Fallon coach Brooke Hill needs his offense to work on sustaining drives.
The lack of consistency killed the Greenwave down the stretch last season, as Fallon relied on the big play. Last week against Wooster, Fallon’s offense was choppy again despite the Wave racking up big play after big play.
The question of consistent offensive play, though, lingers as the Wave (1-0 Northern Division I-A) head into tonight’s 7 p.m. tilt at South Tahoe. The Vikings (0-2 overall, 0-1) have been blown out in their first two games and tonight could be thumping No. 3.
The quandary for Hill, though, is to maintain drives, yet taking advantage of the opportunities presented. Trent Tarner, Cameron Matzen and Morgan Dirickson all have the skill to bust a play open.
While Hill’s thoughts are focused on the present, he knows late in the season, especially in the postseason, big plays are few and far between.
“We didn’t connect on some routes … and that I kind of attribute to not being outside throwing,” Hill explained of indoor practices due to smoke from wildfires. “You just get out there and run your offense. Even if it’s for one play.”
As an example, Hill noted Tarner’s 58-yard TD run to open the third quarter against Wooster.
“We didn’t block that correctly,” Hill said. “He made a great play, spun out of tackle and then was able brake it the rest of the way. I know it’s a one play sample, but we can look at it and say ‘What do we need to do to fix it.’”
Despite the concerns, Fallon’s next challenge is to subdue a down South Tahoe team. The Vikings lost most of their offensive weapons from a year ago and have been outscored 110-25 in two games.
Fallon’s defensive front, meanwhile, played well against Wooster, shutting down the running game. The Colts managed to tally 161 passing yards, but most came with Wooster trailing by double digits and forced to throw the ball.
“I was happy with our run defense,” Hill said. “We gave up a little in the passing game, but like the offense, that was due to not being outside. I like the way we tackled and we played physical on defense.”
As for the sophomore foursome — Matzen, Evan Bitter, Rylie Williams and Braxton Hunter — Hill was pleased with their first varsity starts. Matzen scored four touchdowns, Bitter had a pick and two tackles, Williams had a team-high nine tackles and Hunter was solid at center, especially snapping to Dirickson out of the Pistol formation.
“One thing we know about that sophomore class is the know how to win, and know how to compete,” Hill said. “All four of those kids we got … they know how to play. All of them played well.”
As for South Tahoe, running back Tyler Nicholson led the Vikings with 65 yards on 17 carries in a 46-13 loss to Fernley. Quarterback Jared Fajman, subbing for the injured Corey McCarthy, completed 6 of 13 passes for 112 yards and one TD. Receiver Brandon Erickson racked up 90 yards and one TD.
Freshmen blow past Wooster
The Fallon freshmen football team matched its varsity counterparts with a 37-6 win over Wooster last week.
Dylan Ridenour scored on a 37-yard run and a 17-yard fumble return in the first quarter. In the second quarter, T.J. Fagg hooked up with Connor Nelson for a 59-yard TD pass.
In the third quarter, Brock Uptain rumbled in from 26 yards out and T.J. Mauga connected on a 23-yard field goal. Branden Buus capped the Wave’s scoring in the fourth quarter with a 2-yard run.
The freshmen team played at South Tahoe on Thursday, but results were not available at press time.