Lowry quarterback Chane Huitt looks for an open receiver.
Lowry quarterback Chane Huitt looks for an open receiver.
WINNEMUCCA — Hard-hitting, pad-popping, smash-mouth prep football took center stage Thursday night in Winnemucca as league-leading Fallon rolled into town on Senior Night and faced a hungry Lowry team determined to knock off the undefeated Greenwave.

Kept to 14 first-half points, Fallon (8-1 overall, 8-0 league) outscored Lowry 26-14 in the second half to post a 40-21 win and earn a first-round bye when the Northern 3A playoffs begin next weekend. Coming into the game, Fallon had reeled off three consecutive shutouts and hadn’t allowed more than a touchdown in a month.

Lowry, though, stung Fallon with two first-half touchdowns, the most since Spring Creek scored the same number of points in the first two quarters on Aug. 30.

Lowry (6-3, 5-3) hosts Spring Creek Friday night in Winnemucca, and the winner of that game travels to Fallon on Nov. 8 to face the defending state champs.

Fallon rode the arm of quarterback Elijah Jackson, who completed 9 of 17 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson also grounded out 134 yards for two more scores to give the Wave its eighth straight win after a season-opening loss to California High School from San Ramon.

After the Wave defense halted Lowry in the game’s opening drive despite 12 yards from Bucks running back Anthony Peterson, Fallon took over on its own 47. On the second play, Jackson broke loose for a 35-yard run and after an incomplete pass and a holding call called against Fallon, Jackson rifled a 33-yard pass to Brock Richardson for the game’s first points.

Sam Robertson, who kicked four extra points during the night, gave the Wave a 7-0 lead 4 minutes into the game.

Fallon’s offense gave way to defense as both Fallon and Lowry played hard-hitting football for the rest of the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Lowry quarterback an Chance Huitt punted the ball deep into Fallon territory, and the Bucks swarmed the Wave at the 9.

Later on Lowry’s next series, Fallon’s defense stopped Preston Snow twice near the goal line, but Huitt slipped across for a 1-yard touchdown at 8:56. Jace Mentaberry’s extra point tied the game at 7.

Lowry surprised Fallon on the ensuing kickoff when the Buckaroos recovered Caden Ricci’s onside kick at the Greenwave 39. The five-play drive, though, came up short.

Jackson then guided the visitors to its second touchdown.

The senior quarterback rushed for 12 yards and two plays later, he threw a 12-yard pass to Brock Richardson. On a third and 6 from the Fallon 43, Jackson rolled to his right and found Tommy McCormick for a 57-yard pass play. After catching the ball on the near side, McCormick spun around two defenders and raced to the end zone. Robertson’s kick gave Fallon a 14-7 lead.

Both teams’ defenses took over for the rest of the quarter with neither squad scoring.

Lowry tried to surprise Fallon with an onside kick to open the third quarter. Colby Malkovich recovered Ricci’s kick and took the ball down the near side for 35 yards to the Lowry 30. Jackson ran a misdirection play on the first down and took the ball himself around the left side for a 30-yard run to give the Wave a two touchdown lead.

Robertson nailed his third point after touchdown, and with 17 seconds ticked off the clock in the second half, the Wave led 21-7.

Lowry responded by putting together an 18-play drive that took 10 minutes off the clock.

The Buckaroos rotated Snow and Peterson with their running game, and Huitt’s 15-yard pass to Snow showcased the running back’s toughness as he kept his balance in front of the Lowry bench despite a swarm of green and white jerseys closing in.

Two penalties aided Lowry’s drive — a pass interference called at the 2-yard line, and a helmet-to-helmet tackle that resulted in the ball being placed near the goal line.

On first down and goal, Peterson plowed into the end zone for Lowry’s second touchdown, and Mentaberry sliced the uprights with the extra point.

While Lowry grounded the ball out and took minutes off the clock, the Wave struck like lightning hitting dry sagebrush. Richardson took the kickoff to the Fallon 49, and on the first play, Jackson kept the ball for a 32-yard run.

Levi Andrews pounded the right side and scored with a minute left to give Fallon a 27-14 lead, but Robertson’s kick sailed wide.

Fallon immediately regained the ball on the ensuing kickoff. Peterson returned to the Buckaroos 36 yard line for a 29-yard return, but he fumbled, and Fallon recovered on the Lowry 36. Five plays later, Jackson relied on a key block thrown by Dominyke Edwards and kept the ball on another misdirection play for a 16-yard score.

Jackson failed to reach the goal line for the 2-point conversion, but Fallon led 33-14. After that touchdown, each team scored a touchdown.

Huitt set up Lowry’s touchdown with a missile-guided 40-yard pass to Tyler Neu to the Fallon 5. Three plays later Peterson took the ball in for his second touchdown of the night, and Mentaberry’s kick closed the gap to 33-21.

Ricci tried his third onside kick, but the ball rolled out of bounds, resulting in a 5-yard penalty.

Four plays later, Jackson completed a pass to Kenji Armbruster that resulted in a 59-yard score, and Robertson’s PAT ended the night with Fallon leading 40-21 with 5:20 remaining in the game.