Truckee Youth Football kicked off its return to Pop Warner with all five teams winning their opener this past weekend.
For the Pee Wee team of 10-, 11- and 12-year-old boys starting the season against a tough Reno Wolf Pack team that finished 5-2 last year was set to be a great challenge. The Truckee team met that challenge with a 33-0 shutout.
The key to the game was outstanding line blocking and a shut-down defense. The offensive line of Garrett Kirk, Gavin Kelly, Logan Bates, Nate Bromley, Mason Cutler and tight end Marcus Trotter opened huge holes in the Reno defense all day.
Jack Watters started Truckee’s scoring with touchdown runs of 15 and 26 yards. Connor McMullen and Nate Bromley punched in the PATs. Long touchdown runs were common on the day for the Pee Wee team. Carter Corso busted a run for 37 yards following a key downfield block by Micah Ivens. Dillon Kane added the PAT with a tough run up the middle.
Two highlight touchdowns on the day were turned in by Drake Riina and Ethan Hatcher. Already up by 21 points, Riina received the ball on a simple off tackle play and turned it into a spectacular 62-yard, tackle-busting touchdown. The TD was Riina’s only carry on the day.
“We were worried how missing a week of practice because of the smoke would affect our intensity, but the boys played great,” said coach Chris Skaff. “We had seven different players score points today and 15 boys carried or caught the ball. It’s a great luxury to have players of this caliber.”
Behind by 27 points, the Wolf Pack was forced to put the ball in the air and safety Ethan Hatcher made them pay. Hatcher dropped back and picked up a Wolf Pack receiver breaking free over the middle for a big play. Hatcher jumped the route, cutting in front of the receiver and intercepting the ball. He then raced 43 yards to the end zone for the final touchdown.
“Starting the season out with a victory and a shutout was huge for our team,” said coach Steve Hogan.
Coaches Dan Kane and Hogan noted that all 26 players contributed to the defensive shutout. Added Kane: “Dakota Allen-Gill, Tyler Corso, Owen Elvrum, George Skaff, Logan Ryan and Darrien Sveistrup were key to the shutout. Our defense held Reno to less than 50 total yards today and they never crossed the 50-yard line. It was good day for our team.”
“Our quarterback play today by Braedy Santens and Aidan Kane was great,” said head coach Charles Slusher. “Braedy threw the ball very well today. However, Aidan didn’t get a chance to throw a pass due to rules around point margins in the game. We’re excited to have two outstanding players at the QB position this year.”
The Truckee Pee Wees take on a tough Sparks Wolf Pack team this Saturday 11 a.m. at River View Sports Park in Truckee.