Falcons have air, fleet feet

Falcon quarterback Jeremy Iverson airs out a pass during Saturday
Falcon quarterback Jeremy Iverson airs out a pass during Saturday's jamboree matchup against Port Townsend. Iverson made a completion for a touchdown later in the day against Chimacum.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

Even though the were unscored, unofficial and unfinished, an afternoon of short football scrimmages Saturday nearly filled the stands at Waterman Field.

Taking advantage of a sunny day to watch the season's only daytime high school football, students, parents and sports fans showed up and stayed for a couple hours to see the Falcons play in a three-team jamboree against teams from Port Townsend and Chimacum high schools.

Limited by state athletic rules to games lasting only as long as it took for each team to make 20 offensive snaps, the three teams were on the field to warm up for the coming season and to get a taste of real passing, rushing, blocking and tackling after more than nine months away from the gridiron. For their part, the Falcons started faster and hotter than last season, scoring two touchdowns in two varsity jamboree games, and limiting their opponents to minimal offensive gains.

"It's a lot better than we were last year," said an enthusiastic Mark Hodson, who is starting his second year as the Falcons' head coach.

In the first matchup of the day, the Falcons took it to Port Townsend, keeping the 2001 playoff team out of the end zone on defense while running and passing almost at will on offense. Spiced up by some neat receptions by senior Tim Gathings and junior Nick Plastino, the Falcons' scoring game really got on its feet when quarterback Jeremy Iverson began banging his top running threat, Andy Wills, against the Port Townsend defensive line. Wills banged out good yardage to bring the Falcons within 15 yards of the end zone before taking an Iverson handoff to the outside on a scamper into the end zone near the end of the shortened game.

Against Chimacum, Iverson used the Falcons' air game to get the crowd excited. Using double-duty player Bryan Wenker from the tight-end slot, Iverson passed the ball for an end-zone completion that demonstrated the flexibility of the Falcon offense.

Hodson said the jamboree also produced some standout performances on defense. He said the surprise of the day was a beefed-up Brandon Turner, who was speedy in getting to the center of plays. Also doing solid work, he said, were defensive ends Wenker and Jason Gilberts.

The Falcons now get a short break to do more work on the practice field. They play their first official game of the season in a Sept. 13 away matchup against Blaine.

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