Fallon football clashes with Lowry on Senior Night | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon football clashes with Lowry on Senior Night

Thomas Ranson
Senior Brock Uptain carries the ball against Spring Creek.

It wasn’t that long ago when Fallon and Lowry sat on top the football division and battled for that top seed.

The Greenwave managed to stay strong despite a couple hiccups this year. But for the Buckaroos, it’s been a different story as they’ve struggled to win a game.

“They’re an improved team from last year. They’ve been in more ballgames,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “They’re still struggling a little bit. You can’t get past that 1-7 record. We expect their best effort Friday night and it’s our Senior Night. We’ve got to be ready to go.”

After playing one of its most exciting games of the year, Fallon (4-4) wraps up the regular season against Lowry (1-7) tonight at 7 p.m. at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex. It’s also Senior Night as the defending state champs will recognize 17 seniors prior to kickoff. The game can be heard on KTUU (99.5) with Larry Barker calling the play-by-play and Randy Beeghley providing color commentary.

“It’s been a really great class that’s come through. They’ve worked hard,” Hill said about his seniors. “There’s 17 of them that’s worked hard. They were a huge part of that football team last year. Without those pieces, they don’t win it last year. They’ve left a huge impression on this class. The last two classes are some of the best we’ve ever had. They’re so coachable and have the ability to work and understand. That’s unique. Not every class has that.”

The senior class includes Conner Nelson, Dylan Ernst, Jack Swisher, Brock Uptain, Kendall Rogers, Dalton Kaady, Jordan Boothe, Dylan Milsap, Cade Vercellotti, Beau Arrive, Conley Hyde, Chase Hyde, TJ Mauga, Justin Marlin, Nick Smith, Chad Martyn and Paul Rodriguez.

Nothing’s on the line for playoffs tonight for either team.

Fallon is locked in as the No. 5 team in the 3A North while Lowry’s fighting for its second win of the year. The playoffs begin next week with Fallon heading north to Elko again this year after the Indians won a triple-overtime battle last month.

With the playoff picture set for the Greenwave, Hill’s still counting on the team to improve and solidify its identity as a physical football team. In last week’s thrilling, last-second loss to undefeated Spring Creek, both teams traded blows but it was the Spartans who made two crucial plays.

Facing a fourth down at midfield, Spring Creek converted and then found the end zone with less than 10 seconds left in the game to avoid the upset and stay perfect. It’s been the common theme for Fallon this season in limiting the critical plays but Hill likes where his team’s at with one game left.

“I think we’re heading in the right direction,” Hill said. “The one thing about playoffs this year is it’s more wide open than it’s ever been. For us to have an undefeated team on ropes and we’re the five seed, it’s really open. They’re a good football team. There’s a lot of really good football teams. We’re finding out who we are and we like who we are. And it’s a good position to be in.”

Since switching to Nelson at quarterback, the Fallon offense has been more dynamic and it begins with an improving offensive line. Running back Vercellotti continues to take advantage of the blocks as Hill shifts the offense’s focus to a run-first mentality. Throwing in Trey Rooks at tight end has also helped the offense.

“I think becoming a more physical football team, a run-first team,” Hill said about the offense’s identity. “The balance we achieved (between pass and run) in the last few years is not there. I think our offensive line really gelled and has come together. It puts a lot of stress on the defense.”