Speed and tenacity have been the calling cards for the Fallon football team’s defense.
The unit steamrolled Dayton on Friday as the Greenwave came away with another blowout win, 54-7, at the Edward Arciniega Complex.
The Wave improve to 3-0 in the Northern Division I-A, while Dayton falls to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the Northern DI-A. Fallon’s first test of the season, though, come this week at home against Elko (3-0).
“We were kind of opportunistic,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “We got to do a little better job offensively. Our defense is really playing well. We are pretty physical.”
The defense, meanwhile, has allowed 26 points through three games this season and throttled the Dust Devils. Fallon allowed 181 totals yards, scored three touchdowns — one on a muffed punt — forced seven turnovers and tallied five sacks.
Not a bad day.
“It was a comedy of errors in the first quarter and we just couldn’t dig out of that,” Dayton coach Rob Turner said. “You hate to see that … but we always play hard.”
For the season, Fallon has forced 15 turnovers — nine interceptions — and scored nine times on defense and special teams.
Speaking of the first quarter against Dayton. Fallon’s defense opened the scoring onslaught when cornerback Cameron Matzen picked off Dust Devils quarterback Davis Winebarger and jetted 50 yards for a TD. On the Dust Devils’ third drive, defensive back Trent Tarner intercepted Winebarger and rumbled 29 yards down to Dayton’s 1-yard line. One play later, Tarner punched the ball in for a 20-0 lead.
“I think we got one of the fastest teams in the league,” he said. “If we get our offense dialed in, I think we’ll be unstoppable.”
Fallon’s defense held strong on the next drive after two big plays set up Dayton at Wave’s 13. Winebarger, though, was picked when linebacker Dakota Schelling tipped the ball twice while falling down to end the threat.
Then the sacks came. Sophomore linebacker Rylie Williams’ sack all but ended Dayton’s next drive, and Bradlee Stands’ strip-sack led to a 7-yard scoop-and-score for Evan Bitter in the second quarter.
Stands finished with 2 ½ sacks, while Justin Hatfield added one and Dylan Jabines added half-a-sack.
“I took my steps, read it and as soon as he went out of the pocket I attacked,” Stands said of his strip-sack. “We have a good defense because everyone is doing their jobs.”
Offensively, Fallon’s numbers did not indicate a game won by 47 points. Nathan Heck led the team with 50 yards on one carry, which went for a TD, while Tarner carried the ball six times for 31 yards.
Senior quarterback Morgan Dirickson completed 5 of 16 passes for 134 yards, two TDs and one interception.
“I though we played better this week than last week,” Hill said. “We did a little better job offensively … started well in the passing game early.”