Despite a pair of blowout wins, the Fallon football team’s offense has yet to hit its stride.
The Greenwave (2-0 Northern Division I-A) offense aims to flex its muscle at 7 p.m. today against Dayton (1-2 overall, 1-1 DI-A) at the Edward Arciniega Complex.
“Every time they come to compete against us, it seems like they compete a little harder,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said.
The unit, one of the best in the Northern Division I-A last season, accounts for 59 percent of the club’s total yards. The other 41 percent is from special teams, where sophomore punt returner Cameron Matzen has been a terror.
He has accounted for four touchdowns and 380 yards on punt returns. Matzen’s return skills have limited the offensive presence on the field, although running back Trent Tarner has bullied his way to 285 yards and four TDs on just 23 carries.
Coupled with the athletes littered on offense, Fallon’s ability to sustain long drives has taken a back seat in its first two games against overwhelmed opponents.
Dayton, who beat the Wave two years ago and played tough last season, provides a different challenge for Fallon. The Dust Devils still feature a ground-and-pound offense, but have added more passing.
“They still feature some concepts from the Wing-T, but they are a power run team,” Hill said. “They are trying to expand a little bit, and that’s probably good.”
Led by quarterback Davis Winebarger, the Dust Devils nearly pulled off an upset over Spring Creek in Week 2. Dayton took an early 16-0 lead, but the Spartans rallied in the fourth quarter to cement a 30-16 win.
Winebarger, though, has thrown for 435 yards with two TDs and four interceptions. His counterpart, senior Morgan Dirickson, has only thrown 17 times, completing six passes for 175 yards with four TDs and no interceptions.
Dirickson, who was second-team all-league last year, and his young set of receivers are itching to break out and show the full might of the Wave’s aerial attack.
“The offense, for some reason, we haven’t found a rhythm yet,” Hill said. “We got to get good reps in practice. We are anticipating that’s not going to be the case. We got a good quarterback back there and some good skill guys.”
Defensively, the Wave has been stingy allowing 9.5 points per game and forced eight turnovers. Sophomore linebacker Rylie Williams and junior defensive lineman Justin Hatfield lead the club with 16 tackles, while Hatfield as a team-high three sacks.
The unit has recorded five interceptions, two returned for TDs plus a fumble return for a TD.
“Last year … we had one defensive touchdown and no returns,” Hill said. “We have been opportunistic and that’s the sign of a good defense.”
For Dayton, linebacker Austin Fletcher leads the team with 22 tackles followed by linebacker Josh Koch (15) and defensive back John Aguilar (13). Size, though, is a constant with the Dust Devils and coupled with their standouts will provide a physical matchup for Fallon.
“It’s a new offense for them, but they are putting up some points,” Hill said. “They are playing pretty good defense and usually pretty aggressive.”
Freshmen fall at South Tahoe
The Fallon freshmen football team gave up 14 points in the first quarter and fell, 14-7, to South Tahoe last week.
The Greenwave scored on a 56-yard interception return by Jacob Borges in the second quarter.