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Falcons host tough foe for homecoming

"1999 Homecoming factsTeams: South Whidbey (2-3) vs. Lynden Christian (5-0)Where: Waterman FieldWhen: Friday, Oct. 15Kick-off: 7:30 p.m.Halftime: Parade of class floats and coronation of the homecoming king and queen.Most teams look for a patsy when scheduling homecoming games, but this year South Whidbey decided to take on the best in front of the biggest crowd of the year.The opponent for this Friday night’s homecoming game is Lynden Christian, whose 5-0 record places them on top of the North Cascades League standings, tied with Meridian. Both are among the state’s top 10 rated Class AA squads.The Falcons will enter the game on a three game losing skid, having suffered consecutive bruisings at the hands of King’s, Blaine and, last Friday night, Nooksack Valley.But head coach Mick Heggenes thinks the Falcons can play Lynden Christian tough -- IF they hold on to the ball and keep miscues to a minimum. He described the opponents as a strong running team with a good quarterback who can complete short to medium range passes. “And their big linemen are going to be a handful,” he added. “They’re 350, 260 (pounds) and are aggressive on the pass rush.”But overall, Heggenes ranks Lynden Christian as “a beatable team.” But the Falcons will have to play their best game of the year to produce an upset.Last Friday the Falcons weren’t hitting on all cylinders as they lost 38-8 to Nooksack.“Turnovers,” lamented Heggenes in describing the reason for the big scoring spread. “In the first half there was a four touchdown turnaround.”The Pioneers’ first score came after back-to-back penalties forced the Falcons to kick from deep in their own territory, handing over the ball at the 35. The Pioneers took advantage of the field position to make it 7-0.South Whidbey marched to the Pioneer 30 on their next drive before disaster struck. On third and one, Heggenes called for the fullback to run “up the gut.” But the snap bounced of the hands of quarterback Brian Moote and into the air, where a Pioneer grabbed it and raced 70 yards for another score. It was a weird play, Heggenes said, “but it gets even weirder.”The Falcons were again able to move the ball on their next drive, collecting several first downs. But then running back Charlie Bass ran into a logjam of players and a Pioneer snatched the ball out of his hands and headed for the goal line. “Away he went,” said Heggenes. “It was bizarre.” The score and ensuing kick made it 21-0.The Pioneers gained over 200 yards rushing in the first half but the Falcon defense tightened up after the break. The offense never could sustain a drive, however. South Whidbey’s only score came when Andy Watson intercepted a pass early in the fourth quarter and scampered 45 yards for six points. Moote passed to Trevor Fleming for the 2-point conversion.The defeat left South Whidbey with a 2-2 league record and 2-3 overall mark. “A win could have kept us in the playoffs,” Heggenes said of the race for one of the three post-season berths. They’re not out of it yet, but they’ll need to beat Lynden Christian to keep their hopes alive.Last week Lynden Christian dispatched Lakewood 46-16. In other league games Blaine trounced Granite Falls 51-19 and Meridian dominated Mount Baker 21-7. Winless Sultan lost a non-leaguer to Cascade of Leavenworth 46-0.Score by quartersNooksack Valley 13 11 7 7 -- 3South Whidbey 0 0 0 8 -- 8 "

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