three quarters against Truckee’s starters. Robles had 49 yards rushing on Pershing’s scoring drive, late in the fourth quarter. Brandon Swindlehurst, the Mustang’s starting quarterback, completed the 80-yard drive with a 9-yard run.
The leading tacklers for Truckee were Tudi Corral, DeCoite, and Noel.
According to Collins, the Wolverines have never lost in the first round of the playoffs.
The win advanced the Wolverines to the second round of the state championship playoffs. Truckee will travel to Moapa Valley to face the Pirates at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Elsewhere in league
The winner of this week’s game will face the winner of the game between the North Tahoe Lakers and the Bishop Manogue Miners. North Tahoe edged by Virgin Valley 17-8 on Saturday. The Miners, conversely, buried Boulder City in the second half, scoring 31 unanswered points to claim a 59-13 win.
The Lakers and Miners play at Manogue on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.
Tahoe-Truckee 14 28 0 0 – 21
Pershing County 0 0 0 6 – 6
TT – Wilson 8 run (2PAT failed) 6:50
TT – Nelson 87 punt return (Thiel pass to Larson) 1:00
TT – Nelson 45 punt return (Cook kick) 11:46
TT – Wilson 1 run (Cook kick) 7:04
TT – DeCoite 6 pass to Carlson (Cook Kick) 3:59
TT – Larson 34 run (Cook Kick) 0:22
PC – Swindlehurst 9 run (2PAT failed) 4:12
17 First downs 6
41-209 Rushes-yards 33-98
7-10-0 Comp.-att.-int. 1-8-0
91 Passing yards 0
295 Total yards 98
3-2 Fumbles-lost 0-0
10-105 Penalties-yards 3-15
RUSHING – TT: Nelson 11-72, Wilson 9-59 (TD), Larson 2-32, DeCoite 7-14, Detwiler 2-13, Calderon 3-8, Molina 1-5, Corral 1-5, Birchard 3-4, Holmes 1-(-1), Ames 1-(-2) ; PC: Robles 24-101, Rosas 2-1, Swindlehurst 6-(-1), Brooks (1-(-3).
PASSING – TT: DeCoite 3-6-0 39 (TD), Holmes 3-3-0 50, Thiel 1-1-0 3 (2PAT), Schlesinger 0-0-0; PC: Swindlehurst 1-8-0 0.
RECEIVING – TT: Thiel 3-44, Larson 3-42 (2PAT), Carlson 1-6 (TD); PC: Robles 1-0.
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