Blaine clips Falcons in final home playoff game

LANGLEY — Injuries to key players and a slippery running back from Blaine combined for a 33-2 loss to the Borderites in South Whidbey’s first home playoff game since 1992.

“Not all the tools we needed to win were in the tool shed tonight,” said Falcon coach Mark Hodson.

“The kids were disappointed and I’m sure our fans were as well. But it was a great season for Falcon football.”

South Whidbey ended with a 7-3 record in the Cascade Conference, losing to Granite Falls, Archbishop Murphy and Blaine. Undefeated Murphy crumpled Bellingham Friday 44-0 to move a step closer to state.

The game began on a few high notes for South Whidbey.

The Falcon defense — especially Lucas Yale, Nick Tenuta, Trapper Rawls and Luke Hodson — kept Blaine out of the end zone for most of the first quarter.

The Falcons scored first on a safety when linebacker David Monell sacked Blaine’s Jordan McCarty for two points with 8:31 left in the quarter.

“I went in, saw the QB had the ball and sacked him, which is what I do out there,” Monell recalled. “I didn’t realize I was in the end zone till the others came up and told me.”

But try as they could, the Falcons were unable to contain Borderite running back Casey McCabe, who rushed for 190 yards for a total 1,003 on the year.

Fill-in Falcon quarterback Hodson threw an interception that led to the first Blaine TD with 3:54 in the quarter. The Borderites quickly adjusted their offense and scored twice more before the half ended with the score 19-2.

Blaine picked up another two TDs in the third quarter for the final 33-2 score.

Hodson had never played quarterback before and, though prepped by the coaching staff all week, admitted he was thrown off guard a few times.

“I really wanted to make the plays we needed and was willing to do whatever

I could, but things just didn’t gel out there,” he said.

Nose guard Rawls, easily winning the award for muddiest guy on the field, said it was a hard way to end the year.

“But we had two winning seasons in a row and, though I’m graduating and won’t be here for it, the tradition of winning will continue,” he said.

Blaine coach Jay Dodd noted it took his team some time to adjust to the Falcon defense.

“They caught us off guard defensively,” he said. “The Falcons are a well-coached team and it took awhile to get in the flow of the game, but Casey was healthy and we played behind him all the way.”

Hodson connected six times for

67 yards passing, Jon Poolman ran for 87 yards and Danny Zuver picked up another 43.

For the defense, Rawls ended the night with eight tackles, four tackle assists, a fumble caused and a fumble recovered. Dillon Parrick had six tackles and two tackle assists, one for a loss.

Monell had five tackles, one assist, a sack, a fumble caused and a safety.

“Blaine completed 13-of-26 pass attempts, of which the Falcon defensive backs knocked eight away,” Falcon defensive coordinator Damian Greene said. “Our defensive backs were busy all night; there were four pass defenses by Yale, three by Hodson and one by Tenuta.”

After the game, both team captains and coaches signed the game ball, which was presented to Dave Johnson in recognition of his 30 years as a high school referee; Friday was his final game.

“If we could have generated a more positive offense, it would have been a whole other situation,” Hodson said. “When you take a top-rated wide receiver and put him into the QB slot, it’s going to be tough. But Luke did all he could and was a huge factor on defense.”

The coach said that a number of key players will return next year, and the team has the firepower needed to go all the way.

“Through it all, the fans have been there for us, and the coaches and players all want to express our thanks to them,” Hodson said.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at

221-5300 or

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