Anyone should be able to confirm that football is a team sport and fielded with 11 players. However, the Truckee Wolverines in the Maverick Division of the Sierra Youth Football League could make a pretty strong argument that they were beaten 33-6 by the Reed Raiders’ quarterback alone last Saturday at Truckee’s River View Sports Park.
The slender-built No. 34 slanted right, swept left and ran straight up the middle to end up in the end zone a total of five times on the day. He scored every touchdown for the Raiders and also collected a majority of the 267 yards gained on the ground against the 7- and 8-year-old Wolverines.
Truckee did slow him down to two touchdowns in the second half and did make some improvements of their own, but it was not enough and they dropped their home opener.
Defensive end Carson Jensen and linebacker Jackson Kahl led the Wolverines defense in slowing the Raiders from 164 yards on 14 carries in the first half to 103 yards on 16 carries in the second half. Both defenders turned in season-high totals with seven tackles each.
Kahl also led the Wolverines’ improvement on offense in the second half with a 29-yard run up the left side in which he pulled up short of the end zone thinking he had scored on the poorly marked small field. Kahl’s big run off of a reverse accounted for a bulk of the 44 yards gained on nine carries in the second half. The 4.8 yards per carry in the second half greatly improved upon the first half performance of 15 yards lost on eight carries.
Kahl’s run also set up the Wolverines’ lone score two plays later in the fourth quarter. On the scoring play, center Luis Castaneda pushed two Raider defenders back and cleared quarterback Tavin Hamilton to trail for the 1-yard score. Hamilton was stopped less than a yard short on the extra-point conversion.
Kahl ended the day as the Wolverines’ leading rusher with 35 yards on three carries. Hamilton finished as the second leading rusher with 9 yards on four carries. Running back Hutton Johnson chipped in 6 yards on three carries.
Defensive leaders included defensive end Johnson with six tackles, including a team-high five solo tackles. Safety Hunter Hansell was all over the field with his five tackles.
Cornerback Ryland Morrison got his first tackle of the year on the first play of the game and added two more in the third quarter. Linebacker Jacob Moule matched a personal best with three tackles and defensive end Jason Roth also brought down three Raider ball handlers.
Peter Reoutt trailed a play 11 yards from his defensive tackle position for his sole tackle of the day. Kicker Colton Conklin hustled 25 yards down field to touch down the Raider that fell on his fourth-quarter kick for his sole tackle. Hamilton earned a tackle on offense by touching down the Raider that fell on the ball after a bad exchange between the quarterback and the running back.
The Wolverines’ special teams turned in their best day by taking advantage of all the opportunities the Raiders’ quarterback gave them on kickoff returns. Kick returner Damon Parisi led the team with a return of 11 yards. Johnson stretched a short kick return into 10 yards with finesse and power. After advancing the kick 4 yards he spun off the initial tackler then carried five Raiders another 6 yards. Kick returner Galdino Bravo-Karvonen returned a line-drive kick straight forward for a gain of 8 yards.
Next up for the Wolverines (1-3) is another home game against Fernley Vaqueros (2-2) at River View Sports Park’s small field Saturday at 10 a.m.