Reno stops Fallon run game in 42-18 season-opening win

Fallon’s Evermar Garcia tries to escape Reno’s Keelan Anson on Friday night.

Fallon’s Evermar Garcia tries to escape Reno’s Keelan Anson on Friday night.
Photo by Thomas Ranson.

Fallon’s running game struggled to get going and Reno took advantage of 10 three-and-outs in a 42-18 win over the Greenwave in Friday night’s NIAA Hall of Fame game at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.

“We have to do a better job on our run game. If you can get first downs and keep the ball, it’s a different ball game,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said of his team’s 40-yard performance on the ground. “We had a lot of three-and-outs. We made a lot of mistakes. We had a lot of penalties. We’ve got to do a better job on the offensive side.”


Fallon, which travels to Reed on Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff, converted 4 of 14 on third down and turned the ball over three times, including a costly fumble to begin the second half.


“We played a lot of defensive downs in this game, especially early in the second half,” Hill said. “We did score on a big play, but we can’t live that way. We have to be able to produce drives and move the football down the field. We didn’t do that very well tonight. It’s why we scheduled these 5A teams. We wanted to give ourselves some challenges at the beginning of the year and see what kind of football team we’re going to be down the road.”


Making his first start at quarterback, senior Keaton Williams completed 15 of 28 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions. Williams’ favorite target was senior Tyler Austin, who hauled in 206 yards on seven catches, including a pair of touchdowns. Senior Jace Nelson caught five passes for 34 yards and Reese Kincaid had two receptions for 32 yards.


“There are flashes that we can be really good in the passing game,” Hill said. “We’ve got some playmakers out there. Obviously, Tyler had a big night with a couple of touchdowns. We pass-protected fairly well for most of the night.”


The running game, though, struggled.


Tristan Hill led the team with 21 yards on nine carries, including his first career touchdown. Brody Jacks ran for 17 yards on six carries.


The defense was strong against the passing game, allowing only 56 yards. But a trio of backs collectively ran for more than 200 yards. Niko Amari led the Huskies with 97 yards on 10 carries while Keelan Anson rushed for 59 yards on 10 carries. Hayden Parga, who shared duties at quarterback, ran for 59 yards on six carries.


“We didn’t handle up front as well as we should have,” Hill said of the battle in the trenches. “They did a really good job against it. That’s what you get when you play a 5A team. They have 50-something guys over there and we knew that going in. We still didn’t play very well. It’s early. We’ll be better next week than we were this week.”


The Greenwave lit up the scoreboard first after going three-and-out on their first series.


On fourth-and-7 from the Reno 38-yard line, Williams lofted the ball down the right side with teammate Steven Moon jumping against Landen Keller for the ball. The ball, though, went off Moon’s fingers and fell into Austin’s hands as he scampered down the sideline with 8 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion was no good.


“It was really cool. It was kind of a broken play. I ended up running to the sideline when Keaton throws it,” Austin said.


Fallon’s defense stopped Reno on its next two drives in the first quarter, but the Huskies found the end zone early in the second frame.


After Williams threw an interception at the 50-yard line, Parga ran the next two plays for 11 and 12 yards to set up Ramari’s 17-yard run and a successful PAT, which gave Reno a 7-6 lead with 9:42 remaining in the half.



Thomas Ranson/LVN
Fallon’s Jace Nelson sacks Reno’s Dominico Rocco Granieri in the first quarter of Friday night’s season opener in Fallon. 

 



About three minutes later, Fallon would find the end zone again to regain the lead for one final time.


Williams connected with Austin for a 6-yard game before running for 7 yards and a first down. Back-to-back passes to Nelson and Austin set up the ball in the red zone. Hill plowed up the middle for the 2-yard score to give Fallon a 12-7 lead with 6:30 to go.
Reno, though, answered twice before the end of the half to take a 21-12 lead at halftime.


Parga’s 8-yard run helped the Huskies retake the lead and Anson’s 17-yard run with 1:45 left in the quarter gave Reno it’s first multi-possession lead of the game.


The second half could not have opened any worse for Fallon.


The Greenwave received the kickoff but fumbled on the first possession, which set up a quick 1-yard touchdown run by JT Hawk. Two minutes later, Dominico Rocco Granieri found Darius Smith for a 27-yard touchdown strike to give Reno a 35-12 lead with 9:58 left in the quarter.


“You win the toss so that you can defer and get the ball in the second half and stick it in and score,” Hill said. “You don’t want to give it to them on the 10-yard line. In some ways, that’s a momentum killer. That changes the game a little bit.”


Fallon’s offense struggled to find rhythm in the third quarter until Williams heaved a deep throw across the middle of the field to Austin for an 81-yard touchdown with 5:29 left. Facing third-and-10 on their own 19, Williams scrambled to his left approaching the sideline before falling back on his throw to Austin, who took advantage of Reno jumping too early to defend.


Hawk scored his second touchdown of the game, a 9-yard run, with 2:30 left in the third quarter.


“We are not well conditioned. When we got tired, we gave up. We kept making mistakes,” Fallon senior defender Xavier Capton said. “We’re looking to win. We want to win. We’re just looking to get the experience. We just want to get better and better.”


Thomas Ranson/LVN
Fallon’s Tristan Hill scores his first touchdown to give Fallon the lead in the first quarter against Reno. 

 

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