The rivalry of the year
The Greenwave varsity football team has been waiting for this date since the beginning of the season.
The Wave is first in the league, 7-1 overall and 7-0 in D1-A after defeating Spring Creek one week ago, while the Spartans are just behind at 6-2 overall and 6-1 in D1-A.
This impressive win is a boost for Fallon in light of their 7 p.m. home game tonight — Senior Night — against the Fernley Vaqueros, a long time rival that could just as easily steal first place. Fernley is currently 7-1 overall and 6-1 in D1-A, with only one loss in league play to the Spartans in early October.
“We’ve just been doing what we do,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “The kids are still focused, especially after everything that happened last week, and it showed in the way we played.”
The incident Hill refers to was, of course, an automobile accident involving four Churchill County students, two of whom were Wave football players. One was seriously injured, and Hill said Branden Beeghly is currently recovering in the hospital. Beeghly is up and walking and eating solid food, according to Hill, and is hoping to get home by this Tuesday.
Though without this Beeghly, the Wave still boasted an impressive passing game last week against the Spartans with quarterback Connor Richardson. He passed for more than 270-yards and five touchdowns in total, rushing an additional 70-yards since Richardson is not one to be sacked.
“Connor has just been doing what Connor has been doing all year long,” Hill said. “You know he really established himself as the best quarterback in the league and in my belief, the best player in the league.”
Kyle Throckmorton, Fernley’s senior quarterback, has averaged 43-yards passing per game, with 29 pass completions of 68 attempts, 343 total passing yards and four passing touchdowns, all on par with Richardson.
“It’s a rivalry game,” Hill said, “and every year it’s a battle with these guys. Doesn’t really matter what the records are. The last few years we’ve both had really good records coming in and honestly this is a game for first place. They have one loss, but if they give us a loss it puts them right back in the mix. So it’s a very important game for both teams, and it’s a rivalry game. So there’s going to be a lot of excitement, a big crowd Friday night, and hey, at least it’s at home.”
Brock Uptain had the first touchdown of the game for the Wave, a 23-yard run after a catch from Richardson that put the Wave on the board. Uptain is up to 138-yards rushing and 470-yards receiving.
Evan Bitter followed in the first quarter with his first touchdown catch of the game, 18-yards from Richardson.
Connor Nelson, who had five total catches in the game, caught the first touchdown of the second quarter, a 16-yard pass from Richardson, bringing him up to 423-yards receiving, second only to Uptain in team totals.
Bitter caught for his second touchdown, a 39-yard pass by Richardson and the fourth for the Wave. Bitter is up to 98-yards receiving, but 252 for his total.
After Uptain caught his second touchdown of the game in the third quarter, a 15-yard pass by Richardson, the final touchdown of the match in the fourth quarter belonged to Cade Vercellotti, a 6-yard run to the goal that brought Vercellotti to 98 carries and 722 yards rushing, leading the team in rushing yards.
“We gave up two scores,” Hill said, “but you know they (Spring Creek) have been averaging 36, 37 points a game, so to hold them to 20 plus points, we did a really good job.”
Hill said that the biggest challenge the Spartans gave was that they caused Fallon to turn the ball over a little to often, something he plans to address this week with Fernley coming to town.
“A couple we got back but had two or three other turnovers in the game,” Hill said, “so that’s not indicative of the kind of team that we are.”