It would be easy for the Fallon football team to overlook a fledgling Sparks club.
After all, the programs are mirror opposites as the Greenwave (4-0) have shredded their four opponents, while the Railroaders (0-4) have been shutout twice.
But Wave coach Brooke Hill has made it a point to motivate his club for today’s 7 p.m. matchup in Sparks.
“They are obviously going to be hungry,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “We just have to come out and play as consistent as we can.”
Last week, Fallon’s offense was clicking on all cylinders as senior quarterback Morgan Dirickson threw for 440 yards and seven touchdowns, while senior running back Trent Tarner ran for 85 in a 48-20 win over Elko.
For the season, Fallon is averaging 54 points per game and allowing a paltry 11.5 ppg. The defense and special teams, though, have generated 10 scores, while the defense has forced 18 turnovers and recorded 17 sacks.
Sparks, meanwhile, was throttled by previously winless Truckee, 47-13. It’s been that kind of year for the Railroaders.
Hill, though, continues his emphasis of keeping focus and taking the season game-by-game.
“We should never come out and play to the opponent or the scoreboard,” Hill added. “Practice has been good. We just continue to do the same thing. We are talking to them about staying focused.”
Last week, Fallon’s run game took a backseat to the aerial display, which was expected by Hill and the staff. Tarner, though, had a slow first half, but brooke loose for three runs for more than 10 times on the final scoring drive.
Hill said that drive, which mixed the run and pass, was the best of the night. It’s the drives the Wave can build on as tougher opponents come up on the schedule.
“We had a good, established drive and got Tarner going,” Hill said. “Against Sparks, we want to have a good balance with it and continue what we’ve been doing.”
Sparks, though, is led by quarterback Mastor Sells, who has completed 25 of 45 passes for 191 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions. He has also run for 69 yards and one score, while running back Hennesy Banks has tallied 100 yards on 27 carries.
But in a game where Fallon is expected to win big, Hill has a challenge of keeping his players from pressing too much.
“I think that comes from focusing on what we can do in our game plan,” Hill said. “We’ll take what they give us. If they take him (Tarner) away, then we’ll throw the ball. If they try to stop our passing game, which I suspect they might do, then we should be able to run the football.”