Pyle-ing it on | NevadaAppeal.com

Pyle-ing it on

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

For the first time in decades, the Fallon football team escaped its league schedule unscathed.

Despite the Greenwave's (9-0 league, 9-1 overall) 34-7 win over Lowry (6-3, 7-3) on Thursday, the game was bland as each coach held his cards close to the chest.

"It feels good," Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. "Minus the opening drive of the game, we did a good job and played pretty solid."

The reality heading into the game was the two schools would once again meet this week in the first round of the Northern Division I-A playoffs. Lowry needed Dayton to beat Fernley, which they didn't, and to beat Fallon to secure the No. 3 seed.

Lowry visits Fallon at 7 p.m. on Friday, while Fernley travels to Elko.

Lowry coach Tim Billingsley, though, took the pragmatic approach and went with a "vanilla" plan in the regular-season finale.

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"We just want to come out and play physical and make sure our kids knew they can compete with these guys," he added. "Next week, hopefully, we'll come out and play better. I think we matched them fairly well."

The Buckaroos opened the game with an impressive opening possession, as Lowry marched 68 yards in nine plays capped by a 3-yard touchdown run from Beau Billingsley.

Fallon's powerful offense responded on the legs of Nathan Heck and quarterback Joe Pyle. Heck amassed 38 yards, while Pyle sealed the drive with a 3-yard TD run to tie the game.

From there, however, it was all Fallon.

Pyle went to work as the senior signal caller busted loose for 28 yards and a 15-yard personal foul penalty set up the Wave at Lowry's 13-yard line.

Two plays later, Pyle hit Dylan Jabines for a 12-yard TD pass.

Lowry's lone wrinkle was a fake punt, but Sterling Dennis was stuffed and the Wave took over on the Lowry 48.

"That's huge because that is like a turnover," Hill said. "That was a momentum swing and gave us good field position."

Pyle connected with Cameron Beyer for a 37-yard gain and then scored on a 9-yard keeper to put the Wave up 21-7.

In the third quarter, Lowry opened with consecutive punts and Heck broke free from 25 yards on the Fallon's second drive to give the Wave a 28-7 advantage.

Lowry's problems mounted as Omar Guerrero fumbled the ensuing kickoff.

Two plays later, Pyle lofted a pass to Jabines, who made a sensational diving grab in the end zone for a 28-yard score.

"We got to stop Heck and stop that passing game," Tim Billingsley said. "We will try a few different things. We got one game to go and will pull out all the strings."

Fallon's defense, meanwhile, was solid after the opening drive holding Billingsley to 81 yards and quarterback Christian Gray to 45 yards through the air.

Pyle, meanwhile, completed 10-of-20 passes for 160 yards and two TDs and also rushed for 45 yards and a pair of scores. Heck finished with 123 yards on 19 carries.

"We came in with a vanilla game plan," Hill said. "We got the running game going … and Dylan made some good plays in the passing game."

The win was Fallon's first in last four meetings with Lowry dating back to 2011.

Another sidebar was the chase for the league's rushing title between Billingsley and Heck. The Lowry senior edged Fallon's star by 11 yards (1,291-1,280) to win the rushing crown.

Southern playoff action

In the Southern DI-A, the postseason began last week with no upsets.

Perennial power and the No. 1 seed from the Sunset League, Moapa Valley, cruised by Spring Valley, the Sunset's fourth seed, 41-15.

Sierra Vista, who beat Chaparral, 30-7, will visit Moapa Valley on Friday.

Defending state champ Faith Lutheran, the No. 1 seed from the Sunrise League, blew past Boulder City, 40-11. In the other quarterfinal, Desert Pines, the No. 2 seed from the Sunrise, dropped Cheyenne, 34-20. Faith Lutheran hosts Desert Pines on Friday.

As for the state semifinal schedule, the winner of the Faith Lutheran-Desert Pines game will travel north, pending a win by Moapa Valley.

Should Moapa Valley lose and Faith Lutheran wins, Sierra Vista would travel north.

If both Moapa Valley and Faith Lutheran lose, Sierra Vista would travel north and Desert Pines would host the second-highest remaining seed from the north.

With a win against Lowry, Fallon will host one of the state semifinal matchups.

JV cruises past Buckaroos

The Fallon JV football team ran past Lowry, 53-6, last week.

Connor Nelson threw for five TD passes and 194 yards. Dylan Ernst hauled in three TD catches, while Brock Uptain added 130 yards rushing and two TDs.

Cade Vercolotti added one receiving TD and an 85-yard kickoff return for a score, while Tyler Kendall also had a rushing TD.

Caleb Pallone and Oden Wayman had an interception and fumble recovery, respectively.

Freshmen dominate Lowry

The Fallon freshmen football team blasted Lowry, 51-0, last week.

Christian Nemeth ran for three TDs and tossed two to Clayton Steelmon, both coming in the first quarter.

Trent Thorn added two TD runs and Austin Amaya scored on a 3-yard run to lift the Wave. Hayden Fulk, Morgan McAlexander, Austin Lunderstadt and Austin Woods each recovered fumbles for Fallon.

Fallon 34, Lowry 7

Lowry 7 0 0 0 — 7

Fallon 7 14 13 0 — 34

First quarter

L — Beau Billingsley 3 run (Anthony Silva kick), 8:07

F — Joe Pyle 3 run (Riley Williams kick), 4:41

Second quarter

F — Dylan Jabines 12 pass from Pyle (kick failed), 5:04

F — Pyle 9 run (pass good), 0:41

Third quarter

F — Nathan Heck 25 run (Williams kick), 1:09

F — Jabines 28 pass from Pyle (kick failed), 0:12

Stats

Rushing — Fallon: Nathan Heck 18-123, Charles Fulks 8-49, Jake Ernst 7-32, Joe Pyle 3-40. Lowry: Beau Billingsley 21-81, Donovan Brumm 9-61, Christian Gray 7-41, Mason Morrison 2-8, Caleb Ahenfeld 2-6, Thomas Swartz 1-6.

Passing — Fallon: Pyle 10-20-160-2-0. Lowry: Gray 4-10-45-0-0.

Receiving — Fallon: Dylan Jabines 4-51, Cameron Beyer 3-46, Connor Richardson 3-41, Jordan Schultz 1-20, Evan Bitter 1-2. Lowry: Sterling Dennis 2-12, Brumm 1-13, Chris Tyree 1-12, Billingsley 1-8.