Thunder & lightning rolls
LVN Editor Emeritus
Unexpected rain in the Lahontan Valley Friday night didn’t dampen Fallon’s Northern 3A football game with visiting Truckee.
The Greenwave’s combination of thunder and lightning surprised the Wolverines (2-1, 1-1 league) in a 42-22 win (2-1, 1-1) at the Edward Arcniniega Athletic Complex.
Fallon’s defense provided the thunder in keeping the Wolverines in check by flushing Truckee quarterback Marcus Ballon out of the pocket for the entire night, while the lightning offense rolled on both the ground and through the air in scoring six touchdowns.
Greenwave quarterback Elijah Jackson directed the offense like a general on a mission after Fallon dropped last week’s game to longtime rival Fernley. The first-year quarterback threw three touchdown passes and ran for another, while Reid Clyburn rushed for a pair of scores including a 47-yard run to open the second half.
Jackson was 11 of 16 for 168 yards. For the season, he is 29-52 for 515 yards.
“When we ran the ball, they were over on our No. 2 receiver,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t pass to him until we ran.”
Jackson said Clyburn ran well and is improving like the other players on the team. The Wave quarterback said they were ready for Truckee.
“We have great coaches,” he said. “There was no overlooking them, and we looked to get better form last week. A great week of practice helped the receivers.”
After a scoreless first quarter of playing in a light, intermittent drizzle, the Greenwave put together a nine-play drive capped by Jackson’s 1-yard keeper just inside the pylon at 9:47 in the second quarter. Tallon Amezquita, who kicked the extra point, was 5-of-6 on conversions.
Clyburn set up the touchdown with two runs of 20 and 13 yards to move the ball to the 6-yard-line.
On Truckee’s next possession, Fallon’s thunderous defense chased Bellon out of the pocket again, and the Truckee quarterback threw a pass into the waiting hands of Fallon’s Sean McCormick at midfield.
Seven plays later, Jackson hooked up with Brock Richardson for the first of two touchdown passes to the Fallon sophomore. Richardson caught a 27-yard pass and avoided three tacklers to give Fallon its second score of the night, 14-0 and he also caught a 42-yard pass under the 2-minute mark before halftime, which resulted in a 28-0 lead.
“One of them was a simple pass route, and I ran a 5-yard out and went to his read, and I gave what I could to get into the end zone,” said Richardson, who caught three passes for 76 yards. “The second one was on a one-on-one route, and I ran a go. Elijah got the pass to me and hit me on the run.”
Sandwiched between Richard’s two catches was a Jackson to McCormick pass play for a 4-yard touchdown with 2:38 left in the quarter. Fallon found itself deep in Truckee territory after Brenden Larsen intercepted the ball.
Truckee punched the ball into the end zone with 8 seconds remaining. Bellon found Michael Doughty open for an 18-yard strike after Truckee moved into scoring position on Bellon’s 21-yard pass to Marcus Trotter.
After Clyburn’s burst to open the second half, the Wolverine’s cut the lead to 35-13 on its next series. Truckee had an impressive drive after recovering a squib kick on the ensuing Fallon kickoff. Truckee used both the run and pass to for a seven-play drive. Bellon hooked up with Emmanuel Valenzuela-jones for a 17-yard pass on a key play, and Jackson Skaff ran for another 18 yards to the Fallon 26. Two plays later running back Kevin Malo found a hole on the right side for a 19-yard run.
The extra point kick sailed wide to the left.
Clyburn’s 7-yard run ended Fallon’s scoring at the 7-minute mark in the third quarter. Amezquita’s kick gave Fallon a 42-13 lead. Clyburn rushed 15 times for 131 yards to lead all backs. He more than doubled his total from the first two games, wher he was kept to under 100 yards against Hug and Fernley.
Truckee had three good drives in the fourth quarter, two that resulted in a touchdown and field goal.
The Wolverines had a 12-play drive but couldn’t score. A false start penalty and holding hurt Truckee’s march to the goal line, which ended on an incomplete pass on Fallon’s 26-yard line.
Truckee scored, though, on its second-to-last series when Bellon threw a perfect 7-yard pass to Cole Eichele, who caught the ball in a crowd. Bellon tried to run the ball in for the 2-point conversion but was stopped short.
Truckee finished the game’s scoring with Valenzuela-Jones’ 26-yard field goal. Coach Josh Ivens said the team’s strength lies with the running game, but since the Wave limited the Wolverines to under 200 yards rushing, he said the passing game struggled although Bellon threw for two touchdowns.
“We prefer to run the ball,” Ivens added.
Ivens said Truckee will get to business next week and work on its game plan for Lowry, which travels to the Wolverines’ field.
“We have some stuff to work on,” Ivens said, adding Truckee has a young team this season.“
Fallon coach Brooke Hill said Fallon didn’t make mistakes like last week against Fernley. The Wave was up 12 points with 6 minutes remaining, but Fernley stormed back for a 2-point win.
Practice was better last week, though.
“They came out after a great week of practice, and they were focused,” Hill said. “This team could be really good if focused. We have some players on this who can really play football. They executed game plan on both sides, but we gave up a little back near the end (of the game).”
Hill said the staff changed up some things this year, which is different from previous seasons.
“We’re not running pistol. It’s been a slow adjustment with the spread offense and its starting to get better. We keep improving but made some mistakes. To come in to defeat Truckee after a loss shows character to take care of business.”