Fallon starts to hit its stride | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon starts to hit its stride

Thomas Ranson

The Greenwave football team is starting to hit its stride after a couple of hiccups early in the season.

In the last five quarters, Fallon has outscored the opposition, 82-6, including a 52-0 drubbing over Dayton last week. Fallon (3-2), though, turns its attention to Elko (4-1) tonight when it travels north for a pivotal Northern 3A clash.

“We played much better,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said of the Dayton game. “It was one of our better games this season we put together offense, defense and special teams. We still have got a ways to go. We were explosive on offense and we executed on offense. I don’t think turn ball over. Defensively, we were real solid. We gave up 70 total yards. It was a good solid win.”

Elko comes off its first loss of the season, a 39-0 shutout at Truckee, which remains unbeaten. Aside from a 37-0 win over Dayton to open the season, Elko has had to battle for each of the last three wins, winning by a combined 13 points.

“They’re 4-1 and we’re looking up to them in the standings,” Hill said of Elko. “Coach (Luke) Sellers has another competitive team. They played Truckee last week but Truckee has beat up on everyone. They’ve been in close games and found ways to win. In all those games, what could have gone south for them has been a win.”

Until the last quarter of the South Tahoe loss two weeks ago, Hill was looking for answers and players to step up and take charge. A permanent quarterback switch from first-year starter and junior Christian Nemeth to senior Conner Nelson help spark the offense. The defense followed suit, posting the team’s first shutout last week.

“It kind of reminded us of the last few years when we would get ahead of a team and put them away,” Hill said. “I’ve been harping on it all year long. Maybe, they grew up a bit after that South Tahoe game and last week.”

Fallon’s defense will have to defend two quarterbacks tonight in Elko. Seniors Eric Klekas and Emmit Johnson have shared snaps with Klekas completing 16 of 29 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson has completed 6 of 18 for 104 yards and one touchdown.

The ground attack is a similar story with three Indians rushing for more than 100 yards apiece. Junior Gavin Byington leads the team with 215 yards on 38 carries and two touchdowns, while Klekas has been a dual threat with 156 yards on 47 carries for one touchdown.

For Fallon, it’s all about consistency and improvement.

“Just stay consistent,” Hill said. “We need to keep getting better at what we do and keep improving. I think we found our identity about who we are. If anything, that’s the nice thing to see is developing an identity.”

Smash-mouth defense and sharply executed offense helped Fallon rise up the ranks to become the team to beat recently. It also helped the Greenwave win its first state title in almost 40 years.

“In the last couple weeks, we turned it up on both sides of ball and it really carried into last week,” Hill said. “We’ve always been known as physical football team. These guys can do it but we need to do it consistently. We need to be a hard-nose physical football team.”

After tonight’s game, Fallon travels to Sparks next week before returning home for the last two games. Spring Creek visits Fallon on Oct. 14 for homecoming, and Lowry comes in on Senior Night on Oct. 21.