DAYTON — A week after suffering significant injuries, the Greenwave football team went back to work on Friday, turning Dayton into its latest casualty.
Fallon, which was without its starting quarterback, running back, linebacker and key linemen, took care of business against the Dust Devils, posting a 56-0 shutout.
Fallon improved to 4-1 in league play and returns home to face Elko, while Dayton (1-5, 0-5 league) heads to winless Lowry on Friday.
“We just came out and executed,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “The kids had a good week of practice and executed the game plan. We played pretty physical (on defense). When you get a shutout, obviously you did something good.”
Sophomore Brock Richardson, who moved from receiver to running back with starter Reid Clyburn on the sideline, was dynamic on the ground with 241 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Sean McCormick, making his first start behind center after Elijah Jackson suffered a season-ending injury last week, frustrated the defense, busting loose for 166 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns. McCormick also threw for 76 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown to Tommy McCormick.
Fallon struck quickly and often against Dayton, one of two winless teams in the league.
After forcing a punt to start the game, Fallon’s running game exploded on runs of 16, 10 and 18 yards, resulting in McCormick’s read-option touchdown with 9 minutes, 31 seconds left in the game.
On the ensuing series, Dayton crossed into Fallon territory thanks to running back Austin Lunz, who led the team with 111 yards on 24 carries, and quarterback Trenton Thompson’s quick strike on the series’ second play. Thompson found Alex Dusky for 16 yards on second-and-10 before Lunz carried the ball on the next four plays for 12 yards. A 7-yard pass to Carson Keith on third-and-12 quickly turned into a turnover when the ball popped loose on Fallon’s 44-yard line with 6:38 left in the first quarter.
“The fumble hurt our momentum,” Dayton coach Pat Squires said. “We had the drive going but they scored some quick touchdowns.”
From there, Fallon scored quickly with touchdowns on each of its next five drives before halftime to build a 42-0 lead.
McCormick hooked up with Clayton Steelmon for 17 yards on the second drive and went back in the air for a 24-yard hookup with his brother, Tommy McCormick, for the game’s second touchdown with 4:44 left in the first quarter.
A Dayton punt downed at Fallon’s 2-yard line put the Dust Devils in good position for their defense to prevent the game from blowing up but Fallon had different plans. Sean McCormick broke through the line and sprinted down the sideline before being tackled at Fallon’s 49-yard line. On the next play, it was Richardson’s turn as he ran to the weak side, cut back across the middle and dragged a Dayton defender into the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown run with 1:13 left in the first.
It wasn’t just the offense that had Dayton frustrated.
The defense, pitching its second shutout of the season, was solid. Gabe Hardy highlighted a defensive stop in the second quarter with a sack as Fallon forced punt after punt.
McCormick scored the last three touchdowns in the first half with a 6-yard run at the 9:14 mark in the second quarter, a 32-yard scamper with 5:37 left and then an 8-yard keeper with 26.3 seconds to go in the half. Fallon led 42-0 at halftime.
The second half was no different with the Fallon offense.
Richardson led the scoring attack in the third quarter on Fallon’s third play of the series. Richardson carried the ball on all three plays, capping off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown with 9:23 left. After another Dayton punt, Everado Pardini scored on a 1-yard plunge, which was set up by Richardson’s 48-yard run stopped short of the goal line, to finish Fallon’s scoring.
Despite being shut out for the fourth time this season to Fallon on homecoming, Squires saw no quitting in his Dust Devil football program as it continues to gain experience with a young team in his second season.
“They cared enough not to quit and they cared enough to want to make plays and keep going,” Squires said. “We’re not going to fold because they’re Fallon. We’re going to play football. I’m proud of my guys for not quitting and that’s the key to the whole thing.”