After more than three quarters of hard-hitting football on a warm August night, Friday night’s nonleague football game boiled down to two plays in the fourth quarter in a 34-28 loss for the Wave.
After Fallon tied the game with visiting Reed at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex, the Raiders’ Spencer Firebaugh scooped up a shanked punt that veered toward the visitor’s sidelines and ran the ball back for 34 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 28 seconds left in the game. Reed held off Fallon in the Greenwave’s final drive to escape the Lahontan Valley with a win.
Reed’s defense, which the Wave continually tested and exploited during the game, dug in on Fallon’s final two possessions.
Fallon, now 0-1, hosts Sparks at 7 p.m. in another nonleague game on Friday.
Greenwave quarterback Bryce Adams, who passed for 303 yards and completed 26 of 43 passes and a touchdown, said his teammates knew they were facing a good team.
Adams, the southpaw slinger, found a flaw in the Reed defense and kept many of his passes short.
“They were bigger than us but we put up a dogfight,” he said.
Fallon coach Brook Hill said it would’ve been great to snag the win from Reed, but he said the Wave played hard.
“That’s why we schedule these tough teams from California and Reno (Sparks) to begin the season,” he said. “They will only make us stronger.”
Hill said Sparks also will test the Wave. The Railroaders have jumped out to a 2-0 record.
Hill said a couple of bad breaks in the game was the difference, but the players showed determination and didn’t quit. However, Reed slowed down Fallon on the ground by limiting the Wave to 59 yards.
With less than a minute remaining in the home opener, Reed, which outscored Fallon 20-8 in the final quarter, forced Fallon to punt from its 20-yard line in the Greenwave’s second-to-last possession. With the ball on the Fallon 49, the Raiders moved to the Fallon 4 in four plays. Two penalties and a clutch defensive play for a quarterback sack sent Reed back to their 34. Dakota Davis’ punt sailed into the end zone.
In Fallon’s final series, the Wave ran out of time with the final four of five plays resulting in incomplete passes.
Going into the fourth quarter, though, Fallon led Reed 20-14.
Yet, it was the dazzle-razzle to compete with the bright neon lights of the nearby Fallon Cantaloupe Festival that startled the Wave.
After Brett Tarner punted to the Raiders’ 10-yard line, Dakota Dunlap completed a 23-yard pass to Damien Taylor for 23 yards, and duplicated the next pass-play for 23 yards to Xavier Pineda.
Dunlap, who had a 323-yard passing night by connecting on 21 of 33 attempts, pitched to Firebaugh on a first and 10 from the Fallon 44. With the secondary keying on Firebaugh, the Raiders’ back threw a perfect strike to Zach Taylor who was finally dragged down at the Fallon 2. Firebaugh, who gained 70 yards on 13 carries, ran the ball in on the next down.
The Wave scored early in the third quarter. Starting on their 20 after the kickoff, the Wave put together a 20-play drive alternative between Adams’ passes to Tarner and Carter Paul and the running of Steve Moon, Tristan Hill and Roland Grondin.
Dakota Davis’ extra-point kick was good to tie the score at 14.
The Raiders took over on their 17 yard line on the ensuing kickoff. Reed alternated between the pass and run to the Fallon 45. Dunlap threw two complete passes to Taylor before finding 14 behind the secondary.
Fallon and Reed each scored a touchdown in the third quarter.
The Wave wore down the Reed defense on 18 plays. Adams threaded the ball with the skill of a seamstress, finding Ethan Tarner and Carter Paul breaking free of the Reed secondary. Once Fallon reached the Reed 26, Adams threw three incomplete passes, but he then hooked up with Paul for a 14-yard strike along the Reed sideline and then looked the other way to Tarner who veered toward the Fallon sideline for 12 yards to the Raiders’ 2.
Tarner had a career night with 13 receptions for 183 yards.
Grondin barreled up the middle to break the tie for a one-score lead with 6:25 left in the quarter. Fallon padded the lead over Reed 20-7.
Dunlap guided the Raiders on a 12-play drive, highlighted by his 8-yard TD pass to Zach Taylor. Davis’ kick sliced the lead.
Reed began flexing its muscles early in the opening quarter, taking the opening kickoff at their own 20. In 11 plays the Raiders pushed down the field riding on the legs of Firebaugh and quarterback Dunlap who threw five consecutive passes, the last one for 10-yards to Anthony Comba. The extra point was good for a 7-0 lead.
Fallon tied the game late in the quarter on a 1-yard run from Tristan Hill. Brady Alves extra point kick was good.
The Wave broke the tie in the second quarter on Adams 12-yard pass to Baylor Sandberg, his only catch of the night. Steve Moon’s extra point sailed through the uprights.
Reed threatened to tie the game late in the quarter, but the Fallon defense dug in and stopped the Raiders at the 4-yard line after Dunlap threw an incomplete pass.
R —Dunlap 10 pass Comba for 10 yards. Dunlap kick.
F —Hill 1 run. Alves kick.
F — Adams 12 pass Sandberg Moon kick. Moon is good.)
F — Grondin 2 run. Point after no good.
R — Dunlap 8 pass to Z. Taylor for 8 yards. Davis kick.
R — 9:35 Firebaugh 2 run. Davis kick.
F — Tristan 7 run. Adams pass to Sandberg for conversion
R — Firebaugh 15 run. Davis kick.
R — Firebaugh 24 punt return. Kick no kick
Cmp Att Yds Cmp% TD Int
Bryce Adams 26 43 303 60.5% 1 0
Att Yds Avg TD
Roland Grondin 9 22 2.4 1
Tristan Hill 8 20 2.5 2
Steven Moon 3 14 4.7 0
Brady Alves 1 10 10 0
Bryce Adams 2 -7 -3.5 0
Rec Yds Avg TD
Ethan Tarner 13 183 14.1 0
Carter Paul 7 68 9.7 0
Steven Moon 4 45 11.3 0
Baylor Sandberg 1 12 12 1
Brady Alves 0 0 0 0
Bryce Adams 1 -5 -5 0