For almost six minutes, South Whidbey’s football team led Cascade Conference rival King’s.
Then the magic disappeared as the Knights chipped away yardage and time, keeping the Falcons’ defense on the field for most of the first half. The formula proved effective for King’s which won 35-14 after taking a 21-7 halftime lead. King’s holds the league’s top spot at 2-0 against conference teams and 3-1 overall.
Things started quickly for South Whidbey. The Falcons jumped ahead less than one minute into the game on an interception returned for a 50-yard touchdown. Falcon senior safety Nick French prowled the line of scrimmage, watched King’s quarterback Koa Wilkins drop back and throw to his left. French jumped the route, snatched the ball, broke one tackle and sprinted down the sideline for South Whidbey’s only score in the first half.
After that, King’s was in control. The Knights dominated possession and answered with a score almost five minutes later on a four-yard run by senior Chris Yand.
South Whidbey, however, was forced to punt after a penalty and failed to gain a first down on its second possession.
The Falcon defense held tough on the next series, forcing a turnover on downs at their 10-yard line with the Knights in scoring position.
King’s ran a committee of backs to great success as the Knights marched down the field to open the second quarter, including Yand converting a fourth down. That set up a deep throw from Wilkins to junior receiver Ryan Fransen who leaped over Falcon cornerback Charlie Patterson for the score.
Wilkins scored an 11-yard touchdown run with 1:31 remaining before halftime that put King’s up 21-7.
Out of the break, South Whidbey and King’s had consecutive possessions with turnovers, including a fumble recovery by Falcon junior Deven Damerau. The Falcons couldn’t get a first down, however, and again punted.
The teams were stalemated until Yand ripped a 51-yard touchdown with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
It didn’t take all the wind out of the Falcons, however, and South Whidbey responded with its last scoring drive. French heaved a deep toss to senior receiver Nick Bennett who shook off a couple of defenders before being tackled at the Knights’ 21-yard line. That set up another long pass by French, this one to senior receiver Uriah Beason who slipped behind the secondary and cleanly caught his first touchdown of the season.
King’s stretched its lead to 35-14 early in the fourth quarter on another touchdown throw from Wilkins to Fransen.
South Whidbey fell to 1-1 in conference play and 3-1 overall.
The Falcons face the Lakewood Cougars (1-0 Cascade Conference; 4-0 overall) on the road Friday.