SPARKS — Fallon rolled to its second straight lopsided win Friday in Northern 3A football with a 49-6 win over Sparks.
The Wave’s next game will truly test its mettle on both offense and defense.
The Greenwave, 3-1 overall and 2-0 in league, travels to Truckee on Friday for a 7 p.m. game. The Wolverines are 5-0 after a home win against Fernley.
Although Fallon coach Brooke Hill said the Greenwave played well against Sparks and South Tahoe, one of the strongest tests of the season against a league foe is Friday. Ironically, Fallon and Truckee didn’t face each other in 2022 because of heavy smoke coming from several Sierra Nevada fires. Truckee stopped Fallon 21-6 two years ago in Fallon, and during the COVID year, Fallon and Truckee didn’t play. The last Fallon win came in 2019 with a 35-21 home victory.
“We’ll still approach them the same way,” Hill said. “They’re the most important game of the season.”
With a three-game winning streak, Hill said the players have competed well and should be ready for the Wolverines.
“It will be a good, stiff challenge for us,” Hill added.
Truckee is coming off a 19-10 win over visiting Fernley. The Wolverines relied on a big 10-point second quarter.
“Truckee is so explosive with their speed,” Hill pointed out. “They present a difficult challenge.”
For the Wave, Hill said Rolland Grondin had another big game on Friday.
Grondin, who had a stellar game the week before against South Tahoe, picked up where he left off against Sparks.
The defense set up Fallon first score on a blocked punt. Caden McKnight blocked Bode Taylor’s punt, and Michael Robinson pounced on the ball at Sparks 10.
One play later Grondin scored, and the 2-point conversion was good.
“He’s done a good job of running the ball,” Hill said.
The defense stymied the Railroaders on their next series, and Fallon’s Carter Paul returned a punt to the 46-yard line. Quarterback Bryce Adams capped the six-play drive with a 4-yard pass to Ethan Tarner, but the Railroaders broke up the attempt for Fallon to score a 2-point conversion.
Tarner wasn’t done lighting up the scoreboard. On Sparks’ ensuing series, Tarner picked off a Max Hendrix pass on the first play and took it in from 20 yards. Grondin’s 2-point run gave the Greenwave a 22-0 lead with 6 minutes left in the quarter.
Fallon frustrated the Sparks offense again, and Taylor punted from his 26. His 53-yard punt rolled to the Sparks 21. On the Greenwave’s first play, Grondin outran the Railroaders’ defense for 79 yards. Fallon’s 2-point pass failed, but the Greenwave finished the quarter with a 28-0 lead.
The physicality of the Greenwave line forced the Railroaders into another mistake. On a second and 10 from their 30-yard line, middle linebacker Caden McKnight recovered a high snap on the 11, and Adam accounted for another Greenwave touchdown 20 seconds into the second quarter. The Railroaders trailed 34-0 before their homecoming crowd.
Both teams stopped each other on subsequent drives, but the Railroaders finally cracked the Fallon defense with 9:22 left in the first half on Hendrix’s 65-yard pass that was tipped to Ayden Owens. Gone was Fallon’s shutout, but the Wave led 34-6.
Fallon mixed up its running and passing game and put together a nine-play drive resulting in Tarner’s touchdown from the 11-yard line.
“Ethan and three touchdowns,” Hill said of his all-around player. “He played a solid game for us, as did Baylor Sandberg.”
Brady Alves, who substitutes for Adams on the extra points, connected with Grondin for the 2-point conversion and a 42-6 lead that stood up until halftime. A running clock was also implemented because Fallon led by more than 35 points.
The Greenwave substituted liberally during the second half and put together several good drives. Fallon didn’t score until the last 1:09 in the game. The defense recovered a Sparks fumble at the 10, and backup quarterback Colin Shishido kept the ball on the first play for a 10-yard keeper. The extra point was good for a 49-6 win.
Hill said he was pleased with the Fallon defense, which has allowed 13 points in three games and 29 points overall, while the offense racked up a total of 131 points.