Facing similar offenses in consecutive weeks makes preparing a bit easier.
Once again, the Fallon football team faces a formidable passing attack. The Greenwave, though, shut down Wooster’s aerial game and now prepares for South Tahoe quarterback Mason Cain.
Fallon and the Vikings square off at 7 p.m. tonight in South Tahoe, although smoke from the King Fire east of Placerville, Calif., could alter the location.
Neverthless, Fallon’s secondary will be tested as Cain, who is second in the Northern Division I-A with 524 passing yards, aims to break down Fallon’s defense.
“Very comparable teams,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said of South Tahoe and Wooster. “They (South Tahoe) kind of use a short, controlled passing game to move it down the field. They are an improved team over last year.”
Fallon, meanwhile, is a dominant force on the ground averaging 272 rushing yards per game. The Greenwave piled up 376 yards, although not one back eclipsed 100 yards.
The Wave also saw the return of the big play as Fallon scored on runs of 76 and 70 yards, a 66-yard punt return and a 30-yard interception return.
“It was a good overall performance,” Hill said. “It’s all about focus and preparation during the week. We are kind of getting into that rhythm. Our pace and tempo are picking up in practice.”
Fallon’s pass defense, meanwhile, is led by all-state cornerback Nathan Heck, while Aaron Bitter lines up opposite of Heck and Connor Richardson at safety. The trio are a fast, athletic bunch who held the Colts to 176 passing yards, albeit 62 came in the fourth quarter.
Making life easier on the secondary is the presence of a physical and fast defensive line anchored by Justin Hatfield. He and Najee Stanford each recorded a sack and combined for six tackles for a loss one week ago.
“To see a team similar, back-to-back is a good thing because things are fresh in our mind,” Hill said of the defensive preparation.
As for Fallon’s offense, the run game has been its staple and identity to this point. Nathan Heck (339 yards, three TDs) leads a wave of backs who possess speed and strength with the skill to break free.
Charles Fulks has taken a share of the load to let Heck rest, while Trae Workman showed his power last week when he ran over a Wooster defender en route to a 76-yard TD.
“We try to find our identity early on,” Hill said. “We’ve had success running the football early on. We’re happy that’s what we are able to do.”
Quarterback Joe Pyle, meanwhile, has also added a running option Fallon did not have last season. But for Pyle, Hill sees a more comfortable and relaxed disposition, which will lead to more success through the air.
Pyle only attempted seven passes last week, completing three, but the poise was more developed.
“He does look more comfortable,” Hill said. “Teams will scheme to stop the run, which will give him more opportunities in the pass game.”