Fallon completes perfect league season, enters bye week
3A North Playoff Seeds
1. Fallon (9-0)
2. Truckee (8-1)
3. Elko (6-3)
4. Fernley (6-3)
5. Spring Creek (6-3)
6. Lowry (4-5)
The Greenwave football team finished the regular season with a perfect record after another route Friday night at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
Behind 401 yards of offense and a defense that allowed only 85 yards, Fallon recorded its fifth shutout of the year, fourth in a row, blanking Lowry, 43-0, on Senior Night. Fallon (9-0) clinched the No. 1 seed and first-round bye last week while Truckee (8-1) is the No. 2 seed.
“It feels good because it means we’ve played pretty good football throughout the year,” said Fallon coach Brooke Hill, who surpassed Tony Klenakis Sr. for the most wins in school history (78). “We grabbed the one seed and now have a chance to get a little rest and get ourselves healthier. We just talked about now it’s a one-game season every week and that’s how we have to approach it.”
Junior quarterback Elijah Jackson completed 9 of 12 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns, senior Sean McCormick ran for 153 yards on 14 carries and three scores and brother and junior Tommy McCormick hauled in four passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Eleven seniors were honored before the game as each walked onto the field with his family before Fallon went to work against the sixth-best team in the league.
“They’ve been great. They’re all good leaders. They’re all good students,” Hill said of his senior class. “There’s not a lot of them; there’s 11. But that’s a pretty strong 11. They’re obviously really athletic, great kids and easy to coach. They’re a special group and we’re not done with them.”
The Larsen twins, competing for the final time together, have provided Hill stability and leadership at linebacker as Fallon gears toward another state championship run.
“It’s the last year and since it’s your last year, you have to go all out and make plays,” Bryce Larsen said. “It’s great that we’re undefeated but we have to go into the playoffs and do the same thing and make it a better year.”
Brenden Larsen agrees about leaving nothing behind but wanted to soak in Friday’s atmosphere of playing one final time under the lights in Fallon.
“Just having the crowd out here, your family and people traveling down, there’s a lot of emotions,” he said. “It’s been really special. Just knowing it’s my last year, I’m trying to go all out and play as best as I can.”
Senior Night had a special meaning for tight-end Trey Rooks, who didn’t compete last fall. After playing with his brothers during the FYFL seasons and then watching the team from the stands last year, Rooks wanted to be back and make a difference. And he has as the three-sport athlete has been key on the line.
“It just made me think back to freshman year and the first time playing and how fast high school goes by,” Rooks said about the pregame ceremony. “I missed it, honestly, not playing last year. Watching their season last year made me want to play.”
Fallon will host at least one more game with the playoffs beginning this week. Fallon awaits the winner between Fernley and Spring Creek, while Truckee will host the winner between Elko and Lowry in two weeks.
Spring Creek complicated the third through fifth seeds with a 7-0 upset victory at Elko to force a three-way tie as Spring Creek, Elko and Fernley each finished 6-3. Elko finishes as the No. 3 seed followed by Fernley and Spring Creek. No. 6 Lowry visits Elko and Spring Creek travels to Fernley in next week’s first round of the 3A North playoffs.
The Greenwave jumped on the Buckaroos early and quickly after Lowry was forced to punt on the opening drive.
On the second play from scrimmage, Jackson found Tommy McCormick open for a strike down the middle of the field as the junior receiver scored from 58 yards out with 9 minutes, 46 seconds left in the first quarter. Another forced punt resulted in a quick strike for Fallon with Sean McCormick running down the left sideline for a 62-yard touchdown run two minutes later to give Fallon a 14-0 lead.
One of its longest drives of the season, Fallon grinded out its third score late in the first quarter.
A 10-play, 67-yard drive lasting four minutes was capped off by McCormick’s 1-yard keeper with 1:23 left in the quarter. The Greenwave converted two third-down plays, including a third-and-10 from Lowry’s 44 when Jackson found junior Brock Richardson for a 19-yard gain. McCormick converted a third-and-1 with a 14-yard run.
Richardson’s interception on Lowry’s next series set up Fallon’s fourth score of the half. On the first play from scrimmage, Jackson hooked up with Richardson for a 46-yard completion to give Fallon a 28-0 lead 11 seconds into the second quarter.
Fallon added its final score of the half on another Richardson touchdown grab, which engaged the running clock for the sixth consecutive game. Like its longest series of the night, Fallon converted a key third down to extend the drive when Richardson ran for 8 yards on third-and-1 from the Lowry 26.
McCormick scored the game’s final touchdown on a 6-yard run with six minutes left in the third quarter.