Lowry upset bid over Fallon comes up short in season finale

Lowry upset bid over Fallon comes up short in season finale

Lowry upset bid over Fallon comes up short in season finale

With its playoff chances in the rear-view mirror, the Lowry High School football team was playing for pride and momentum into the 2018 season.

The Buckaroos have played in a number of close games in the second half of the season, but have come up short on the result side. Lowry had a chance to dampen the playoff seeding of Fallon on Thursday night in Winnemucca and nearly pulled off the upset in their season finale.

Lowry jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, only to see Fallon rally in the second half for a 35-26 victory.

“We came out and gave them hell tonight,” said LHS coach Taua Cabatbat. “We came out and gave them our best ball of the year. We played good football. We started clicking at the end. I wish the season was not over, because we are playing good right now. It is tough for our seniors on how the year went. I am excited about next year. We have some good kids coming up that will help us out.”  

The Buckaroos ate up more than five minutes on the clock on the opening possession of the night and grabbed a 7-0 lead on an 11-yard run by Victor Rosas. Rosas did much of the damage on the 59-yard drive, with a handful of runs.

It did not take Fallon long to answer back, needing to drive just 15 yards to tie the game at 7-7 after a long kickoff return by Clayton Steelman. On fourth down, Sean McCormick connected with Steelman on a 12-yard pass play to square the game.

Lowry countered back 19 seconds later, as Rosas broke free on the next play from scrimmage for a 58-yard touchdown and a 14-7 Buckaroo lead with 5:23 left in the first quarter.

“We were not going to lay down for nobody,” Cabatbat “We are done with teams looking at us and laughing at us. We proved in the second half of the season that we belong. We are not completely back, but teams take us serious now.” 

After the quick start by the offense, the game settled down in the rest of the half. Lowry drove deep into Fallon territory twice in the second quarter, but could not add any points with drives ending on downs. 

Fallon punted twice and fumbled once on its other possessions in the first half, before scoring with 43 seconds to play in the second quarter. McCormick hit Christian Nemeth for a 12-yard pass play that closed the gap to 14-13 at halftime.

Fallon took its first lead of the contest on the opening possession of the second half. They were aided by a 17-yard pass on fourth down from Sean McCormick to Tommy McCormick that kept the drive alive. Just a few plays later, Sean McCormick scored on a 3-yard run on fourth down to put the Greenwave ahead 21-14 after the 2-point conversion.

Fallon intercepted Lowry’s Brandon Domire on the Buckaroos’ next drive and ran the ball back to the Lowry 1-yard line. However, the run back was called back due to a block in the back penalty. The Greenwave were unable to capitalize on the miscue and were forced to punt.

On that punt, Buckaroo senior Matthew Souza found a crease in the Fallon coverage and scampered for a 58-yard touchdown. Lowry missed the extra point and trailed 21-20 with 2:49 left in the third quarter.

Lowry forced Fallon to punt on its next possession as well, but the tables turned in The Greenwave's favor moments later. Sean McCormick intercepted Domire and ran into the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown and a 27-21 advantage with :18 to play in the third quarter.

Just a play after losing Rosas to a knee injury early in the fourth quarter, Domire kept the ball and found the corner of the end zone on a 12-yard run to close the gap to 27-26. The Buckaroos missed the extra point with 8:50 left to play.

The Buckaroos quickly punted on their next drive, leaving five minutes on the clock. Fallon kept their drive going — aided by a Lowry offside penalty — and continued to run the clock out. 

With just one timeout left, Lowry allowed Sean McCormick to score on a 17-yard run to get the ball back, but needed to stop the ensuing conversion. Fallon went for the 2-point conversion and converted the play to make the score 35-26 with 1:20 to play, ending the upset bid.

“That was our only chance to get the ball back and try to tie the game,” Cabatbat said. “They were just going to run the clock out. We needed to stop the 2-point conversion, but they were able to get it.”

Lowry finished the year 1-8 in the Northern 3A and 1-9 overall. Fallon finished 7-2 in the Northern 3A and will be the No. 3 seed in the regional playoffs.

“The win/loss record is what it is,” Cabatbat said. “We are better than that. We are ready to get to work and hopefully in 2018 we can turn it on early.”

The Northern 3A playoffs get underway this weekend.

Fernley and Spring Creek are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds and receive a first-round bye.

Sparks, who made the playoffs for the first time in nine years, will travel to Fallon on Friday night. The winner of that game will travel to Spring Creek on Saturday, Nov. 11.

South Tahoe and Truckee will play in the other match-up in the first round.

That winner will travel to Fernley on Nov 11.