Inexperience got the best of the Greenwave football team but the players responded better than ever in practice this week. The response was just in time for a pivotal conference game against of the league’s best.
After watching its cross-valley rival come back from a two-touchdown deficit to win the league opener, 32-30, last week, Fallon (1-1) returns to the field tonight when the resurgent Truckee Wolverines (2-0) visit the Lahontan Valley. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex with the game being broadcast on KKTU 99.5 with Larry Barker calling the play-by-play and ex-Greenwave quarterback Randy Beeghly providing the color.
“They did a good job,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said about his team’s response this week. “We met, talked a little bit about what happened and talked about how to fix our mistakes. We had a lack of focus and we were not consistent enough. We have to play a full 48 minutes.”
For most of the night, Fallon showed it was the better team, dominating Fernley in the league opener before the Vaqueros drove 94 yards in 11 plays on the game-winning drive.
Quarterback Elijah Jackson played solid in his second outing, completing 10 of 18 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore quarterback also ran nine times for 59 yards to lead a balance rushing attack. Reid Clyburn ran for 48 yards on 12 carries and Sean McCormick added 14 yards on four carries. McCormick, like the Hug game, was Jackson’s go-to receiver as he hauled in five catches for 113 yards and a score. Brock Richardson also grabbed five passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.
The defense shined, too, recording seven tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and a safety against Fernley. But key lapses in the second half combined with the offense going scoreless toward the end allowed Fernley to rally.
“Because of us being a young team, we have periods where we lack focus,” Hill said. “Fernley, being a senior team, they’ve been through a lot and they’re a hungry football team and were able to capitalize on it. We showed the film to the kids and talked about it. If we just play more focused and cut out the mistakes, we win that football game. It’s not a physical thing. It’s not like we’re getting pushed around. It’s simply mental.”
Truckee’s coming off a 35-0 road win over Wooster after defeating a California team on the road last month.
Like the Wolverine teams of old, this year’s group is physical and it showed in the trenches with Truckee rushing for 381 yards against Wooster. Eight Wolverines had at least two carries with junior Marcus Bellon leading the surge with 82 yards on eight carries. All five touchdowns were scored on the ground with Bellon, Jamie Parisi, Joel Estabrook, Kevin Malo and Jackson Skaff reaching the end zone. Bellon also threw for 130 yards, completing 9 of 11.
Senior linebacker Michael Doughty leads the Truckee defense with 17 tackles in two games while senior linebacker Cole Eichele has two interceptions.
“They’re a good football team. They’re young, too,” Hill said. “They’ve come out of the box here playing really well. They believe they can win and they’ve shown it. They blew out Brett Hart pretty well and shut out Wooster.”
With Truckee visiting Fallon tonight, Hill said the team’s been focused on honing in on its mistakes. It doesn’t have to be perfect but he wants consistency from the team and the rest will take care of itself.
“You see flashes of how good we can be,” he said. “It’s not a size issue. It’s not a physical issue. It’s not an athletic issue. We don’t maintain it long enough. We’ll get there. Hopefully, it clicks this week. We don’t have to play perfect to win. We just have to play consistent. If we do that, we’re going to be tough to beat.”