Round 2: Fallon hosts Spring Creek
LVN Editor Emeritus
What: Northern 3A football playoff game
Who: Spring Creek vs. Fallon
Where: Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Radio: KKTU, 99.3 FM or Network 1, http://www.network1sports.com/station/kktu
Social media: LVN Facebook page for updated scores
Two strong football programs with a storied past link up again on the gridiron Friday night for the second round of the Northern 3A playoffs.
And Fallon wants everyone to know the Greenwave is not the same team that played at Spring Creek in early September to begin the 2019 season. Fallon surrendered 28 points against Spring Creek, the second highest during the season. Fernley scored 35 points but lost to the Wave, 42-35. Since the fourth game of the season, Fallon has allowed 28 points over the next five games.
Fallon, which had a first-round bye, hosts Spring Creek at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex beginning at 7 p.m. Friday. KKTU will broadcast the game on FM 99.5 and on Network 1, http://www.network1sports.com/station/kktu, with Larry Barker calling the action and Randy Beeghly providing the analysis. The pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m.
A Fallon win means the Greenwave will host a third-round game one week from Friday.
Fallon, 8-0 in league and 8-1 overall, is seeking its second consecutive 3A title and its third in five years, but the Spartans, 4-4 in the Northern 3A and 5-5 overall, handled Lowry last week and will be a tough second-round opponent. On Aug. 30, Fallon held on for a 34-28 win at Spring Creek in a game that saw numerous ties before the Wave escaped with the win. Two years ago, Spring Creek defeated Fallon twice, once during the regular season and the second in the playoffs to end the Greenwave’s season. Last year, the Wave easily defeated Spring Creek in Fallon, 48-6.
“They’ve got a lot of returning players from last year,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “They’re pretty similar to what they’ve done. They’re pretty athletic and did a good job of execution. We had some opportunities to take the game over and we didn’t do that.”
Fallon quarterback Elijah Jackson, though, was on his game, completing 18 of 25 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target, Tommy McCormick, snared 10 passes for 104 yards and three scores. He also had 10 tackles on defense. Levi Andrews rushed for 56 yards.
“We were able to take advantage of some things in the passing game,” Hill said. “(Jackson) came up big especially in the second half and made some big throws. That’s what you expect from a senior quarterback.”
The defense received strong support from lucky No. 13, linebacker Dominyke Edwards, who tore up the Spartans’ offense with 15 solo tackles and four assists.
On the other side of the ball, Spartans quarterback Jeff Guthrie completed 10 of 21 passes for 91 yards and one touchdown, but he also threw an interception. Guthrie also led the team with 93 yards rushing, and Reed Westwood added 77.
Guthrie’s main go-to receiver was Ryan Thurston who snared four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown.
As a team for the season, Spring Creek has passed for 733 yards and rushed for 2,265 yards, a part of the game that will test the Greenwave’s defense from the opening kickoff to the final horn.
After struggling against its first three league opponents, the Greenwave began to roll, crushing North Valleys 54-7 before shutting out South Tahoe, Elko and Sparks and outscoring the three opponents 161-0. Fallon ended the regular season on the road at Lowry, taking a 40-21 win. Hill said the three shutout wins gave him and the coaching staff an opportunity to substitute players and give then invaluable playing time to give the Wave additional depth.
Jackson has passed for more than 1,700 yards, and the team’s running game netted 1,951 yards in nine games. If the senior quarterback can’t find an open receiver, he has the legs and speed to take off and gain yardage. Tommy McCormick is the second top receiver, pulling in 679 yards on 42 receptions. Brock Richardson also brings in a double threat on the ground and through the air. He has rushed for 538 yards and caught 40 passes for another 732 yards to lead the Greenwave in both categories.