Fallon’s chase to snap a decades-long state title drought begins next season in California.
The Greenwave football team accepted an invitation last month to play in the Honor Bowl at Del Oro High School in Loomis. The Honor Bowl is a tribute to the armed forces and features five games in Loomis and five games in Oceanside.
Fallon, though, will take on Cardinal Newman at 5 p.m. on Aug. 30 in a nonconference matchup. The game marks the first time Fallon will play in August since 2009, a 22-13 loss to North Valleys.
“I think because we are a military town,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said of the selection, “but also because we’ve had some success the last few years.”
In Nevada, the last week of August represents the Hall of Fame weekend. The Honor Bowl, meanwhile, features teams from Nevada, California, Washington and Hawaii and will be played Aug. 29-30 (Loomis) and Sept. 5-6 (Oceanside).
Many Nevada schools begin play the last week of August, although a number of the smaller schools must wait until the first week of September because they cannot find a competitive nonconference matchup. Fallon has started its season the past five seasons in September and its regular season has consisted of only league games.
“Ever since we went down to this league (Division I-A), we’ve been looking for a Hall of Fame game,” Hill said. “It’s been tough. When you are in the Division I, there are more teams to schedule. We’ve gotten to the point where we are a pretty good program so it’s been tough to schedule a game.”
In addition to Fallon, fellow Northern Nevada schools Carson, Damonte Ranch and Reed will compete in the two-day event. On Aug. 29, Damonte Ranch faces Elk Grove, and the action continues Aug. 30 with Carson against Clayton Valley while Reed battles Clovis-North.
Initially, Fallon was slated to play Del Oro but as the event grew the teams were reorganized, according to Hill.
The Wave was paired with Cardinal Newman, who qualified for the postseason last year.
“We were contacted by officials from Del Oro,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “As this thing grew … they started to pair teams according to school size. So we got paired up with Cardinal Newman instead of Del Oro.”
As for Fallon, though, the Greenwave are coming off their best season in nearly 40 years. The Wave went 10-2 and lost to Faith Lutheran, 17-0, in the Division I-A state championship game in November.
Fallon returns a loaded squad but must replace quarterback Morgan Dirickson, running back Trent Tarner and lineback Dakota Schelling.
Dirickson was the Northern DI-A’s Offensive Player of the Year, Schelling the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and Tarner was a second-team selection.
Nevertheless, the quarterback competition figures to feature junior Joe Pyle and sophomore Connor Richardson. Cameron Matzen, a first-team special teams selection, Tyler Bagby and Nathan Heck, among others, are expected to battle for carries at running back.
Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa), meanwhile, went 5-2 last season in the North Bay League and 8-4 overall. The Cardinals lost to Analy, 33-30, in the second round of the CIF Division 3 North Coast Section playoffs.
Cardinal Newman is a private Catholic school with approximately 650 students according to the school’s website.
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