Sports

Cougars pounce on struggling Falcons

Cameron Coupe, a senior on the Falcon football team, kicks off against Cedar Park Christian earlier this year. The Falcon kicker booted a 26-yard field goal against Lakewood on Friday.  - Ben Watanabe / Record file
Cameron Coupe, a senior on the Falcon football team, kicks off against Cedar Park Christian earlier this year. The Falcon kicker booted a 26-yard field goal against Lakewood on Friday.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / Record file

The Cascade Conference wasn’t without a powerhouse for long.

Lakewood, one week after pummeling the league’s previous top team Archbishop Murphy, piled on points against South Whidbey in a 42-13 blowout. The Lakewood Cougars led 13-0 by the first quarter, then gouged the Falcon defense for 29 points in the second quarter for a 42-3 lead by halftime.

“It was a closer game than the score showed,” said Falcon junior quarterback Nick French.

“If we could have gotten our offense rolling a little earlier, we would have had a little more points at the half.”

South Whidbey’s only points in the first half came on a field goal by senior Cameron Coupe. The all-conference kicker booted a 26-yard score that cut Lakewood’s lead to 21-3 in the second quarter.

On Lakewood’s next drive, the Cougars (1-0 Cascade Conference; 4-0 overall) scored a quick fade route. Back up to their own 1-yard line, Cougar quarterback Kolby Schueller threw to Brandon Stott, who broke a tackle for a 99-yard touchdown and a 28-3 lead. Lakewood hammered South Whidbey’s defense from the air, scoring two more passing touchdowns from Schueller to Justin Peterson that put the Cougars ahead 42-3 by halftime.

“We had opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize on them,” said Falcon co-head coach Mark Hodson.

“We were just beat by a better team.”

The Falcons’ offensive struggles continued. South Whidbey managed a total of 226 yards, but only 43 rushing yards on 27 carries. French, who has rushed for 292 yards through the first four games, was stuffed and sacked for -7 yards against Lakewood.

“They’re a good team with a couple big boys up front,” French said.

South Whidbey’s running woes forced the Falcons to take to the air. French found some success passing for 141 yards on 13 completions. Falcon receivers Uriah Beason and Coupe led the way with 60 and 70 yards, respectively. South Whidbey’s receiving corps was depleted with the loss of starting junior receiver Kale Reichersamer, who is out for the season with a broken collarbone. Receivers like first-year football player Andrew Holt, a 6-4 senior, helped stretch the field — just not enough to recover from an early, double-digit deficit.

“They’re just good athletes,” French said. “They can run after the catch.”

The Falcons’ only touchdown came on a 1-yard run by senior fullback Aaron Curfman, followed by Coupe’s extra point kick. South Whidbey shut out Lakewood in the second half as the Cougars ground out the clock and subbed in their second-string players.

“Our defense came out in the third quarter and sent them a message,” French said.

Coupe scored the final points of the night on another field goal from 27 yards out.

The home game was the Falcons’ second double-digit loss in a row after last week’s 49-15 road defeat by the King’s Knights.

South Whidbey (1-2 Cascade Conference; 2-3 overall) will try to upset a reeling Archbishop Murphy team during the Wildcats’ homecoming Friday, Oct. 5. With the Wildcats on a two-game losing streak and a coaching change, the Falcons are poised to beat the old conference powerhouse for the first time in several years.

“It’s time for a little payback on Archbishop Murphy,” French said. “We know they’re still a good team."

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