Sean McCormick’s Irish eyes smiled on the Greenwave in what was his final game played at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
The Fallon senior rushed for a career high 334 yards and scored three touchdowns in leading Fallon to a convincing 58-20 win over the visiting Pahrump Valley Trojans (7-4), the Southern 3A’s No. 2 seed.
McCormick scored a touchdown in every quarter except the first, while teammate Elijah Jackson threw for one and ran for two other scores. The Wave seeks its third state championship since the 2015 season when Fallon (11-0) faces Truckee (11-1) on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Carson High School. Truckee, which upset Moapa Valley 23-16, on Saturday, lost to Fallon during the regular season, 32-29, on Sept. 8.
“Sean did a phenomenal job,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “He’s one of the best players we have ever had. We depend on him to win the football game, and the other guys step up.”
Fallon kept the offense on the ground against the Trojans, rushing for 479 yards and scoring eight touchdowns. The Wave jumped on Pahrump for two first-quarter touchdowns, a 12-yard quarterback keeper from Elijah Jackson and another score from the junior, a 34-yard run. McCormick scored on the 2-point conversion after the Trojans’ defense stopped him after the first touchdown.
“They’re big and physical like we expected,” McCormick said. “We came out and played our game, and we wanted the big plays.”
On Fallon’s first drive, the Wave drove 67 yards in six plays, capped by Jackson’s keeper, and then Fallon put together an 11-play drive for its second touchdown of the opening quarter. McCormick carried the ball three times for 23 yards.
Going into the second quarter with a 14-0 lead, the Wave’s Brock Richardson broke loose for a 44-yard touchdown run, while McCormick’s 2-point run gave Fallon a 22-0 lead.
Pahrump broke into the scoring column with 2:45 left before halftime. Jackson heaved a long pass downfield, but Pahrump’s Willie Lucas snared the ball and then took off for a 95-yard score.
The Wave struck twice in the last 2:22.
McCormick ran for a 15-yard touchdown, and he intercepted a pass with 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter and returned it 53 yards down the Pahrump sidelines. His 2-point conversion was good to give the Wave a 36-6 lead at halftime.
Trey Rooks’ pressure on Pahrump’s quarterback, Dylan Wright, who hurried the throw, set up the interception.
Fallon scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter and one more in the final stanza.
Elijah Jackson found Tommy McCormick for a 12-yard strike, and Richardson’s 2-point run was good for a 44-6 lead. Sean McCormick had his third touchdown of the afternoon with 7:15 remaining in the third quarter, a 30-yard run.
Richardson also had a stellar day for the Wave, rushing for 64 yards and also breaking up Pahrump’s passing game.
Pahrump also added two scores in the third quarter. Joey Koenig broke loose and outran the secondary for 74 yards, and the Trojans’ leading rusher, Nico Velazquez, escaped the Fallon defense on the Pahrump side for 37 yards.
Sean McCormick not only scored on a 43-yard run in the fourth quarter, but he also took the ball in for the 2-point conversion to give the Wave a 38-point and also the start the running lock.
Hill praised his defense and how the Wave took advantage of game situations.
“We were worried about the offensive side,” Hill said of Pahrump. “They had a couple of big plays and scored quickly, but that was OK. We didn’t let them grind out the ball.”
Except for a couple of big plays, the Fallon defense kept Pahrump to 214 yards rushing and only 7 yards through the air. Velasquez, who ran for more than 200 yards last week against Boulder City, didn’t break the century mark against the Wave. Fallon held Velasquez to 93 yards on 15 carries.