What a way to begin a varsity career.
Fallon sophomore Cameron Matzen outscored Wooster with a spectacular performance as the Greenwave rolled to a 62-12 win on Friday at the Edward Arciniega Complex.
Matzen accounted for four touchdowns — two punt returns, an interception return and a receiving TD — to lift Fallon. Matzen started his scoring barrage in the first quarter after the defense forced the Colts to punt.
“I didn’t know I was going to get a lot of playing time,” he said. “Punt returning, that was unexpected. I was really nervous, but when I got that first punt return all the butterflies went away.”
Matzen took the kick, bounced right and raced up the sideline 74 yards for his first TD. Evan Bitter, a sophomore linebacker, intercepted Colts quarterback Hunter Triplett to set up Mazten’s next score. After a penalty negated a TD by senior running back Trent Tarner, senior quarterback Morgan Dirickson connected with Mazten for an 18-yard TD to put Fallon up 14-0.
Mazten’s next score was his most impressive on the night. He scooped up a punt at about the 35 and ran into a herd of Colts near the 50. Matzen, however, bounced out of the pile, ran left and picked up a bevy of blockers to lead the way. He cut against the escort and stumbled into the end zone for the score.
That was just the first quarter.
The sophomore sensation capped his epic night with a pick-six in the third quarter. Triplett floated a pass, but Matzen read the play, went airborne for the pick and ran untouched for his fourth score of the night.
“The quarterback kept looking at me,” he added. “I knew he was going to throw it to my side. I swear, when he was looking at me he threw the ball right to me.”
But it wasn’t all Matzen, who tallied 186 return yards for Fallon, as senior linebacker Dakota Schelling tallied a 50-yard interception return for a TD. Dirickson tallied a trio of TD tosses including a laser, which appeared destined to be intercepted but shot over the arms of the outstretched defender, to junior Tyler Bagby racing down the right sideline.
Dirickson completed 5 of 12 passes for 127 yards and no interceptions.
Tarner, meanwhile, sparked an unbelievable third quarter for Fallon. On the first play, the senior took the handoff and rumbled 58 yards for the score. He finished with 120 yards on 13 carries.
The Wave ran only five offensive plays in the quarter and recorded three touchdowns. The final score of the period was on a 48-yard TD jaunt by junior backup quarterback Joe Pyle.
Of course, Fallon coach Brooke Hill said there is still plenty to work on for this week’s tilt at South Tahoe. Last season Fallon ran through its first seven opponents using the big play.
“I thought they came out focused,” Hill said. “I just don’t think we could establish anything. We want to be able to consistently move the ball down the field and execute our offense.”
Hill said the inability to sustain drives late in the season were critical in losses to Truckee and Lowry late in the year. He wants to avoid being in that situation by working on offensive consistency.
The passing game struggled all night, as Dirickson and the receivers could not establish their rhythm. Missing open receivers plus a less than stellar performance on the line aided the funk.
The running game, meanwhile, produced several big runs, but overall it was not as fluid as Hill expected.
“I think defensively we played well, but we couldn’t get anything going offensively because we were getting so many big plays,” he added. “We have some things to fix, there are some problems, but it’s early in the year. I was happy that we didn’t turn the ball over.”