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Wolverine football has impressive home showing

Dan Savickas

The Truckee varsity football team began its season with a win under the hot September sun this past Saturday at Surprise Stadium in a league game against Fernley.

After loosing the coin toss and a touchback, Truckee started out with the ball on the 20-yard line.

On the first offensive play of the season Truckee false started leaving them with a extra 5 yards to gain for the first down.

After a completed pass to senior Nick Smith for 7 yards, a run for no gain and a small pass for 1-yard Truckee was forced to punt.

Fernley began its offensive strategy on the 34-yard line, but the Truckee defense sent them off the field after three uneventful attempts to move the ball. Fernley was forced to punt.

After Truckee was called for a clipping penalty on the punt return, the offense took the field on Fernley’s 13-yard line.

Trying to get things rolling for the offense on second down Truckee quarterback, junior Paul Tierney, completed a pass to senior J.R. Murphy for 16 yards.

On second down senior Mick Hackley ran for a 5-yard gain. Third down Tierney set up in the shotgun formation but Truckee is called for lining up offsides and receives a 5-yard penalty. Tierney sets up in shotgun formation again, but another offsides penalty moves them another 5 yards leaving the offense with a third-and-15 situation.

Tierney managed to complete a short pass, but Truckee was forced to punt.

Fernley managed a decent return and started out on their 45-yard line. On second and 10 Fernley’s running back broke free around the left end for the first down and then some. Murphy brought the running back down on Truckee’s 22-yard line.

After pounding away at Truckee’s defense with its running game, Fernley got a first down. Continuing with a running attack Fernley was able to gain a few more yards. Dropping back Fernley’s quarterback was mobbed in the backfield, but not before he managed to release a pass aimed directly at the end zone. The pass hung in the air just long enough for Murphy to snag the ball and fall to the ground with an interception on the 1-yard line.

After three plays, one of which nearly found Tierney sacked in the end zone, Truckee was again forced to punt leaving Fernley on the Wolverine 47-yard line.

Fernley gained 6 yards on a run and another 3 yards on a pass to leave them with a third and one situation. Pounding the ball up the middle of the line Fernley was able to gain a first down.

Much to the dismay of Truckee fans Fernley was able to draw a pass interference call on second and eight for a first down on the 21-yard line to end the first quarter.

“The first quarter was rough,” said Head Coach Bob Shaffer. “The penalties killed us. It’s not that our plays weren’t working, we were just starting out with first and 15 situations.”

The second quarter started out with Fernley attempting to move the ball on the ground. On third and 10 Fernley’s quarterback broke loose to the right side of the field and hurled a pass into the end zone. Murphy blocked the ball, headed toward a group of Fernley receivers and Truckee defenders, at the 1-yard line.

Truckee took over on downs after Fernley went for the first on fourth down.

Smith started out the offense drive with a 14-yard run and a first down. After an incomplete pass Hackley ran for a gain of four. On third down Tierney nearly dropped back 15 yards before throwing a complete pass. Truckee found themselves punting on fourth-and-six.

Fernley’s offense took the field only to show little forward progress. After three plays they were forced to punt.

Truckee’s offense followed suit with three plays and a punt.

On the punt return Fernley’s receiver made to catch the ball, but pulled away at the last minute. Truckee special teams picked up the ball and ran it into the end zone as the ball was whistled dead.

After a brief conference by the officials the ball was awarded to Truckee on Fernley’s 12-yard line.

On the first play Smith ran for a 12-yard run touchdown, but it was called back due to holding. Truckee was forced to move back to the 16-yard line. After one incomplete pass Tierney threw to junior Jamie Maehler, who made a great grab, in the left side of the end zone for a touchdown.

Murphy kicked the extra point to put Truckee ahead 7-0.

Murphy’s kick off found its way to the end zone for a touchback.

After a few short runs and a fumble for a gain of 8 yards, Fernley came up with first down. But a few plays later Fernley was again forced to punt.

With a minute and a half left in the second quarter Truckee took over the ball on their own 27-yard line.

Tierney started out the possession with a complete pass to junior Gordon Neelands for a 13-yard gain. Tierney steps up on the next play to complete a pass to Maehler for a gain of 8 yards. After a timeout, Tierney completed another pass to Neelands. Making a great grab and ducking under a defender, Neelands took it all the way to the 16-yard line.

With a minute left to play Neelands caught another Tierney pass at the 3-yard line. Two plays later Smith drove the ball right up the gut of Fernley’s defense for a touchdown. Murphy kicked another successful extra point for the 15-yard line after receiving two flags in a row.

Half time found Fernley trailing by 14 points, as Tierney was able to march the Wolverines down the field in the last few minutes of the second quarter with big grabs by Neelands and Maehler and a strong goal line run by Smith.

The third quarter started out with Truckee kicking off from the 25-yard line due to a delay of game penalty.

Fernley’s offense made another brief appearance on the field before punting the ball away to Truckee. Shaffer highlighted defenders senior Chris Anderson, senior Bruce Knez and junior Nathan Wrenn for their tough performances.

Truckee started out on the their own 28-yard line after nearly blocking the punt.

After a 7-yard gain by Smith on the ground, Tierney dropped back to complete a pass to Hackley for a 40-yard gain. On the next play Maehler had a great run into the end zone up the middle for 21 yards. Murphy’s extra point was good and Truckee pulled away 21-0.

Fernley started out on the 20-yard line, but the Truckee defense again insured they would punt sooner than progress down the field.

After a run for a loss and an offside penalty on Fernley, Smith took off to the right side of the field for a first down and then some.

Hackley had a 5-yard gain on the ground bringing up third and five. Tierney’s pass on the next play found its way complete to Ben Tonon for the first down.

On first down Smith was tackled for a loss of 9 yards. But by the time all was said and done Smith had 10 carries for 62 yards and one touchdown. Tierney rolled right on the next play to find Neelands on the 10-yard line. Neelands had five catches for 85 yards. Truckee called a time out with a fourth-and-five situations waiting for them on the field.

After the timeout Tierney found Murphy in the end zone for a touchdown. Murphy out jumped his defender to catch the pass and then kicked extra point to put Truckee up 28-0.

Murphy then kicked another touchback and Fernley once again started out on the 20.

After three plays Fernley punted to Smith who ran the ball 55 yards for a touchdown. But due to a flag the ball was brought back to Truckee’s 38-yard line.

Tonon dragged a number of defenders on his way to a 20-yard gain on the ground.

A few plays later Tierney found senior Scott Moore for the first down. Tierney then completed a pass to Smith who took it to the one. Hackley found his way into the end zone for another Wolverine touchdown. Murphy’s point after put Truckee ahead 35-0.

Fernley’s frustrated offense fumbled on the next series and Truckee’s Nathan Wrenn recovered.

Junior Lupe Lopez took the ball in 23 yards right up the middle for the touchdown. Murphy’s extra point gave the game finishing score of 42-0. By the game’s end Murphy had four punts averaging 44-yard and four out of his seven kick offs resulted in touchbacks.

“As the game went on we really picked up the momentum,” Shaffer said. “We just wore them out.”

Tierney threw 16 times for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Nick Cabral had five carries for 56 yards.

This Friday the Varsity team will face Dayton.

Football games will be aired on Channel 6 every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. commentated by Jack Davis. There will be no live coverage this year.


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