Wolverines put the hurt on ROP
It hurt so bad that coach Bob Shaffer made the call to stop scoring.
“I hate rubbing anybody’s nose in anything,” Shaffer said.
Truckee High School varsity football beat Rite of Passage, the boys home in Yerington, 61-12 Saturday afternoon. The score at half time was 47-0. Shaffer kept his starters in at the beginning of the second half because of Truckee’s notorious second half let downs this season.
But after a quick touchdown drive to make the score 54-0, it was evident that ROP wasn’t going to mount a comeback.
Things got started with a bang when sophomore running back Jimmy Williams plunged into the end zone from two yards out to put Truckee up 6-0, just 54 seconds into the game.
Not even two minutes later, Schlesinger was back to return an ROP punt- Schlesinger’s first ever. He bobbled the catch but it bounced his way and he took it around the corner for a 63-yard touchdown, making the score 13-0.
ROP punted again on their next possession and Truckee drove the ball, scoring 1:35 later with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Schlesinger to senior receiver Mike Acuff, making the score 20-0.
After a 34-yard run by ROP junior quarterback Norbert Payton, taking the ball to the Truckee 15, ROP fumbled two plays later and Truckee senior defensive end Jason Ames scooped up the ball and ran 85 yards for a touchdown, putting Truckee up 27-0.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Schlesinger found junior receiver JR Murphy for a 65-yard touchdown pass.
On the next drive, Schlesinger dropped back for a pass on the ROP 20, but found a hole and ran in for the touchdown.
The score was 40-0, but with just under four minutes to go in the second quarter, junior running back Mike Hackley sliced his way through defenders for a 21-yard touchdown run, making the score at the half 47-0.
At the beginning of the third quarter, Schlesinger was still at the helm along with the other starters. He took a drive and scored on a seven-yard TD plunge at 7:07 in the quarter. After that, with the score at a whopping 54-0, Shaffer began to shake up his lineup a little.
But ROP wasn’t helping. On its next drive, the offense fumbled and Ames recovered on ROP’s 25.
Three minutes later, sophomore receiver and defensive back Jamie Maehler, fresh off of an injury, found himself playing running back and taking the ball 14 yards for Truckee’s final touchdown, 61-0
ROP finally got on the board with 9:05 to play. ROP’s Norbert Payton found freshman wide receiver Sim Roen open for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
On Truckee’s next possession, Ames ran 51 yards to the ROP four-yard line. But then Shaffer called off the sharks. Murphy was the quarterback for the drive and he kneed the ball four straight plays to avoid scoring a 10th touchdown.
The ball was placed on the five-yard line, and ROP wasn’t finished with scoring. Payton put the ball up for Roen and he took it 95 yards to the end zone for the final score of the game, 61-12.
Ames had a career game. On the offensive side, he scored a touchdown on three carries with 70 yards. On the defensive side, Ames had two tackles, three assists, three sacks and the fumble taken for a touchdown.
“We’ve been asking him to do more as a three-year starter (on defense),” Shaffer said. “We needed him to do more from a defensive standpoint and be more aggressive and he came out and played hard on both sides of the ball.”
The star players contributed Saturday, but they weren’t the reason for the win; the offensive line and the assistant coaches were.
“I’d be lost without those guys,” Shaffer said. “It’s not a one-man show by any stretch of the imagination.”
The offensive line built the momentum for the game. It was able to blow open large holes for runs and keep the defenders away from Schlesinger.
“Our offensive line, we need to get them some credit,” Shaffer said.
Even though he’s the quarterback, Schlesinger sampled many different aspects of the game Saturday.
“He’s one of those go-to guys. You need to get the ball in his hands as much as you can,” Shaffer said.
He rushed for two touchdowns, a punt returned for a third and he was six of eight with 140 yards passing, plus two touchdown passes.
“It felt great,” Schlesinger said. “We had to come out and prove to our town and most importantly to ourselves that we could play four quarters.”
After being outscored in the second halves of the previous three games, 63 to 14, the Wolverines felt like they had something to prove.
“We had our ups and downs,” said senior linebacker Aldo Serna “Now we know what we’re capable of.”
“We needed to show the rest of the league what we’re capable of and get our first blow out,” Murphy said.
“We actually finished a game,” Schlesinger said.
Despite ROP’s lack of consistency in its program, suffering from a high turnover rate at the school, Truckee was ready to take on anything, maybe even Godzilla.
“We had a really good week of practice, that’s all you need, really,” Ames said.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.