Truckee’s Pop Warner Mighty Mites White team took on two opponents Saturday at Truckee’s River View Sports Park.
The 8- and 9-year-old Truckee Wolverines showed extreme toughness and overcame the first opponent, the sky that dumped near freezing rain upon them relentlessly throughout all four quarters.
Unfortunately, the second opponent that presented itself as the Reno Central Wolf Pack proved to be too strong to overcome as Reno ran away with a 25-0 victory.
The cold and wet weather hit both teams like a blindside tackle and forced a total of 15 fumbles. The Wolf Pack lost two of its seven fumbles and the Wolverines lost four of their eight.
The Wolf Pack only converted one of the fumbles into points, a five-play touchdown drive in the third quarter. However, two other fumbles proved costly to the Wolverines as they stopped the only two offensive drives that pushed inside of the Wolf Pack’s 20-yard line.
In addition to the fumbles, the weather forced both teams to run basic run plays primarily up the middle. The Wolf Pack mastered the smashmouth type football better than the Wolverines and sloshed over the soaked terrain for 241 yards.
Truckee pounded out 60 total yards with running back Carson Jensen leading the team with 36 yards on eight carries. Running back Jackson Kahl followed with 20 yards on nine carries. The only other runner with positive yardage was quarterback Tavin Hamilton. He contributed 13 yards on three carries, but did not attempt any passes.
Despite giving up 241 yards to the Wolf Pack, the Truckee defense started strong and kept Reno in check with minus-8 yards on four plays.
Jensen fired out of his defensive end position and dropped the Wolf Pack quarterback twice in the first quarter and proved to be Truckee’s quickest defensive starter. He finished with six tackles including another sack in the third quarter.
Linebacker Matthew Seline may not have started as quickly as Jensen but he finished strong. Seline led the team with eight tackles, all in the second half.
Hamilton finished one tackle behind Seline, but led the Wolverines from his linebacker position with three forced fumbles. Linebacker Caige Maran recovered two of those fumbles and got in on five tackles.
Linebacker Jacob Moule made the first defensive tackle of the game and then added five more in the second half. Linebacker Hunter Hansell contributed five tackles.
Defensive back Jacob Vieira contained the outside with three tackles. Defensive end Peter Reoutt matched Vieira’s efforts and also pressured the Wolf Pack quarterback to throw errantly in the game’s only pass attempt late in the fourth quarter.
Defensive tackle Sam Marr saw a lot of action in the middle of the field and was in on two tackles. Jesse Espinoza bolted all the way from his right defensive back position to make two tackles on the opposite side of the field.
Ryland Morrison dropped the punt returner after only a gain of one for his sole tackle.
Other special teams play revealed Kahl as the leading returner with a 34-yard punt return. Jensen followed with 27 yards on three kick returns.
The Wolverines expect to improve upon their play as the weather is expected to improve when they travel to Sparks to challenge the Sparks Steelers under the Friday night lights of Golden Eagle Park. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.