Wolverines rally past Lakers
Some North Tahoe residents thought this might be the year the Lakers win.
Though it took some effort and luck, the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines (3-3, 2-0) had two 100-yard rushers and defeated the North Tahoe Lakers (3-3, 1-1) 21-16 last Saturday at North Tahoe.
Casey Nelson ran 21 times for 151 yards and three touchdowns against the Laker defense. Zach Wilson, in his first game back from a knee injury, rushed 19 times for 143 yards, contributing to 339 total rushing yards for the Truckee team.
The Wolverines’ objective was clear: run the football. With David DeCoite standing in at quarterback, playing for an injured Mike Holmes, Truckee had a limited game plan as far as the pass was concerned. As a result, the Wolverines rushed 51 times out of 57 plays from scrimmage.
The tactic, along with the Truckee offensive line, eventually wore down the Laker defense, which allowed two touchdown runs and 105 yards rushing in the fourth quarter.
Nelson, with six touchdowns in the last two weeks, had a 30-yard run to cap a seven-play, 77-yard drive early in the fourth quarter. The score, with a failed extra point, gave the Wolverines a slim 15-9 lead with 9:24 remaining in the game.
North Tahoe promptly answered. Bryan Collins, the Lakers’ leading rusher with 113 yards, broke free two plays after the Wolverines’ score and scampered 74 yards for a touchdown. Following the extra point, the Lakers led, 16-15.
Truckee drove 75 yards on its next drive. Nelson ran the sidelines for another touchdown – this time for 28 yards – and the Wolverines reclaimed the lead with 4:34 remaining in the game, 21-16.
The game-winning drive was tainted by a questionable call, however. Nelson, on one of his runs, fumbled a pitch from DeCoite, but was ruled down by the officials.
Members of Truckee’s coaching staff agreed that the call, though favoring the Wolverines, was incorrect. North Tahoe should have been given the ball.
Albeit the case, it wasn’t, and the Lakers, on the drive following Truckee’s score, were met with an adrenaline-charged Wolverine defense. Brad Noel, Tudi Corral, Robert Acevedo, David Larson, Jesse Owens, Eric Detwiler, DeCoite and the rest of the Truckee defenders were seamless, forcing North Tahoe to turn the ball over on downs after four plays and no yards.
“The kids played real steady throughout the game,” said Truckee defensive coach Gary Collins. “The kids just played their positions.”
The Wolverines’ defense gave up 211 yards of total offense. Collins, without the touchdown run, was held to 39 yards on 10 rushes. North Tahoe’s starting quarterback, Brett Brolliar, was held to 10 yards passing on 11 attempts and 38 yards rushing. The Lakers’ only other ground attack, Tony Pandola, was held to 11 yards rushing.
Larson, playing as a defensive back, was the Wolverines’ leading tackler with 11. Corral had eight tackles and forced two passes with the rush. Detwiler, playing as an inside linebacker, had eight tackles and Noel, Truckee’s senior defensive tackle and all around hot shot, had seven tackles. Rocky Watson did a good job of containing the end, according to Collins, and had the only quarterback sack of the game.
“Other than about four plays, two of which were touchdowns,” Truckee Head Coach Bob Schaffer said, “we did pretty well on defense.”
North Tahoe’s first touchdown was scored as time expired in the first half. The Truckee defense bit on a trick play that it had gone over the prior two days in practice.
The Lakers were on the Wolverine 38- yard line with six seconds remaining in the second quarter. Brolliar received the snap and, after a delay, dumped a skip pass (a lateral of sorts that bounces across the field) back to his receiver Joe Stinson. Stinson scooped up the pass and hurled the ball to a wide open Pandola in the endzone.
“Great execution by the Tahoe offense,” said Collins, “poor read by our defense. We worked on it for two days, we just didn’t react to it like we were supposed to.”
“With six seconds on the clock and 40-yards to go,” Schaffer said, “we can’t expect a run.”
After struggling with his elbow, Holmes has been given permission by his doctor to play again. His effectiveness is questionable, according to coaches, and whether he will play against Rite of Passage for the homecoming game on Saturday is yet to be determined.
Mark Thiel and Jacob McCauley have also been given permission to play. McCauley, suffering with back problems all season, played on Saturday and, despite a lack of conditioning, came away unscathed, though he admits spending all of Sunday on the couch – due to exhaustion.
Rite of Passage
The Wolverines will host the Rite of Passage Rams on Saturday as homecoming.
The Rams are described by Schaffer as being “very athletic, big,” and as having “good team speed.”
ROP’s skill players are big, according to Schaffer, and its quarterback has a very strong arm.
The Rams lost to North Tahoe by only one point. This week, ROP lost to the other first-place contender in the 3A league, Spring Creek, 28-14. While they are 0-2, they have played all of their opponents close.
Schaffer expects a very physical game as the ROP defense is “much improved over last year … they’re much more aggressive.”
North Tahoe 0 6 3 7 – 16
Tahoe-Truckee 0 9 0 12 – 21
TT – Nelson 1 run (PAT failed) 7:43
TT – Cook 44 field goal 0:30
NT – Stinson 38 pass to Pandola (2PAT failed) 0:00
NT – Glover 47 field goal 0:20
TT – Nelson 30 run (PAT failed) 9:24
NT – Collins 74 run (Lahti kick good) 8:25
TT – Nelson 28 run (2PAT failed) 4:34
6 First downs 14
26-163 Rushes-yards 51-339
4-11-0 Comp.-att.-int. 4-6-0
48 Passing yards 45
211 Total yards 384
0-0 Fumbles-lost 0-0
8-65 Penalties-yards 11-90
RUSHING – NT: Collins 11-113 (TD), Pandola 6-11, Brolliar 10-38; TT: Nelson 21-151 (3TD), Wilson 19-143, DeCoite 7-39, Larson 1-5, Detwiler 2-3, Corral 1-(-2).
PASSING – NT: Brolliar 3-10-0 10, Stinson 1-1-0 38 (TD); TT: DeCoite 4-6-0 45.
RECEIVING – NT: Pandola 2-40 (TD), Stinson 2-8; TT: Larson 3-40, Wrenn 1-5.
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