Richardson’s ‘Midas’ touch leads Fallon to big win
LVN Editor Emeritus
Brock Richardson had the Midas touch against a band of Vikings.
The Fallon senior carried the ball only four times for 125 yards against South Tahoe on Friday at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex, but a pair of possessions accounted for two long touchdown runs of more than 40 yards each, and his first score of the night came from a 7-yard run.
Fallon’s offense rolled against visiting South Tahoe for a 56-0 Northern 3A win to help the Greenwave retain first place in the conference with a 5-0 record, 5-1 overall. During the past two games, the Fallon offense has scored more than 50 points, starting with 54 points against North Valleys on Sept. 27.
Fallon coach Brooke Hill is always guarded about playing a homecoming opponent because of all the activities during the week, but the Wave didn’t become distracted.
“We’ve been playing better the last couple of weeks, minimized mistakes and did not turn turning the ball over. The kids have had two really good weeks of practice.”
Richardson, who broke Sean McCormick’s record for the most touchdowns scored in a season, has been on a roll for the past two games, and South Tahoe saw how fast the Fallon back could race down the field.
A Vikings’ miscue on its first series gave Fallon excellent field position. Forced to punt on fourth down, the snap sailed over punter Trenten Schouten’s head and was recovered on the 7. On Fallon’s first play, Richardson ran outside for a touchdown while receiving a key block from Matt Davis.
Sam Robertson, who struggled earlier in the season, kicked the first of eight extra points to give Fallon a 7-0 lead less than 3 minutes into the game.
The Greenwave’s defense stopped South Tahoe on its next drive, forcing the Vikings to snap the ball on a fourth and 8 from the 47 yard-line. Fallon’s defensive line chased South Tahoe quarterback Jake Tarwater and sacked the junior quarterback for a 7-yard loss. He lost a total of 23 yards during the game.
After Fallon’s Tommy McCormick gained 3 yards to the 37-yard line, he took a pitch around the right side to score with 4:17 left in the quarter.
The Fallon defense stymied the Vikings’ offense in seven plays, causing South Tahoe to come up short on a fourth and 12 from the Fallon 31-yard line.
Field position didn’t matter for the surging Greenwave. Richardson outraced the Vikings’ defense for a 69-yard run, and with Robertson’s kick, the Wave had a 21-0 lead going into second quarter.
Richardson said it felt like the Vikings’ defense was trying to “angle” him, but that coverage allowed him to outrun the secondary. The multi-sport athlete said he was happy Fallon won its homecoming game, the last one as a student for the Greenwave senior.
“Brock has scored a lot of touchdowns in this program,” Hill said. “He had a big night and that’s what we expect from him.”
Hill said when opponents try to stop one player, Fallon has other good players to step up.
South Tahoe’s woes continued. Fallon’s defense punished the Vikings’ offense, and on a punt attempt, Fallon blocked a punt, and Julian Evans recovered the ball on the 8. On the first play, Fallon quarterback Elijah Jackson kept the ball for Fallon’s fourth touchdown of the night at the 9:44 mark.
After South Tahoe sputtered on four downs, Fallon fielded the punt on the Vikings’ 48. Jackson found McCormick for a 7-yard swing pass and one down later, he found him again for a 5-yard gain. McCormick ran the ball on the next down, bowing his head and bowling over a South Tahoe linebacker. On a first and goal from the 1, McCormick, who gained 52 yards on the ground and 16 in the air, capped the drive for a Fallon touchdown.
Once Robinson booted the ball for a 35-point lead, a running clock began ticking away.
“Elijah was reading defense, and he also a real good job facilitating the offense, and that’s what we ask him to do,” Hill pointed out. “Brock has been big the last two weeks, but we have guys step up. Tommy and Elijah have had big games that’s what good football team does.”
Jackson mixed up the offense, but when he discovered South Tahoe couldn’t keep up with the running game, Fallon kept the ball on the ground for most of the night.
“We had a great practice, so by the looks out here, coach knew,” Jackson said. “By the way they ran their defense, we knew we’d establish the run and we did that very well. Shout out to the ‘O’ line, and our running backs executed at a high level.”
Fallon had a final opportunity to punch the ball across the goal line in the first half, but time expired with Fallon at the 8-yard line.
The second half began poorly for South Tahoe. The Vikings attempted an onside kick, but it rolled out of bounds. Fallon accepted a 5-yard penalty, which placed the ball on the South Tahoe 46.
Richardson and another golden touch enabled the Fallon running back to veer to the left side, and he ran 41 yards with 10:12 remaining in the quarter for Fallon’s sixth touchdown.
“Our team did a really good job of blocking for me,” Richardson said. “If I get through (with) at least 5 yards without them touching me, I have good chance of making a great run. I was just trying to capitalize on the open space and use my feet and go to the end zone.”
Hill gave the reserve players an opportunity to see action in the third quarter. Fallon put together a solid drive with Avery Strasdin at quarterback and Colby Malkovich at running back. Both players kept the Vikings’ defense guessing as Fallon moved the ball downfield. Malkovich had a 12-yard gain after breaking four tackles. Before he was downed on the 4-yard line. Strasdin, who ran for 52 yards, scored on a keeper with 17 seconds left.
Keaton Williams quarterbacked Fallon during the final drive in the fourth quarter and scored on a 7-yard run for the Greenwave’s final score.
According to Hill, both Strasdin and Malkovich are improving and were able to play extensively during the second half. He also said Davis and Kenji Armbruster have been playing well. Hill said the team is progressing and younger players are seeing more time on the field. He cited blocked punts, and the team’s first shutout this year.
“The kids are focused on the game plan, and they’re executing,” Hill said. “This football team is finding its identify, and that’s good.”
Hill doesn’t feel the team is peaking, and that’s the way he wants it.
“We don’t want to peak,” Hill insisted, adding the level of play is improving. “We’re practicing better, paying attention, focusing and getting things done.”
Not to be outdone, the Fallon defense kept the Vikings to 105 yards total offense. The bright spot for South Tahoe was running back James Adams, who gained 106 yards on 23 carries.
Fallon has a bye this week, a game vacated when Dayton dropped football for the season.
Jackson said the players, though, still realize their goals and will keep that work up. Hill looks at as a way to mend.
“It’s a good time after six game for the kids to heal up a little bit, and let the kids do some things with their families this week,” he said.