Saturday’s lopsided affair was much different than last week’s regular season finale. Truckee cruised to a 49-12 romp on Halloween, but Sparks scored first in that game, mounted several scoring drives and was competitive for long stretches of the contest.
That was not the case in the second meeting. Truckee (8-2) built a 29-0 lead after one quarter and had pushed its advantage to 43-0 by halftime Saturday. The Wolverines scored on their first seven possessions of the afternoon.
“Truckee came out with a lot more fire than they did last week and we weren’t able to match it,” Sparks coach Rob Kittrell said. “I give them credit. They said they were a little sluggish last week, but they weren’t today.”
Sparks (4-6) had a chance to try and stay in contention late in the first quarter, Already trailing 20-0, the Railroaders marched 55 yards to the Truckee 20. Unfortunately for Sparks, its march stalled a half yard short of the first-down marker on fourth-and-4 play. That missed opportunity turned out to be the local school’s best chance to score.
“We had a couple drives going and we turned the ball over. We tried to attack them with more options and we didn’t execute very well,” Kittrell said.
Sparks finished the game with five turnovers. Four of those came before the intermission. The giveaways helped Truckee in a big way. The Wolverines had three scoring drives of less than 30 yards thanks to Sparks turnovers.
Truckee racked up 385 yards of total offense compared to just 167 for Sparks.
Despite the defeat, Kittrell tried to find some positives. The Railroaders clinched their fourth straight playoff berth.
“I’m proud of these guys. We’ve been through a lot, including four season-ending injuries to starters and three went both ways. Plus our numbers are down. We’ve been practicing with only 18 or 19 kids for the last couple games. The kids’ effort was good. I think we got the most we could out of this group.”
Truckee, which extended its winning streak to seven games, will host Virgin Valley of Mesquite Saturday in a 3A state semifinal.