The Greenwave offense made this year’s Hall of Fame class gush with pride after rolling up 68 points against visiting North Valleys on Friday at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
Fallon, 4-0 in league and overall, struck quickly and often, especially in the first half to down the Panthers 68-18, 1-3 in league and overall, in a Northern 3A win. Before the game, the Greenwave recognized this year’s inductees — to include 30 former athletes, coaches and contributors and four teams— who witnessed Fallon score the most points in a game since 2013, when Fallon defeated Wooster, 61-12, and Spring Creek, 60-14.
Fallon fans would have to reach back to 1923 when the Wave scored the most points in its history, 102 against Douglas County.
Greenwave quarterback Elijah Jackson riddled the Panthers’ secondary by completing 8-17 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns. The junior’s favorite target, Brock Richardson, pulled in six receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson also showcased his speed by adding three touchdowns on five carries and 153 yards, while teammate Sean McCormick carried the ball 11 times for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Jackson credits the team’s offensive line and how it controlled the Panthers’ outside linebackers.
“Everything worked well,” he said. “We have a great offensive coordinator (Lalo Outafi) who knows the defense and what we had to do.”
Although Fallon outgained North Valleys 489 yards to 388 yards, Fallon coach Brooke Hill said the defense needs more work.
“We missed some big plays and can’t have those lapses,” Hill said of North Valleys’ second quarter. “We missed a lot of tackles.”
The Greenwave scored on its first possession, a nine-play drive that covered 50 yards in 1:50, capped by a 21-yard swing pass to Richardson. The point-after kick failed.
North Valley’s offense sputtered on its first drive under pressure from Fallon’s defense. On a third and 5 from the Panthers’ 40 yard-line, Brenden Larsen intercepted a pass. The Wave pounced on the Panthers for a quick score, a 9-yard run from McCormick at the 8:09 mark. His kick failed, but the Wave had a two-touchdown lead, 12-0.
After the Panthers’ drive sputtered at midfield, Jackson took a keeper on the Greenwave’s third series and rushed up the middle, blazing past the Panthers’ secondary for a 42-yard run. McCormick atoned for the missed PATs and ran the ball in for 2 points.
The Panthers scored their only points of the game in the second quarter on three touchdowns in what would become a lightning-induced 12 minutes.
The Greenwave’s defense had trouble stopping the Panthers’ 5-foot-7 running back Garrett Pennington, who kept the first scoring drive alive. He had two keys runs of 9- and 27-yards, while quarterback Kyle Claiborne hooked up with Tyler Jones for 17 yards. Three plays later, Pennington barreled in from the middle for a 1-yard score with 10:29 on the clock. The PAT sailed wide.
Fallon answered Pennington’s touchdown with one of its own. McCormick grabbed the kickoff at the 15-yard-line near the right sideline, and outraced the Panthers for an 85-yard return. Richardson’s 2-point run gave Fallon a 28-8 lead. But the Panthers responded on their next drive when Claiborne and Jones combined for a 74-yard pass play, but Claiborne’s quarterback sneak on the conversion failed, leaving Fallon in charge, 28-12.
On the ensuing kickoff, the ball bounced out of bounds to give Fallon the ball on its 35. In an eight-play drive that took a little more than 2 minutes to complete, Jackson raced past the North Valleys defense for 35 yards. McCormick ran the ball in for the conversion as the Wave led 36-12.
Fallon struck again after McCormick stopped a North Valleys’ drive with an interception. On the second play from the Fallon 15, Jackson spotted Richardson for an 85-yard pass play, and with McCormick’s 2-point conversion, Fallon led 42-12 with 3:31 left in the first half.
Both defenses struggled to contain each other.
Claiborne found daylight on the left side and scored on a 48-yard run. The Panthers tried an onside kick that gave Fallon excellent field position at its 44. After an incomplete pass, Jackson threw an 8-yard strike to Richardson. On a third and 2, Jackson showed his blazing speed again with a 52-yard run.
With McCormick’s conversion, the Greenwave led 52-18 at halftime.
McCormick had a rounded game on both defense, where he had 17 tackles, and offense.
“We played a good, physical game on offense,” he said. “The offense was making the blocks, and I was trying to read it and find the open holes.”
The second half was played with a running clock because of the point differential.
North Valleys began the third quarter on is 32-yard line and ran four consecutive plays with Pennington running the ball. Claiborne had a keeper before throwing two incomplete passes. On a fourth and 15 from the Fallon 44, Greenwave linebacker Thomas Steele stopped the drive after tackling Jones who had snared a 4-yard pass from Claiborne.
Defensive end/linebacker Brenden Larsen said North Valleys surprised Fallon in the second quarter with its long runs and passing; however, he said the team played much better in the second half.
“There was no let down,” he said. “It was a good game. It was a battle.”
Fallon took over and struck again with a 10-yard touchdown from Jackson to sophomore Matt Davis and Richardson’s 2-point conversion for a 60-18 lead.
Fallon had a touchdown in the fourth quarter when Angelo Vann ran the ball in for 11 yards and McCormick added the conversion.
Hill said the offense grinded out the running game.
“We can run against anyone,” Hill said. “We did a good job up front.”
Hill said he was able to see what other players could do, and he had praise for Davis and Vann. Additionally, Hill said the speed of Jackson, Richardson and McCormick has been a plus this season.
“They’re nice to have,” Hill said. “We knew that we had those guys and what we had up front.”