Penalties, a first quarter ejection and a bit of fortune were too much for the Elko football team to overcome on Friday.
Fallon thumped the Indians, 48-20, in a battle of previous Northern Division I-A rivals. Fallon improves to 4-0, while Elko falls to 3-1.
Elko starting running back David Jackson was tossed on the Indians’ second possession after he punched Fallon’s Cameron Matzen after a tackle. Jackson’s absence put a hole in Elko’s run game, which was held in check most of the game.
“That put us in a deep spot right off the get-go,” Elko coach Luke Sellers said of the ejection. “We got a lot of football left. They executed very well … and we were poor in the first half.”
Fallon’s fortune, though, was evident on its first possession. After quarterback Morgan Dirickson fumbled the opening snap, he more than made up for it on the second play.
He found Matzen on a wide receiver screen, and the sophomore sensation jolted 73 yards for a touchdown. Dirickson, meanwhile, was just warming up.
The Greenwave’s second drive was aided by a personal foul penalty to give Fallon the ball on the Indians’ 44-yard line. Two plays later, Dirickson connected with Beau Marshall for a 13-yard score.
Dirickson lit up the Elko secondary for 430 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.
“That quarterback (Dirickson) is one of the best I’ve seen,” Sellers said.
Fallon went up 21-0 on a 63-yard pass from Dirickson to Tyler Bagby, but Elko did not quit. The Indians rebounded late in the first quarter and cut the lead to 21-7 when quarterback Connor Altenburg hit Nathan Klekas for a 69-yard TD.
Elko kept the pressure on early in the second quarter when James Carte returned a punt 33 yards down to Fallon’s 1. Klekas scored the next play and Elko had momentum on its side.
But it was Fallon’s night. Dirickson and Bagby connected on the next for a 70-yard TD pass, and Dirickson found Matzen once more for a 5-yard socre to put the Wave up 34-14 with 5:54 remaining in the half.
Elko, meanwhile, struggled to find its offensive rhythm without Jackson. The ground game netted 71 yards in the first half, while the passing game gained 25 yards, minus the TD pass.