Heck of a win
Fallon 28, Fernley 20
Fallon 13 0 15 0 — 28
Fernley 0 7 6 7 — 20
Fallon — Nathan Heck 25 run (kick failed), 10:31
Fallon — Heck 1 run (Riley Williams kick), 3:08
Fernley — Shane Kelso 6 pass from Kevin Montgomery (Kelso kick), 3:33
Fallon — Heck 6 run (pass good), 5:50
Fernley — Kyle Throckmorton 87 pass from Montgomery (kick failed), 4:13
Fallon — Bradlee Porter 8 pass from Pyle (Williams kick), 1:57
Fernley — Kelso 23 pass from Montgomery (Kelso kick)
Rushing — Fallon: Nathan Heck 31-248, Charles Fulks 4-74, Joe Pyle 9-49. Fernley: Kevin Montgomery 12-13, Devin Archer 5-7, Carlos Mcintyre 2-7, Brian Reyes 5-3, Kyle Throckmorton 1-(minus 1).
Passing — Fallon: Pyle 14-22-164-1-1. Fernley: Montgomery 14-26-263-3-2. Mcintyre 1-1-37-0-0.
Receiving — Fallon: Dylan Jabines 4-66, Jordan Schultz 4-34, Connor Richardson 2-32, Cameron Beyer 2-17, Bradlee Porter 2-15. Fernley: Throckmorton 3-121, Shane Kelso 6-91, Mcintyre 3-50, Eric Allen 3-37.
He is the calling card of a physical running game and the league’s most dominating back.
Nathan Heck carried the Fallon football team to a 28-20 win over rival Fernley and the Northern Division I-A title on Friday. The Greenwave senior racked up 248 yards — the 11th most in IA history — on 31 carries with three touchdowns as Fallon clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Despite the loss, the Vaqueros clinched a playoff berth thanks to Elko’s 49-0 drubbing over Dayton. Elko and Lowry also earned playoff berths.
The Wave hosts Lowry on Thursday, while Dayton visits Fernley.
“It feels great. Two years in a row as league champs … just need a state championship now,” Heck said. “The line had some push going. There were cutbacks all over the place. It was a tough game … a fun one to play.”
Fallon linebacker Riley Williams was also instrumental in the victory as he thwarted Fernley’s fourth-quarter comeback attempt when he intercepted quarterback Kevin Montgomery at the Wave’s 10-yard line to seal the win.
“On that pick, one of the linemen hit the ball and that’s what set it up,” Williams said.
Heck’s monster game began on the opening drive as he busted loose for a 25-yard TD run after a 19-yard completion from Fallon quarterback to Jordan Schultz to set up the Wave deep in Fernley territory.
After both teams traded interceptions, Heck and Pyle combined to carry the load. Pyle had runs of 10 and 24 yards to give Fallon first-and-goal at the Fernley 1.
Three plays later, Heck muscled his way into the endzone to extend the lead to 13-0.
“The kids were intense,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “It was an odd game … but pulled it out. We ran the ball well … and Nate (Heck) had a huge night. Offensively, we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, let them back in it when I thought we should’ve put it away earlier.”
But Fernley’s answer would come on the arm of Montgomery, who sliced up the Fallon secondary. He threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns, but also had two picks.
Montgomery led Fernley to its first score as he conducted a six-play, 62-yard drive capped on a 6-yard pass to Shane Kelso. The drive, though, didn’t come without a cost as Fernley’s leading rusher, Brian Reyes, suffered a knee injury and did not return.
“I thought our kids played hard and battled back,” Fernley coach Chris Ward said. “We had our chance at the end and just came up a little short.”
After halftime, Fallon once again turned to Heck in the third quarter after Evan Bitter recovered a fumble by Fernley’s Devin Archer. Heck amassed 41 yards on six carries including a 6-yard TD run and the 2-point conversion pass from Pyle to Connor Richardson gave the Wvae a 21-7 lead.
Once again, the Vaqueros answered the bell.
A sack by Justin Hatfield — one of his four for the game — put Fernley in a second-and-20 at their own 10. With his four sacks, Hatfield became the IA’s career leader with 33 sacks.
Two plays later, though, Montgomery heaved a pass to Kyle Throckmorton, who shook Aaron Bitter’s attempted tackle and raced 87 yards for the score.
But like a boxing match, Fallon answered with a critical blow on its next possession.
Heck broke free for a 45-yard gain to set up Pyle’s 8-yard TD pass to Bradlee Porter and a 28-13 lead.
Montgomery responded with a 23-yard TD pass to Kelso midway through the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 28-20.
Montgomery, though, was picked off by Williams, while Heck chewed up the clock as Fernley got the ball back with 1:53 left in the game. Montgomery threw four straight incompletions to end the game.
“We can throw the ball, I think, against anybody,” Ward said. “We were forced, especially when Brian went down, to go through the air.”
Fallon rushed for 371 yards as Charles Fulks added 74 yards on four carries and quarterback Joe Pyle chipped in with 49 yards on nine carries.
Pyle was also efficient through the air as he completed 14-of-22 passes for 164 yards, one TD and one interception.
Fernley’s run game, meanwhile, was nonexistent as the Vaqueros ran for 33 yards on 22 carries.
Jordan Schultz (34 yards) and Jabines (66 yards) led Fallon with four receptions each, while Connor Richardson (two for 32), Cameron Beyer (two for 17) and Porter (two for 15) each contributed in the passing game.
Throckmorton led the Vaqueros with 121 receiving yards on three receptions including a 37-yard catch on a halfback pass from Carlos Mcintyre in the third quarter.
Kelso added 73 yards and two TDs on five catches, Mcintyre had 50 yards on three grabs and Eric Allen had three receptions for 37 yards.
JV dominant in victory
The Fallon JV football team scored a 42-21 win at Fernley on Friday.
Brock Uptain led the Wave with 174 rushing yards, while quarterback Conner Nelson completed 10-of-15 passes for 185 yards and three TDs. The Wave scored 36 points in the second half to rally for their eighth league win.
Dalton Kady added a pair of interceptions for Fallon, while Dylan Ernst had two TD receptions.
Fallon is unbeaten in league play and hosts Lowry on Thursday.
Freshmen fall short at Fernley
The Fallon freshmen team was led by a trio of touchdowns from Christian Nemeth and two from Trent Thorn, but the Greenwave lost 52-38 last week at Fernley.
Fernley’s Zach Burns opened the game with a 46-yard TD pass to Russel Ortiz and added a pair of TD runs in the second quarter.
Ethan Marandi added four TDs for Fernley, while Fallon’s Morgan McAlexander hit Tyler Word for a 33-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.
Thorn and Fernley’s Austin Neher each returned a kickoff for a TD.
The Wave hosts Lowry today.