Not much went right for Sparks. The Railroaders were forced to punt from deep inside their own territory following their opening drive. Poor punt coverage set up Truckee inside the Sparks red zone. The Wolverines first play from scrimmage, a screen pass, went for a 17-yard touchdown and the hosts were off and running with a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game.
Truckee forced Sparks to punt again on the next possession and again the Wolverines cashed in on a short field and posted another touchdown, forging ahead 14-0 five minutes into the conference clash.
Sparks had its lone bright spot of the day on its next drive. The Railroaders drove into Truckee territory before a drive stalled at the THS 30. Still, the Railroaders got on the scoreboard when Esteban Bravo booted a 47-yard field goal.
That trimmed the Truckee lead to 14-3 late in the first quarter. Unfortunately for Sparks, that did not stop the bleeding. Truckee got a 75-yard touchdown run from Cole Roberts on its second play of the next drive and had a 21-3 lead with seconds to go, still in the opening quarter.
“They’re a good team,” veteran Sparks coach Rob Kittrell said of Truckee. “They ran the two touchdowns back and that hurt the morale of the team. If we could’ve just stayed away from making those kind of big mistakes, we could’ve hung in there for a while and maybe made a run. It was tough.”
It got uglier for Sparks. On its next two possessions, Roberts, dropped into coverage from his linebacker position and brought back a pair of picks — 45 and 44 yards — to the end zone for interception returns.
That left Truckee wielding a 34-3 lead just minutes into quarter number two.
The Wolverines added two more touchdown drives in the second quarter and extended their edge to 48-3 by halftime.
The hosts were not done. They got possession to start the second half. On their first play from scrimmage of the third quarter Jake Pettit broke off an 80-yard touchdown run. That made the score 55-3 and accounted for the final margin.
“They execute so well offensively. They’re always one or two steps quicker to the punch. We did put some drives together. I don’t think we’ve scored on them the last three or four times we’ve played them. We didn’t keep our composure and mental focus. We’ve got to do a better job of that. Against a good team like Truckee if you let up and get down on yourself, they put the pedal to the throttle.”
Sparks fell to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in Northern 3A League with Saturday’s loss. The SHS gridders return to action Friday when they host Fallon at 7 p.m.