The 9- and 10-year-old Truckee Wolverines of the Freshmen division of the Sierra Youth Football League are heading to the playoffs for the second straight year after wrapping up the regular season with a 47-3 trouncing of the Wooster Colts last Saturday.
The team finished the regular season at 5-2-1.
Against Wooster, the scoring parade started with Truckee's first play from scrimmage when Patrick Hogan took a sweep and ran 54 yards to the end zone. Drake Riina punched in the PAT to make it 7-0. On Truckee's third play from scrimmage, Riina took the ball to the house on a 28-yard run. Matt Villalba converted the PAT to give the Wolverines a quick 14-0 lead.
After Wooster turned the ball over on downs, Owen Slusher, George Skaff and Gavin Kelly carried the ball for 15, 31 and 17 yards, respectively. Successful passes from Conner McMullen to Jordi Brenes and Mason Cutler set up a Villalba 36-yard TD run. Hunter Kacarka punched in the PAT, putting the Wolverines ahead 21-0.
Following a Wooster 26-yard field goal, McMullen called his own number on an option and scored on a 12-yard TD. Truckee's stifling defense led by Darrien Sveistrup, Dylan Lewis and Logan Bates forced a fumble that was recovered by Garrett Kirk.
Defensive Coordinator Steve Hogan gave credit to a season-long defensive effort: "Our front five are routinely outweighed by 50-100 pounds per player. However, in true Wolverine fashion, these boys get it done and find a way to win on each play."
On the ensuing possession, Kirk carried the ball 8 yards, setting up a 52-yard touchdown dash by McMullen and a PAT by Slusher.
After another great kickoff by Juan Olivas, Hogan and Kelly tackled Colts for consecutive big loss sacks, forcing Wooster to punt. Jordi Brenes, playing heady football, snapped up the shanked punt and returned it 22 yards.
On the first two plays Eric Spillman carried Wooster defenders to a first down with carries of 6 and 5 yards. George Skaff swept around the left side for 28 yards, followed by a nifty 37-yard scamper by Drake Riina.
McMullen then punched in a 22-yard TD, followed by a Dillon Kane PAT. Kane rounded out the scoring when he broke loose up the middle for a 28-yard TD.
"The key to today's victory and a successful season has been our line blocking up front by Cutler, Bates, Kelly, Lewis, Spillman and Kirk," said Truckee coach Chris Skaff. "When these guys have gone down, Ethan Hatcher, Nate Bromley, Villalba and Hunter have done an admirable job."
Truckee took a knee to close out the regular season with their sights set on a first-round playoff game against the Greenwave of Fallon at Hug High in Reno on Saturday at 1 p.m.
"Today's game was a great way to finish the regular season. Thirteen of our 18 boys carried or caught the ball and seven different boys score points," said Truckee coach Kevin Kelly.