SPARKS — The Greenwave express steamed into Sparks with its Friday night express.
With a 49-0 win, the Fallon football team recorded its third straight shutout and fourth of the year, claimed a Northern 3A championship and gave coach Brooke Hill his 77th win to tie the legendary Tony Klenakis, who was inducted into the Greenwave Hall of Fame in 2017.
Hill said he was humbled to be in the company of Klenakis, who guided Fallon to three consecutive AA state titles in the mid-1970s.
“Larry (Barker, Voice of the Greenwave sports announcer) had told me,” Hill said. “It tells me we’ve had great players and very good assistant coaches.”
But Hill will have the opportunity to break the record on Friday with a Fallon win over Lowry.
“We’ve been able to win football games, but we’re not done with this year’s season,” he said. “We have bigger goals.”
It was a sweet victory for the streaking Greenwave, which won its eighth game of the year to remain perfect in the Northern 3A. After the game, Hill praised his players for their intensity and told the junior varsity players who suited up against the Railroaders they would return for the playoffs. Additionally, Hill said the final regular season game against Lowry on Oct. 19 will be a special time to thank the seniors for leading Fallon to an unblemished record.
During Friday’s postgame huddle near the Railroaders’ south goal posts, Hill praised the Greenwave for their play and hustle. After the players left for the locker room, Hill said the team took an early lead and played well, executing on both offense and defense in recording another shutout.
“The kids are executing at a pretty high level,” Hill said. “That’s what we’re seeing. The last few weeks our defense has been flying around. That’s what happens when you’re confident, and you know what you’re doing on defense.”
Hill said Trey Rooks had a total of eight tackles, three of them for losses and two quarterback sacks. Brenden Larsen had six tackles, one for a loss, while Dominyke Edwards finished with nine tackles, one for a loss.
Sean McCormick said the defense has great team speed and teammates who want to play football.
“A defense that wants to play wants to hit,” he added.
With Lowry now in the Greenwave sights, McCormick said he’s looking forward to a great week of practice.
McCormick emerged as a one-man wrecking crew against the Railroaders. The Fallon senior scored on a 22-yard run in the first quarter, a 10-yard run in the second and an 87-yard kickoff return to begin the second half.
McCormick set up his first touchdown run down the left sideline with 5:40 left in the first quarter. With Fallon leading 20-0, the Wave put together its longest drive of the night capped by McCormick’s touchdown run from the 10-yard line. On the play before his touchdown run, Quarterback Elijah Jackson hooked up with Tommy McCormick for a screen pass that covered 41 yards to the Sparks 10. Sean McCormick weaved a destructive path to open the third quarter with his kickoff return against the slower Sparks’ secondary.
Sean McCormick broke the 100-yard mark in rushing. He had 103 yards on eight carries in addition to a kickoff return and 2-point conversion.
“It feels good,” Sean McCormick said about the game and clinching the title. “We’re league champs, and ultimately, that’s not our final goal. We still have another game and then wrap up state undefeated. We’re hot going into the playoffs.”
McCormick said the offensive line makes it easy for him to carry the ball.
“They open up the holes, and I just have to run through them,” he said. “We have one of the best lines in the state.”
Jackson opened the game with a 14-yard TD swing pass to receiver Brock Richardson and then crossed the goal line early in the second quarter on a 1-yard quarterback keeper. Richardson caught two passes for 31 yards and rushed for a 3-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion.
Jackson showed his versatility scampering 64 yards with six seconds left in the first half to give Fallon a 36-0 lead.
Jackson said the offensive line opened a big hole for him to breeze past the Railroaders’ linebackers and safeties. The junior quarterback said his teammates have worked hard this season to give Fallon an 8-0 record.
“We’re more confident,” he said. “All of our guys have gotten better, and I want to lead them.”
Jackson had another stellar performance, both with his passing and running to account for three touchdowns. He completed 4 of 6 passes for 97 yards and rushed five times for 105 yards
Many junior varsity players saw action in the fourth quarter. Levi Andrews’ 1-yard score in the fourth quarter capped the Greenwave’s offensive showing. Andrews gained 31 yards on six carries.