Wolverines eke by Spartans
A win is what the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines needed against the Spring Creek Spartans, and a win is what they got, but the aftertaste was bitter as the Truckee squad reverted to early season foibles.
That’s dangerous heading into the first round of the playoffs.
The Wolverines came from behind to defeat the Spartans (2-3), 21-19, on Friday night at Spring Creek’s field.
The win secured first place in Division I and granted the Wolverines home field advantage for next week’s playoff game against the Pershing County Mustangs.
“We didn’t play that well,” Truckee Head Coach Bob Schaffer said. “There weren’t a whole lot of positives in the game as a team. We won’t go too far (in the playoffs) if we play like we did on Friday night.”
After receiving the game’s opening kickoff, the Spring Creek squad moved down the field efficiently but repeatedly set themselves back with penalties, and were forced to punt to the Wolverines.
Truckee’s offense struck fast. David DeCoite, after being sacked on the first play of the drive, connected with Casey Nelson on the second play for a 68-yard touchdown pass.
The pass was the Wolverines’ longest of the season.
Up 7-0, the Wolverines started the next drive at their own 20-yard line. Set up in the shotgun formation on a third-down play, Kevin Suter – playing center for James Curtis who was suspended from the game for kicking a Fernley player in the head last week – snapped the ball over DeCoite’s head and into the endzone. DeCoite, attempting to prevent the safety, saved the ball from bouncing out of bounds, but, in doing so, kept the ball live. Josh Kishpaugh recovered the fumble in the endzone for a Spartan TD.
In the second quarter, the Spartans took the lead when Zack Shoemaker capped a Spring Creek drive with a one-yard run.
DeCoite redeemed himself in the second half by throwing a 58-yard strike to a wide open Jesse Owen.
The Wolverine’s final score was set up by another big Nelson return. After a 30-yard return, Truckee had the ball at the Spartan 20.
David Larson had an 11-yard run that set up a 3-yard score by Zach Wilson.
Gary Cook was the difference in the game as he was a perfect 3-for-3 on extra points.
Spring Creek missed its second extra point and, following its third score, failed on a 2-point conversion.
Defensively, the Wolverines resumed a pattern of not wrapping up on their tackles.
DeCoite, due to prior concussions, was not in the defensive secondary and Suter was distracted by his new offensive duties, according to Schaffer.
“(Spring Creek) did a lot of shifting and motion to confuse our defensive backfield,” Schaffer said. “We had a lot of missed tackles and missed assignments.”
The Wolverines will host Pershing County on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. for the first round of the playoffs.
Tahoe-Truckee 7 0 14 0 – 21
Spring Creek 7 6 6 0 – 19
TT – DeCoite 68 pass to Nelson (Cook kick)
SC – Kishpaugh recovered fumble in endzone (kick good)
SC – Shoemaker 1 run (kick failed)
TT – DeCoite 58 to Owen (Cook Kick)
SC – Billat pass to Greener (Cook Kick)
TT – Wilson 3 run (Cook Kick)
11 First downs 15
34-123 Rushes-yards 37-88
2-3-0 Comp.-att.-int. 13-26-0
126 Passing yards 133
249 Total yards 221
2-2 Fumbles-lost 0-0
10-115 Penalties-yards 14-110
RUSHING – TT: Nelson9-32, Wilson 10-52 (TD), Larson 4-25, DeCoite 10-25, Thiel 1-(-1); SC: Shoemaker 24-69, Billat 4-(-34), Hall 2-10, Greener 1-1, Conley 8-52.
PASSING – TT: DeCoite 2-3-0 126 (2TD); SC: Billat 13-26-0 133.
RECEIVING – TT: Owen 1-58 (TD), Nelson 1-68 (TD); SC: Thornburg 5-83, Greener 2-20, Shoemaker 2-7, Conley 3-11, Norris 1-12.
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