Defense rattles Fernley in Northern 3A rivals’ game

Fallon takes advantage of 2 interceptions to post 45-14 win against longtime rival

Fallon football coach Brooke Hill talks with his team after beating Fernley on Friday night.

Fallon football coach Brooke Hill talks with his team after beating Fernley on Friday night.
Photo by Thomas Ranson.


FERNLEY — Friday night under the lights ended with a milestone achieved by Greenwave football coach Brooke Hill.
Not only did Fallon beat cross-valley rivals Fernley in a Friday night game at the Vaqueros’ field, but Hill also won his 100th game as Fallon’s head coach as the Wave walloped Fernley, 45-14.
In 13 years at the helm, Hill has a 100-37 record and secured his legacy as one of the greatest coaches in Greenwave country as well as in Northern Nevada. In that time, Fallon has won two state championships — 2015 and 2018 — and was runner-up twice, coincidentally the last time in 2019 when Fernley won the state 3A title by edging the Wave.
“I’ve known Brooke Hill for a long time,” said Fallon quarterback Keaton Williams. “I love those guys a lot. It means a lot to me and the team for him to get his 100th win. I’m super proud of him for getting that achievement.”
Hill, though, credited his staff for Fallon’s success.
“It’s a testament to the longevity of my staff,” Hill said. “My 100 wins is his (Lalo Otuafi’s) 100 wins. Guys like that, I can go on and on. I’ve had great staff with me the entire time. That’s why we’ve had success.”
Hill’s team didn’t disappoint the Greenwave faithful in its win over Fernley, now 1-1 in league and 2-2 overall. Fallon improves to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in league, trailing Elko by one game. Fallon faces Lowry in a 7 p.m. homecoming game Friday night at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex. Lowry brings in a 6-2 overall record and 2-2 in league.
“The offense finally got rolling tonight,” Hill said of the win. “A lot of that is on our line. They took ownership this week and our quarterback played extremely well. This is as good as we’ve played. We can still play better. We’ve got to keep getting better this week.”
The Wave struggled against Fernley in the first quarter before its defense caused problems for the Vaqueros by scoring 32 points in the second quarter.
“We always expect to do our best and put as many points on the board as possible,” Williams said. “The main reason we did as good as we did was our coaching staff. We have a lot of years in there.”
“One of the biggest things we tried to do was get good field position. You can’t be in that clinch all the time. You need some wiggle room.”
Fernley’s JR Reyes scored the game’s first touchdown with 2:30 left in the opening quarter on a 2-yard run. The Vaqueros received a Greenwave punt on its 48-yard line. Trevon Cassinelli broke loose on the first play from the line of scrimmage, a 43-yard run to the 5-yard line. Quarterback Julian McIntyre moved the ball to the 2 before Reyes’ run. Fernley failed to convert the extra point.
Fallon’s Brody Jacks and Williams, along with the Greenwave’s hard-hitting defense, dominated the second quarter.
“The kids played phenomenally, and they bought into preaching this week,” Hill said. “They played extremely physical – the brand of Greenwave football that we like to play. And you saw that tonight.”
Jacks’ first touchdown capped a seven-play drive that began on the Fallon 19. Jacks set up his own touchdown run with a 40-yard gain. Williams rushed for 21 yards to put the ball on the Vaqueros’ 6. Three plays later, Jacks scored from the 1-yard line to tie the score.
Jacks rushed for 69 yards in the game on 15 carries.



Thomas Ranson/LVN
The Greenwave football players and coaches pose for a team photo after Friday’s win, which was Brooke Hill’s 100th as the head coach.

 
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.”




Thomas Ranson/LVN
Fallon’s Steven Moon runs down the Fernley sideline, returning an interception for 103 yards.

 
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
1st Quarter    
FER      2:30     Reyes 40 run. Kick no good.
2nd Quarter
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.


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