Wolverines face a tough start
For the inexperienced Tahoe-Truckee Wolverine football team, this Saturday’s season opener is a baptism by fire.
The Wolverines will play against the Bishop Manogue Miners – a team that, losing to Tahoe-Truckee last year in the state finals 28-14, has retained many of its veteran players and is a strong contender for this year’s state title.
Fueling the fire, the Miners are already a game up on the Tahoe-Truckee team, having annihilated the Fernley Vaqueros in their season opener last week. With a full game to their credit, the Miners have had the opportunity to get over their opening jitters.
“Teams always have a little too much adrenaline for that first game,” said Truckee Head Coach Bob Schaffer. “And here especially. Being state champions and having not lost a home game since 1994, there’s a lot of pressure on the kids.”
Manogue was quick to alleviate the adrenaline kick in their game against Fernley.
After being stopped on their first offensive drive, Manogue capitalized on two Vaqueros’ turnovers and by the end of the first quarter led 21-0.
The Miners went on to win the game 42-8, meanwhile accumulating 450 yards of total offense.
“They were hitting on all cylinders,” said Schaffer, who scouted the game and has watched the game tape. “They’ve got great team speed, are very elusive, have an experienced quarterback. No weaknesses … we’re simply going to have to play error free football.”
One of the Miners main weapons is Swiss army knife, Justin Midanik.
“Midanik is an all around guy.” said Schaffer. “He returns punts and kickoffs, he plays defense, he’s really elusive and he’s the guy that they’re going to go to in critical situations. He’s an overall threat.”
Against Fernley, Midanik was held to under 100 yards as a rusher … by the goal line. Midanik rushed for 99 yards on only eight rushes and scored three touchdowns for the Miners.
Considering themselves to be more of a running team, according to Manogue athletic director Kyle Cerfoglio, the Miners have four other rushers that they rotated.
And they are not without a passing game.
Quarterback Pat Reilly was 6-12 passing for 108 yards and two touchdowns. His main receiver was Eric Canfield who made two receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown. The other TD reception was made by Midanik.
“Our defense hasn’t been tested yet,” said Schaffer. “This game is going to be a nail biter … people are going to get their money’s worth.”
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The two-time defending state champion Truckee baseball team opened league play in style last weekend, taking a three-game sweep of Sparks.