Fallon shuts down North Valleys with 54-point performance
RENO — Not yielding a league loss this season, Brooke Hill still found himself having a deep discussion with his football team.
“We had a little heart to heart and usually you don’t have to do that with a team sitting at 3-0 in league,” Hill said. “We felt like we were a little complacent and lost a little of our edge we had last year. We also said that last year was last year and we have to put that in the past. We had a real good week of practice with high intensity. We have to keep it up.”
The defending state champion Greenwave found the end zone eight times Friday night, pitching a shutout after the Panthers’ opening score to cruise to a 54-7 win. Fallon improved to 4-0 in league and hosts South Tahoe on Friday for Homecoming.
“We played well tonight,” Hill said. “We executed on both sides of the ball. It’s got to continue. We can’t just be happy with this. There’s still places that we have to get better at.”
After a Fallon turnover in the game’s opening drive, the Panthers ran a double-reverse pass for 42 yards with the Fallon defender slipping. The big gain set up 2-yard run with 8 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first quarter.
Then it was Fallon’s turn for the rest of the night.
Senior quarterback Elijah Jackson found Matt Davis open for 14 yards and then followed with a 48-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7. Fallon’s defense forced a punt, which allowed another quick score for the Wave offense. On the third play of its second series, Jackson found senior Brock Richardson wide open down the Panther sideline for a 68-yard touchdown and 14-7 Fallon lead with 5:45 left in the first.
Another Panther punt led to a Greenwave score to close out the first quarter.
“We were definitely more fired up. We had a better week of practice,” said senior Zeke Washington, who helped lead the defensive effort. “It was a better feeling coming into this game. We just need to keep that mentality.”
After Jackson’s 13-yard run opened the third series, he found Richardson across the middle for a 52-yard touchdown, giving Fallon a 21-7 lead into the second quarter.
Both teams traded possessions until Fallon put together one of its longest drives of the first half.
Junior Levi Andrews picked up 15- and 11-yard chunks running the ball on the strong side into North Valleys territory. Richardson’s 8-yard carry gave Fallon a first down on third-and-7 from the Panthers’ 23-yard line. Four plays later, Richardson scored his third touchdown of the game, a record-breaking 2-yard run with 7:03 left in the half.
The touchdown, which gave Fallon a 28-7 lead, broke the school’s scoring record, which was set by Sean McCormick (53) last year. Richardson was pleased about the record but was more focused on helping the team find its groove on offense, which it did on Friday.
“I wasn’t too concentrated on breaking the record but I was aware that I was close,” Richardson said. “My main focus was how I could contribute to the team in order to be successful as a whole. Being on varsity for three years definitely helped lead to this accomplishment.”
The defense continued going strong, even when Fallon turned it over again late in the second half. After Andrews left the game with an ankle injury followed by a bad pitch, North Valleys had the ball on its own 38 but was forced to punt. Two players later, Richardson was in the end zone after a 46-yard run with 33 seconds left. Fallon led 34-7 at the half.
Richardson added his fifth touchdown in the second half and Colby Malkovich scored his first touchdown of the season to end the scoring for Fallon in the third quarter. The second team played the majority of the second half with Avery Strasdin at quarterback.
“To get them in and for them to get a stop and not give up a touchdown, that’s big on them,” Hill said about the second team. “They don’t get a lot of opportunities.”