Three Fernley fumbles fell in Truckee's favor, turning into Wolverines' touchdowns during the first half of a 47-13 win over the Vaqueros in the Division I-A North region football playoffs Saturday.
The first came on a bobbled and dropped punt, the second on a sack by Truckee defensive end Zak Pettit on Skylar Williams, and the third on a Fernley run play by Vaqueros running back Paul Bustamante that turned into a 35-yard scoop-and-score by Truckee defensive back Javier Virrey.
"We just killed ourselves by fumbling, and it was almost the exact reverse of what happened last game," Fernley head coach Chris Ward said.
The turnovers created a tone quite the opposite of that set in the first meeting between the two teams during the regular season, when Fernley defeated Truckee, 7-0, a month ago, ending the Wolverines' 41-game win streak
Truckee's redemption-grabbing performance, led by senior quarterback Erik Holmer -- who completed 10-of-17 passes for 215 yards and five touchdowns -- was a testament to the tempo set at practice this week by coach Bob Shaffer and his assistants.
"The coaches are the best in the state, and honestly, they prepared us so well for this team because we really wanted to go out there and beat Fernley today after they stopped our streak," Holmer said.
"Practice was intense, having that feeling in the pit of your stomach that we lost to them, and we know it's one-and-done in the playoffs, so it was really icing on the cake that we got to beat them."
Holmer connected with senior running back Jake Pettit for two touchdown passes of 40-plus yards, and Pettit had another catch for 30 yards in the second half to add to the halfback corps' 219 total rushing yards.
Wolverine running back Austin Vance led with six rushes for 78 yards and halfback Lance Bokinskie tacked on 55 yards with nine carries, including the only touchdown on the ground for his team. That one made the score 47-13 with 6:13 left in the game.
"I think several things happened last time (against Fernley) that distracted us --with homecoming, powder-puff, CSU (California State University) applications that took our seniors for one practice -- and I think since that burden of the streak wasn't here today, it allowed our kids to play the way they're capable of and not have to worry about that extra weight on their shoulders," Shaffer said.
The lone bright spot for Fernley (6-5) was running back Paul Bustamante, who gained 130 yards on 34 rushes.
"We should have beaten Fernley the first time so we're just on to the next game," Holmer said.
and we haven't played the team we're playing next week (Cheyenne) ever in Truckee history so we don't know anything about them, but we just have to have good week in practice -- and I'm sure we'll be able to pull out another win," Holmer said.
Truckee (9-1) will host Cheyenne of Las Vegas in the Div. I-A state semifinals on Saturday.