Homecoming glory

The South Whidbey High School football team notched their first Cascade Conference win of the season against King’s Friday, 19-12 in front of a Waterman Field crowd filled with Falcon students and alumni.

Powered by a running game that netted more than 200 yards, South Whidbey’s offense scored all of its points in the first and fourth quarter. The Falcons defense also played its best game in weeks, holding the Knights to two touchdowns and less than 150 total yards in the game.

The win was especially meaningful for Mark Hodson, the Falcons head coach and a King’s alumnus.

“It’s always good to beat King’s,” he said.

Though the victory cannot help the Falcons get into postseason play, the homecoming win in front of a capacity crowd was a boost for the home team. In the aftermath, South Whidbey’s players have set goals for the rest of the season. Senior running back Michael Lodell said the Falcons want to win their remaining three games and finish with a 5-5 record. Upcoming opponents include Granite Falls and Sultan, two teams the Falcons have beaten regularly over the past five years.

The Falcons’ confidence in their ability is something Hodson said returned Friday after being absent for a couple weeks. It was, however, tested early in the game when King’s scored a touchdown to take the first lead, 6-0.

Following a Falcon defensive stand in which the Knights were held at their own goal line, the Falcons used their next offensive series to drive the ball close to the King’s end zone. On a first down play, Lodell brought the game back when he took a pitched handoff from senior quarterback Matt Parrick. Showing his trademark form of eluding tacklers, he swung to the right sideline and sprinted 7 yards for a touchdown. Senior kicker Nash Compton followed the score with his second extra point of the season to take the game to 7-6. After that, the Falcons would not fall behind for the remainder of the game

It then became a defensive showdown for the next two quarters, with neither side scoring any points. Leading the way on defense for South Whidbey was senior Dane Guetlin, who brought down six Knights runners, helped other Falcon tacklers with five assists and dropped the King’s quarterback for a sack. Senior Sheridan Catlin, who was playing the game with a heavily bandaged hand, registered six tackles and had three assists. Michael McNany also helped keep the offense active by recovering a fumble to go along with his four tackles and two assists.

Combined, South Whidbey tackled 37 Knights, sacked the quarterback twice and recovered a fumble.

“We shut them down on defense,” said Michael Lodell, who also plays safety for South Whidbey.

In the fourth quarter, after never scoring a touchdown as a varsity player, senior runningback Michael Osburn dashed two yards for the his team’s second touchdown on the night. The score was rewarding for the third-year varsity player.

“It was great getting my first varsity touchdown,” Osburn said.

But the game still belonged to Lodell, who carried the ball 22 times for 183 yards. In a game where he showed what his coach called a “return to form,” Lodell capped the night by dashing 45 yards to score six more points to seal the win. Only a few minutes earlier, Kings’ had brought the game within seven with their second touchdown. Lodell’s insurance points, late in the fourth quarter, put the game away.

Lodell credited the Falcon offensive line for helping him to his best rushing day of the season.

South Whidbey travels to Granite Falls Friday to play the Tigers at 7 p.m.

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