The defense took over on the ensuing kickoff, recovering Rylan Cobbold’s fumble on the Vaqueros’ 5-yard line. Three plays later despite a 10-yard penalty for holding, Williams found Reese Kincaid for an 18-yard strike to tie the game. The 2-point run fell short.
On Fernley’s next series, McIntyre fumbled the ball on the Vaqueros’ 23-yard line after the defense pushed him back 4 yards. Fallon wasted no time in scoring on a short four-play drive when Williams took the ball himself and outraced the defense for 16 yards.
The Fallon defense kept the Vaqueros deep in their own territory, but Cobbold broke loose and sprinted 94 yards for Fernley’s second touchdown of the night. With Takeo Vidal’s extra-point kick, Fernley trailed Fallon 18-14.
The Wave broke the game open with two touchdowns before halftime.
Fallon began a drive at its 40-yard-line. In six plays, Fallon sliced through the Vaqueros’ defense with Williams taking the ball on two plays. The Fallon quarterback ran for 14 and then for 1-yard. Jacks barreled into the end zone for the short gain with 2:00 left in the first half. Steve Moon kicked the extra point.
“We looked and re-evaluated ourselves and said what kind of team are we?” Hill said. “We went back to some things this week that we haven’t done in a while. Part of being a good coach – and I’m not a good coach – is identifying what your kids are good at and going to be successful at. It took us all year long but I think we’ve found our identity.”
“We’ll do what the defense allows us to do,” Hill said of Williams. “He threw not nearly as much as he did last week. When he did throw, he was successful at throwing. He’s a good passer, too. We just had to find the niche of our team, and we were able to do that. Keaton executed tonight along with the offensive line. That line came today to play.”
With Fernley on the Fallon 40, Kincaid snared McIntyre’s pass on the Fernley 18 and scored with time ticking off the clock. Moon’s extra point gave the Wave an 18-point lead, 32-14, at halftime.
“As soon as I caught it and had seen the gap, I knew I had to take it to the house and I gave it everything I had,” Kincaid said. “The difference with the defense tonight is we came out and realized a lot of the errors we did in Elko, that didn’t sit well with a lot of us. We made a lot of adjustments. We just came out and executed great.”
The Wave struck twice in the second half. Williams scored on a 27-yard run, and with Moon’s PAT, Fallon led 39-14. Williams led with 153 yards rushing on 16 carries. He kept the ball on the ground for most of the night, completing 1 of 3 passes for 18 yards.
Moon, though, became a nightmare for Fernley’s offense in the fourth quarter, but the game’s most electrifying play came with 7:38 left in the Northern 3A game.
Moon intercepted a pass 3 yards deep in the end zone and ran the ball back for a 103-yard touchdown. Moon also kicked the extra point to pad Fallon’s lead to 45-14. John Harper of Mojave holds the 3A record. Harper had a 100-yard interception for a touchdown in 2017. The NIAA is reviewing to see if Moon set a record.
Hill said the last time his team had two pick-6s came in 2019 from Tommy McCormick and Avery Strasdin against Virgin Valley in the state semifinal game.
Although Fernley lost the battle on the scoreboard, the Vaqueros’ offense outgained Fallon 406 yards to 267. Reyes led all Fernley rushers with 150 yards, and Cobbold added 89 yards on the ground.
Fallon 45, Fernley 14
Churchill County 0 32 7 6 = 45
Fernley 6 8 0 0 = 14
FER 2:30 Reyes 40 run. Kick no good.
FAL 12:00 Jacks 1 run. Kick no good.
FAL 10:21 Williams 18 pass to Kincaid for 18 yards.
FAL 7:04 Williams 16 runs for 16 yards. Run fails.
FER 6:11 Cobbold 94 run. Vidal kick.
FAL 2:00 Jacks 1 run. Moon kick.