Wave ready to break out
Drive by drive, the offense is gaining confidence.
It’s not the big-play, fast break unit from a last season, but the results are much the same.
In two games, the Fallon football teams is averaging 30 points and look to add to that total when the Greenwave faces Wooster at 7 p.m. tonight in their home-opener at the Edward Arciniega Complex.
“We’ve had our best week of practice,” Fallon coach Brooke Hill said. “It’s a league game, so we can’t afford to overlook them.”
Under first-year senior quarterback Joe Pyle, the Wave have been a more methodical offense, using long drives to establish their style of play. Speed and a physical front, though, are still staples of the unit.
Pyle has thrown for 245 yards and three touchdowns this season including 135 yards last week, while running back Nathan Heck has tallied 269 yards on the ground.
Pyle, meanwhile, will start his third game and Hill has seen growth from his signal caller. The senior possesses a big arm, but Hill said his quarterback must not press and let the game come to him.
“Joe actually played better than we thought,” Hill said of the Truckee game. “Joe is going to get better every single week. Joe knows a lot and it’s just being comfortable in it. Once he reaches that point, then watch out because he can make all the throws.”
Wooster, meanwhile, presents an aerial challenge for the Wave defense. Hunter Triplett, a junior, has connected on 62.8 percent (27 of 43) of his passes for 377 yards, six touchdowns and one interception.
Hauling in passes from Triplett are Chris Greco (12 receptions, 214 yards and four TDs) and Ryan Gage (eight catches, 120 yards and one TD).
“He’s got some experience and has seen us before and knows what we do,” Hill said. “We’ve got to be able to matchup with them, recognize routes and tackle in space. They are a pass-happy squad.”
The Colts rushing attack, though, has only managed 115 yards on 45 carries in two games led by 63 yards from Abraham Medina.
Fallon’s rush defense, after a shaky start against Cardinal Newman, held Truckee to 119 yards on 26 carries. Wooster’s offense, Hill said, is more similar to Cardinal Newman than Truckee.
“They last team we faced like that (Cardinal Newman) put up 56 points against us,” Hill added. “We have to have a marked improvement over what we had against Cardinal Newman.”
A key on the offensive line, meanwhile, is the health of junior center Braxton Hunter, who missed last week with a back injury. In his stead was Wyatt Hampton, who was consistent and played well, Hill said.
Hunter, though, did practice this week and may play, although Hill said Hampton will be ready to fill the void if needed.
The line, though, has opened holes and afforded Pyle protection, which has allowed the Wave to sustain drives. To move the ball consistently down the field and taking what the defense allows is new to Fallon and it’s ability from last season.
“We haven’t had that,” Hill said. “The last few years we have been scoring on big plays. The kids have bought in a little bit. A lot of credit goes to our offensive line … and our backs and hitting it up inside.”
Fallon’s defense, which has forced six turnovers in its two games, goes up against an offensive with four turnovers including three fumbles.
Riley Williams leads the team with 28 tackles followed by Richardson with 15. Williams also has an interception, while Richardson has a pair of fumble recoveries.
“We have to take care of the football,” Hill said of the turnover battle.
The Colts defense, meanwhile, is led by Chris Greco with 19 tackles and Jose Acosta who is second with 14. Wooster has recovered six fumbles and tallied two picks.
Special teams, a staple last year for the Wave, has yet to break off a big return. The Colts, though, have been opportunistic with Ryan Gage, who has three kickoff returns for touchdowns and one punt return.
“We have go to be sound on special teams,” Hill said. “I think we are getting better there and we have to take ownership as much as we did last year.”
Freshmen struggle in opener
The Fallon freshmen football team lost its season opener 56-8 at Spring Creek last week.
The Greenwave trailed 48-0 before Austin Brooks broke free for a 19-yard TD run. Matt Goings ran in the two-point conversion.
Fallon played Wooster on Thursday, but results were not available at press time.