Fallon’s defense tames Grizzlies | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon’s defense tames Grizzlies

THOMAS RANSON

Both Fallon and Galena’s football teams prowled the gridiron for their first league win of the season like a pack of wolves feasting on a fresh piece of carcass.

The Greenwave came out hungry on defense against the Grizzlies Friday night in Reno as Fallon snapped its nine-game losing streak to Galena, 21-9.

“Our defense and part of the special teams set up plays for us,” said Fallon coach Ray Holladay. “The biggest thing is we came back from a deficit and that was huge.”

Crucial turnovers stole the show for Fallon and gave the offense a handful of opportunities to convert them into points.

“A bizarre evening. What do you say to a group of kids. We gave the game away,” said Galena head coach Steve Struzyk, referring to his team’s turnovers. “Our defense played great. They physically beat us.”

Fallon (1-2 in league, 2-4 overall) hosts Reed Friday while Galena (0-3 league, 0-5 overall) travels to Elko.

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Fallon took advantage of a fumble to set up the first score.

On the third play of a short drive in the second quarter, Fallon broke a scoreless tie when Tyler Simper cleared the way for Josh Mauga’s 7-yard touchdown run with 8:38 left before intermission. Mauga ended the night with 70 yards on offense and Simper added 26.

The Grizzlies quickly struck back on its next possession. Facing a second down and 17, Tony Fritsche found Jordan Arnold wide open in the end zone for a 25-yard pass play to give Galena its only lead in the game.

Big plays, though, from Fallon linebacker Laine Turley dampened Galena from extending its long-time winning streak over the ‘Wave.

Down 7-6 in the third quarter, Turley scooped up a loose ball after Fritsche collided with one of his running backs and ran it back 80 yards down the sideline with 8:39 left in the quarter.

“I tried my hardest to go faster and faster and faster,” said a surprised Turley on his long touchdown run.

Josh Mauga’s two-point conversion gave Fallon a 14-7 lead.

Turley recovered his second fumble of the game with nearly six minutes left in the third quarter. Six plays later, Mauga shook off three tackles on the right side and scored from the three-yard line, making the score 21-7.

Mauga’s performance impressed Struzyk.

“Mauga did everything a player could on the field,” said the second-year Galena coach.

Galena’s only response came in the first play of the fourth quarter when Joel Rivadeneyra blocked a punt for a safety. With four minutes left in the game, Turley iced the game for Fallon with an interception, and the Greenwave ran out the clock.