Falcons smacked 55-7 by unbeatable Wildcats

Archbishop Murphy showed the South Whidbey fans and players why they are one of the best 2A football teams Friday. Unfortunately, in doing so, they beat the hometown Falcons 55-7.

Playing at South Whidbey High School’s Waterman Field, Archbishop Murphy’s offensive line manhandled South Whidbey’s defense, opening paths to the end zone for Wildcat running back after Wildcat running back. In addition, the Wildcats’ relentless defense contained South Whidbey’s offense, holding the Falcons to about 200 yards of total offense.

It was the most lopsided loss of the season for the Falcons, who now possess an 0-2 record in Cascade Conference play. They have four conference games remaining which will determine whether they go to the playoffs. Those four remaining games are “must wins,” said Mark Hodson, South Whidbey’s head coach.

Friday’s game did stay close in the first quarter. The Falcons held the Wildcats scoreless until about six minutes remained in the quarter. That’s when a Wildcat broke through South Whidbey’s defense and dashed in for their the first touchdown.

South Whidbey immediately responded when senior running back Michael Lodell grabbed the ensuing kickoff. With the cheers of the South Whidbey fans and players pushing him along, Lodell darted in and out of the Archbishop Murphy’s kickoff coverage for a 90-yard touchdown. Senior kicker Nash Compton then followed with an extra point. It was the first extra point ever for Compton, who has played soccer for 12 years, but never football.

On Monday, Compton said he still remembers hearing the whistle and the sound of his teammates cheering after the football split the uprights.

“It was great to get that one in there,” he said. “One down and a lot more to come.”

However, the touchdown and extra point turned out to be the only points the Falcons would score.

Archbishop Murphy, which entered the game on a winning streak of more than 30 games, scored another touchdown in the first quarter and broke the game wide open when they racked up 27 points in the second quarter. The Wildcats tacked on 14 more points in the second half.

The strength and ability of Archbishop Murphy’s players impressed Hodson.

“It was just two different teams,” he said.

Seventeen of the 49 players listed on Archbishop Murphy’s roster are at least 6 feet and 12 players weigh more than 200 pounds. Nine of the Falcons’ 27 players are 6 feet tall and seven players weigh more than 200 pounds.

Besides Lodell’s run, the South Whidbey offense was smothered.

Senior running back Michael Osburn dashed 50 yards on nine carries to lead the team. Also contributing in the ground game was Lodell, who ran 31 yards on 19 carries.

The other facet of the team’s offense, the passing game, never took off for the Falcons. Senior quarterback Matt Parrick went 0-8 and sophomore quarterback Danny Parra, who came in during the second half, completed one of two passes, connecting a 13-yard pass to senior wide receiver Dustin Sidhu.

South Whidbey also played without the services of senior defensive end Jason Gilberts, who suffered a knee injury last Thursday.

Hodson did learn from Archbishop Murphy’s coach that the Falcons’ special running plays confused the Wildcats. Hodson said the team plans to work on those plays in practice.

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