Even a sluggish start could not slow the raging Fallon offense.
The Greenwave football team blasted rival Fernley, 49-6, Friday in front of a packed house on Homecoming at the Edward Arciniega Complex.
Both teams, in fact, started slowly as Fernley quarterback Kevin Montgomery — subbing for the injured Skylar Williams — threw an interception on the opening drive. Fallon, though, countered with a fumble by Trent Tarner on the opening drive.
The Vaqueros took advantage as Montgomery connected with Erik Wilson for a 33-yard touchdown pass for a 6-0 lead. Fallon answered with 49 consecutive points to improve to 7-0 in the Northern Division I-A. Fernley falls to 5-2 and hosts Lowry (6-1, 7-1 overall) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Fallon clinched a berth in the playoffs, while Fernley must win one of its last two to qualify. Elko (6-1) and Lowry also clinched a spot in the postseason.
“We made some adjustments defensively and stopped their option,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “We probably played our best game of the year.”
After throwing a pair of incompletions to open the game, Morgan Dirickson heated up on the Wave’s second drive with five straight completions highlighted by a 21-yard strike to Cameron Matzen for a TD. Dirickson completed 13-19 passes for 287 yards and four TDs.
Matzen, meanwhile, tallied three more touchdowns and continued his electric play. After Tarner plowed into the end zone from 1 yard to give Fallon a 14-6 lead, Matzen took Fernley’s ensuing punt 67 yards for the score. It was his seventh punt return for a TD this season.
“Everyone was blocking well and the lanes opened up,” Matzen said. “You have to know your blockers and if they are going to push them in or push them out. This was our biggest game of the season.”
Dirickson continued his strong play in the third quarter when he hit Tyler Bagby, Baeu Marshall and Matzen for scores on three straight drives to ice the game.
Dirickson displayed touch when he lofted a 38-yard pass to Bagby and mobility when he scrambled outside the pocket and hit Marshall in the corner of the end zone from 15 yards out.
Matzen, meanwhile, took a screen pass and blazed his way through the Fernley defense from 66 yards.
“It was a tough first quarter, but we got in a groove,” Dirickson said. “I think that carried out through the second and third quarters. Our coaches came up with a good scheme … and we had a good week of preparation.”
Fallon’s defense, meanwhile, was stingy all night as Fernley’s option attack was stopped and the passing game was flustered. Montgomery, though, looked sharp early, but losing Williams took one more weapon off the field for the Vaqueros.
Montgomery, the team’s leading receiver, moved behind center and was efficient throughout the first quarter.
“Once they got that touchdown, our coach built a good scheme to stop them,” linebacker Rylie Williams said.
But Fallon’s defense adjusted and harassed Montgomery and company all night.
Montgomery was held to 7 of 14 passing for 99 yards with one TD and one interception. The Vaqueros’ running game also struggled as Wilson was limited to 44 yards on nine carries and Montgomery had 13 yards on 13 rushes.
Tarner, meanwhile, finished with 49 yards on nine attempts, while the receiving corps of Bagby and Matzen blew up. Matzen tallied three receptions for 121 yards, while Bagby hauled in four catches for 101 yards.
“They’re just good,” Fernley coach Chris Ward said. “He (Montgomery) does a good job at quarterback, but we lose a good player at receiver. He did fine and got a taste of what Skylar goes through.”