After a week off the Truckee Bandits took on the Bishop Broncos in a battle of 5- to 7-year-olds at River View Sports Park in Truckee this past Saturday.
The Wolverines kicked off to the Broncos and started the game on defense. The Wolverines were coming off two consecutive shutouts and their defense stood tall to start the game. After four plays, the defense led by Jake Solberg, Jessie Espinoza and Stephen Borden gave the ball back to the Truckee offense.
The offense led by quarterback Ezra Scharp and offensive linemen Jared Gur, Caige Maran, Ricki Espinoza Jr., Miles Kelly-Caruthers and Connor Folks ran four straight plays for 8 yards and turned the ball over on downs.
The Broncos took the ball and after two plays up the middle, faced a third-and-5 play. The Broncos running back took a handoff around the left side of the line and ran for a 40-yard touchdown. They added the extra point and led 7-0.
Truckee received the kickoff and after a fumble on third down gave the ball back to the Broncos. The Broncos again tried a run around the outside of their offensive line and again scored a touchdown, increasing their lead to 13-0.
The Wolverines started moving the ball on their next drive behind strong runs from Will Atkinson and good blocks from Drake Johnson and Tait Nicholas. But, the drive stalled as the first half ended with Bishop leading 13-0.
The second half started with Truckee on offense and moving the ball, with powerful runs by Aidan Powers and good line play against the tough Bronco defense. Unfortunately, the drive was stopped again by a fumble and the Broncos took over the ball.
The Truckee defense stood tall and held the Broncos with strong line play by Cooper Smart, Quinn Krommenhoek, Gur and tackles from Scharp, Maran and Casey Slusher. With the Truckee offense getting the ball back, they were primed to score the ball.
After strong runs up the middle by Powers, giving Truckee two first downs, Atkinson took the ball around the right end for 35 yards, giving Truckee the ball on the Broncos 10. After four plays the Broncos held the Truckee offense out of the end zone and took the ball over on their own 1-yard line.
With the offense sputtering, the Wolverine defense decided to put some points on the board. Sean McMullen sacked the Bishop quarterback in the end zone for a safety to put Truckee on the board.
The Truckee defense was aided by good defensive line play by Aiden England and Joey Green and gave the ball back to the offense with 1:30 left to play. Proving that the boys never gave up, on the final play of the game, Powers took a ball up the middle and ran for 65 yards before getting tackled at the Bishop 20 to end the game.
Despite the final score, the Wolverines worked hard the whole game and should hold their heads high after a tough loss. Truckee hopes to rebound on Saturday at noon at River View Sports Park.