FALCON FOOTBALL UPDATE: Championship game goes to Archbishop Murphy

The South Whidbey High School football team did what they could Friday, but were unable to contain undefeated Archbishop Murphy (8-0) in a 42-8 loss before hundreds of disappointed fans.

With quarterback Hunter Rawls out for the season with a broken wrist, Falcon coach Mark Hodson started sophomore backup TJ Russell who turned in a stellar performance, throwing for one touchdown to Luke Hodson just before the half.

Then, unable to find his receiver, the 5-foot-11, 154-pound Russell ran into the corner post for the two points with an inch to spare. He suffered some serious hits in his first start as team leader but kept his cool under difficult conditions.

With the score 28-8 at the break, the Wildcat defense toughened up and prevented the Falcons from making any more serious inroads.

Murphy's players were big, well-conditioned, well-coached and knew how to execute plays with precision and determination.

Wildcat coach Dave Ward — who led the 4A Oak Harbor team to a state championship — was relaxed on the sidelines late in the fourth quarter.

"It was a fairly clean game on both sides," Ward noted. "Despite some early turnovers, we were able to focus and play our game."

At 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31 the Falcons (6-2) travel to Coupeville for the regular season finale.

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