Cade Vercellotti had a good feeling just seconds into his team’s road clash with Wooster on Friday.
“I was super hyped up,” Vercellotti said of returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. “My kick return team did a good job. I saw a hole to hit.”
In addition to returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown, the junior running back then ran for four touchdowns as the Greenwave football team scored in all three phases to capture its first road win of the season. Fallon, which also returned a punt and fumble for touchdowns, shut down Wooster, 55-7.
“We played well,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “We had a couple of defense lapses in the passing game but we played pretty solid.”
Vercellotti rose up to the challenge at running back after Trae Workman injured his knee during Week 1 and then Brock Uptain left Friday’s game early with a shoulder injury. Vercellotti was summoned when Workman went down with an injury and then thrown into the spotlight after Uptain injured his shoulder. Edsel Porto also left the Wooster game with a knee injury, and Hill wasn’t sure about the players’ status.
“He’s a good player, a good athletic player,” Hill said of Vercellotti. “He’s a good weapon. Guys have to step up.”
Fallon’s first score within the first minute of the game set the tone for the Greenwave as they managed to score in every possible way. Fallon scored on the ground, in the air, on a punt return and on a defensive fumble recovery.
“It always helps when you get that first score in there,” Hill said about jumping out to an early lead.
After opening the game with the kick return, Fallon scored on its seventh play of the first series to bump the lead to two possessions before quickly adding another score thanks to an interception setting up good field possession.
Quarterback Connor Richardson’s 37-yard toss to Conner Nelson put Fallon into Wooster territory but a holding call and two incomplete passes pushed the ball back. Facing third and 20 from Wooster’s 34, Richardson found Uptain open for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 3 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter.
After Aaron Bitter’s interception on Wooster’s third play of the ensuing series, Fallon punched in another score with a 1-yard run from Vercellotti. Uptain’s 36-yard reception on the first play gave Fallon first and goal from the 10.
Despite the defense surrendering several big plays in the first quarter, including a 33-yard touchdown run from Chosen Gbenjo, Fallon went back to work in the second quarter. Richardson’s 23-yard keeper coupled with back-to-back completions put the Greenwave into the red one. Richardson executed a play-action bootleg to the right side as he walked into the end zone to give Fallon a 28-7 lead with 9:49 left in the half.
The special teams added to the scoring again when Nelson returned a punt for a touchdown, and Vercellotti busted loose for a 22-yard touchdown run to put Fallon up 41-7. Vercellotti’s third touchdown on the ground came with 54 seconds remaining before halftime as the junior back blasted through for the 4-yard score and 48-7 advantage.
The defense joined the scoring party in the second half on a strange series of events.
Fallon’s Chase Hyde picked off Wooster quarterback Hunter Triplett early in the fourth quarter, only to fumble the ball back to the Colts. On the following play, though, Johnny Mayo recovered a fumble and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.
“All I saw was the ball on the ground and I picked it up. Once I got inside the 5, I was not going to stop and wanted that touchdown,” Mayo said. “I thought we played really well. We executed as well as possible tonight.”
Fallon (2-1) returns home to face South Tahoe, which gave Fernley a scare last week. From there, the Greenwave gets into the meat of their league schedule with Elko, Spring Creek and Fernley on the horizon.
“We still have a ways to go. We have the tougher part of our schedule coming up,” Hill said. “We have to get through this injury bug.”