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Defense yes, but offense denied
It was a good start. Too bad the finish wasn't so nice.
Though surprising and exciting in the first quarter Friday night, the South Whidbey Falcons found out why the Lynden Christian Lyncs are so tough every year: They know how to wear down an opponent.
A 50-yard, first-quarter interception return by Andy Wills got a hometown crowd to its feet at Waterman Field early in the game and seemed to put the Falcons in the same league with the state-ranked Lyncs, if only briefly. Though they held on to a 7-7 tie through the first quarter, the South Whidbey boys got stung over and over for the next three quarters as their bigger, tougher northern opponent rolled to a 41-7 win.
Shut down offensively by the Lyncs from the opening whistle, the Falcons used defense to stay in the game. Early on, it seemed as though this might do the trick. Senior Tim Gathings grabbed a Lync fumble early in the game, but naught came of the turnover as Lynden Christian came back to stop the Falcon offense.
Wills' interception marked the second Lync turnover of the game, but the tie it produced was short lived. Though two tough, but unsuccessful Falcon goal-line stands in the first two quarters frustrated the Lynden Christian offense, the Lyncs went on to score 14 points in the second quarter and another 20 in the second half of the game as they held the South Whidbey offence to negligible gains.
Falcon coach Mark Hodson said that now, after three straight North Cascades Conference losses to high-powered teams, the team needs to make some changes.
"The defense looks really good," he said. "But we need to put kids in more successful positions and more successful situations."
Five games into the season and with a 1-4 record, finding those "successful" positions and situations will mean position and lineup changes. Hodson said with Friday's homecoming game against Lakewood coming up, his team needs to adjust so it can make a charge for a fourth-place finish in the NCC.
Against Lakewood, Hodson said he expects his team to be more effective passing and rushing than they have been so far this season. At the same time, he is also expecting his defense -- led by top tackler Michael Lodell -- to continue to hit hard.