Truckee football: Fallon pulls away from Wolverines in second half | SierraSun.com

Truckee football: Fallon pulls away from Wolverines in second half

Steve Ranson
sranson@lahontanvalleynews.com

FALLON — A balanced offense and a gritty second-half defense that shut down visiting Truckee allowed Fallon to break a halftime tie Friday night en route to a 28-14 Northern I-A conference football win at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.

Fallon improves to 1-1 in its league opener while Truckee falls to 0-2, 0-1 in league play.

"We did a pretty good job of passing the ball with the  run," said Fallon coach Brooke Hill after the game. "They (Truckee) are a much better team, and we had to make sure we took care of business and had good balance."

Truckee received a break to begin the third quarter when the Greenwave's kickoff team was flagged for a false start after successfully recovering an onside kick near midfield. Instead, Fallon re-kicked the ball deep to Jordan Jepsen, who ran it back to the Truckee 18. 

The Fallon defense stopped the Wolverines in four plays before fielding a Truckee punt at the Greenwave 38. In less than three minutes, Fallon mounted an eight-play drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown run on the right side by junior running back Brock Uptain with 7:56 left in the quarter. Uptain finished the night with 90 yards on 18 carries. Fallon quarterback Connor Richardson mixed up the plays in the drive by completing four passes for 49 yards.

Hill praised his defense and Kyle Larsen and said he felt the secondary stepped up to shut down Truckee's passing game.

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Fallon's final touchdown came in the fourth quarter when Johnny Mayo intercepted a pass at the 50 and ran it back to the Truckee 44.

The Wave relied on its rushing game with Cade Vercellotti carrying the ball four straight times to the 30-yard line.

A key 16-yard pass from Richardson to Evan Bitter kept the drive going to the 11. On a first-and-10, Richardson faked a pass and then ran up the middle for his second touchdown of the night. He also passed to Vercellotti for the 2-point conversion that gave Fallon a 14-point lead.

"I felt like they would adjust," said Truckee coach Josh Ivens. "They're a good team."

Ivens, though, said untimely penalties and forced passing situations did not bode well for the Wolverines.

Both teams played a little "smash mouth" football in the first half with their hard hitting and ball control.

Penalties along with timely tackling characterized both teams' play for most of the opening quarter

After Truckee's kickoff sailed into the end zone, Fallon took possession at its 20. Uptain carried the ball five times in the first seven plays for 32 yards, but penalties slowed the Greenwave offense. Truckee's defense held and forced Fallon to punt from the 40.

Truckee struggled to find momentum during its first series.  Quarterback Tyler Davis' first two passes fell incomplete, and the Truckee running game couldn't penetrate the middle of the Fallon defensive line. After the Wolverines punted deep in their own territory, Fallon began its second drive on the Truckee 37 and four plays later, Vercellotti ran right for a 16-yard score. Fallon kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Barely two minutes into the second half, Truckee tied the game after grinding the ball out behind Jepsen and fullback Wulfe Retzlaff, who rushed for 20 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown with 9:56 left before halftime.

Jose Araiza's extra-point kicked sailed through the uprights.

Fallon struggled on the ensuring series after Truckee's kickoff went into the end zone. Richardson, on a third and 9, dropped back and passed, but Retzlaff, who had two interceptions in the game, picked off the ball at the 27 and ran it back 17 yards. On a third and goal from the 1, Davis pulled off a quarterback sneak to give Truckee its first lead of the game. The PAT doubled the score, 14-7 with 7:05 left in the half.

"We had a few mistakes and a few ball that should haven't been picked," Hill said.

Ivens complimented Retzlaff, saying his fullback played well on both sides of the ball.

"He's one of our captains, and the kids respond to him, Ivens said.

After the Wave stalled on eight plays after the Truckee kickoff, the Wolverines took over on their 32. On a fourth and 12, Evan Bitter broke through the line and blocked a punt, recovering the ball on the 1-yard line. On the next play Uptain barreled over the center for the score. A Richardson to Riley Williams pass knotted the score at 14.

"We lost our momentum with the blocked punt," Ivens said. "It killed our mojo a little bit, and then we had a shot with a field goal."

Truckee had one more opportunity to break the tie with 8 seconds left, but a 46-yard field goal fell short underneath the crossbar.

Cole Harrity was named Offensive Player of the Game for the Wolverines; Retzlaff was Defensive Player of the Game.

Truckee 14, Fallon 28

Truckee 0 14 0 0 — 14

Fallon 7 7 6 8 — 28

Individual stats (Truckee only)

RUSHING — Truckee, 34-158: Harrity 7-54; McCarron 8-43; Retzlaff 6-35; Jepsen 2-11; Felix 3-5; Davis 4-4; Schmidig 1-3; Bokinskie 2-3; Bellon 1-0.

PASSING — Truckee: Davis 4-22-44-2-0; Fallon:

RECEIVING — Truckee: Holmes 1-20; Schmidig 1-12; Commendatore 1-6; Bokinskie 1-6.

Up next

Truckee will host Lowry this Saturday, Sept. 12, at 1:30 p.m.