For the second time in a week, the Fallon offense broke 40 points and the defense kept Lowry to a pair of touchdowns as the Greenwave took a 48-14 Northern 3A football win Thursday night at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
With their first-round playoffs win, the Greenwave (7-3 overall) booked a trip to Elko on Friday. A win over the Indians, the league’s second seed, would set up another rematch with league-leading Truckee. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
Lowry’s defense stopped Fallon in the first quarter by shutting out the Greenwave, only the second team to do so this season in 3A play. Elko blanked the Wave in their Oct. 13 game and then held on to win, 13-8, after Fallon misfired four times deep in Elko territory.
The Greenwave wound up outrushing Lowry, 237 yards to 223, and also led in passing, 217 to 112.
Fallon coach Brooke Hill said Lowry made some adjustments at the beginning of the game from their previous game.
“Defensively, we had to make adjustments and get Rolland (Grondin, Fallon’s leading rusher) going,” Hill added.
BIG SECOND QUARTER
Fallon rolled on land and in the air to take the lead and add to it in the second quarter. Grondin rushed for three touchdowns, and Ethan Tarner had one of his best games of the season on offense by snagging three passes for touchdowns to go along with his rushing touchdown.
Fallon, though, pounded the turf for its first score. Grondin barreled in from 5 yards and then cut through the Lowry defense for his second score.
Grondin, who rushed for 133 yards on 13 carries, sliced through the Lowry defense in Fallon’s first score. The senior running back found an opening, and Matt Bird added a touch by kicking the extra point. Bird, who played on the junior varsity team and was bought up to the varsity after their season ended last week, gave the Wave another offensive weapon.
The Fallon sophomore hit 6-of-7 on extra points.
“That really helps us for him to kick those extra points,” Hill said.
During Fallon’s previous games, the Wave relied on the 2-point conversion run but many of those attempts failed.
“Bird’s helping to get the ball deeper (on his kickoffs),” Hill said, adding that helps Fallon set up its coverage better.
Hill, though, felt the special teams gave up too much yardage to Lowry, especially on the kickoffs.
As Fallon works this week to face Elko on Friday night, Hill said Bird will help in close situation and might have made a difference in Fallon’s loss to the Indians earlier in the month.
Lowry, though, rolled a lucky seven to tie the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lowry’s Anthony Guzman returned the ball to set up the Buckaroos for their touchdown. The Buckaroos rode on the legs of running back Jessie Jeronimo to move into Greenwave territory. On a first and 10 from the 21-yard line, Jeronimo broke free on the far side near the Lowry bench and outraced the Wave defense to the end zone. Rigoberto Esquivel’s extra-point kick tied the game.
Jeronimo also scored Lowry’s second touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run. He led all rushers with seven carries for 163 yards.
Undaunted, the Wave then scored 41 unanswered points to put the game out of reach going into the fourth quarter. Fallon broke the tie with 5:54 remining before halftime.
Greenwave quarterback Bryce Adams threaded the ball to Carter Paul for a 32-yard gain and on the next down, he completed a 13-yard pass to Tarner.
The defense shut down Lowry in the Buckaroos’ next series. Fallon linebacker Caden McKnight, who forced Lowry to cough up two fumbles last week, intercepted a pass from Lowry quarterback Joseph Vankuiken. The Wave was back in business.
In five plays beginning at the Lowry 19, Adams completed the short drive with a 14-yard pass to Tarner, who was left alone by the Buckaroos secondary.
“I caught the ball, flipped my head around and moved outside,” Tarner said.
The Wave showed their versatility before halftime when Adams completed a perfect 37-yard pass play to Tarner late in the second quarter.
POURING IT ON
Fallon roared mightily in the third quarter, scoring three times on a 4-yard Grondin run and a pair of touchdowns from Tarner.
After Fallon stopped Lowry near the Greenwave goal line at the 4, Adams handed off to Tarner who spun deep and then righted himself, facing the distant Lowry goalpost. He broke through the defense and outdistanced the Lowry linebackers and safety for 96 yards to score Fallon’s sixth touchdown. Lowry cornerback Brandon Cardenas trailed Tarner, but he couldn’t catch up.
Tarner showed many of the same moves against Lowry’s defense when Adams found him for a 42-yard pass. Near the goal line, Tarner circled around the Bucks’ secondary downfield from the Fallon bench.
“I wanted to get the ball in a player’s hands,” Adams said. “Tarner’s a playmaker.”
Tarner said as soon as he saw the ball, he knew he would score.
“I came back and spun against their defensive line,” Tarner said.
Tarner and Carter Paul kept Lowry’s defense guessing, especially in the first half. Overall, Tarner caught five passes for 116 yards, and Paul four catches for 55 yards.
FALLON 48, LOWRY 14
Lowry 0 7 0 7 — 14
Fallon 0 28 20 0 — 48
F: Grondin 5 run (Bird kick)
L: Jeronimo 21 rush (Esquivel kick)
F: Grondin 29 rush (Bird kick)
F: Tarner 14 pass from Adams (Bird kick)
F: Tarner 37 pass from Adams (Bird kick)
F: Grondin 4 rush (Bird kick)
F: Tarner 96 rush
F: Tarner 42 pass from Adams (Bird kick)
L: Jeronimo 2 rush (Esquivel kick)