Nick Van Patten caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Sylis Sanchez to give Sparks a 27-7 lead over Truckee, two minutes into the second half, Friday night at home. The ensuing PAT proved to be the play of the night.
The kick was blocked.
Truckee went on to outscore Sparks 21-0 over the final 22 minutes, handing the Railroaders a devastating 28-27 home loss.
The Railroaders fell to 2-4, 1-4 in the DI-A North. Truckee improved to 3-3, 3-2.
“It felt like defensively, we weren’t as fast as we had been in the first half,” Sparks coach Rob Kittrell said of Truckee’s strong second half. “Truckee did some good things to out-leverage us a little bit and they were just a step quicker to the point of attack. We couldn’t stop them.”
The visiting Wolverines dominated possession in the second half with lengthy drives. Sparks got the ball just three more times after the Van Patten bomb. Penalties stalled each drive.
Truckee scored the game-winner with six minutes left.
“We just couldn’t get our offense on the field,” Kittrell said. “Truckee put together some long drives which in turn took our offensive rhythm away.”
The flipped script in the second half was preceded by a Sparks-dominant first half. The Railroaders led 21-7 at the break before Van Patten’s long touchdown early in the third quarter.
Van Patten caught three passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball seven times for 68 yards.
Sanchez completed 6-of-12 passes for 105 yards and the two touchdowns to Van Patten. He also ran for a 2-yard touchdown. Hunter O’Meara finished with 105 yards on 17 carries, including a 49-yard touchdown for Sparks’ first points of the night.
The majority of the numbers came before the break.
“The first half went right according to script,” Kittrell said. “Kids were playing hard, played fast and the second half we just let off that gas and Truckee took advantage.”
The Railroaders will attempt to rebound next Friday at Fallon (5-1, 5-0).