For the first time in 35 years, the Fallon football team will play for the state championship.
The Greenwave (10-1) knocked off southern foe Moapa Valley (11-1), 34-24, in the Northern Division I-A state semifinals Saturday at the Edward Arciniega Complex.
In a turnover plagued game, the Pirates committed eight turnovers, six interceptions, including a 13-yard pick-six by Fallon’s Tyler Bagby to ice the game with 2:59 left.
Fallon, though, threw three first-half turnovers — two by quarterback Morgan Dirickson and one by Connor Richardson — and held a slim 14-12 lead. Moapa Valley, though, turned the ball over on its first two possessions, and the second led to an 11-yard TD pass from Dirickson to Bagby for a 21-12 lead.
But Moapa Valley, who has appeard in nine consecutive state semifinals, battled back. The Pirates cut the lead to 21-18 when running back Justin Hughes plowed in from 3 yards out.
Fallon, meanwhile, turned to the legs of its own running back, Trent Tarner. After a roughing the kicker call on a punt gave the Wave a first down at their own 36, Tarner busted loose for a 64-yard TD run for a 27-18 lead.
Moapa Valley, though, answered with a 5-yard TD run by Andrew Huerta to trim the Wave’s lead to 27-24.
Tarner, meanwhile, opened the game with a 98-yard kickoff return for a TD. The Wave went up 14-0 when Dirickson hit Cameron Matzen for a 54-yard TD pass.
After an interception by Dirickson, Moapa Valley quarterback Zach Hymas hit Hughes for a 15-yard TD. The Pirates’ Jeremy Waite cut the lead to 14-12 with a 49-yard TD run with 8:51 remaining.
As for the state title game, Fallon will face Faith Lutheran, who knocked off Lowry, 16-8, in Las Vegas. Kickoff is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Damonte Ranch in Reno.