South Whidbey’s Kobe Balora (75) leads Kole Nelson through a gap in the Mount Baker defense.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

South Whidbey’s Kobe Balora (75) leads Kole Nelson through a gap in the Mount Baker defense. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Seniors’ contributions go far beyond loss in season finale / Football

It wasn’t the way the seniors on the South Whidbey High School football team wanted to finish their careers, but the loss does not tarnish the efforts of the class to resurrect the Falcon football program.

South Whidbey fell 54-7 to Mount Baker in a loser-out district game Friday, Nov. 8, in Sedro-Woolley.

The Falcons finished the season with a 6-4 record.

When this year’s seniors were freshman, the team ended the season with only 12 players, according to coach Mark Hodson. The Falcons posted a 1-8 record and had only three wins over the previous two seasons. The program was on life support.

From there, the class of 2020 helped South Whidbey produce three consecutive winning seasons, and in the last two, came within one game of qualifying for the state tournament.

This fall the Falcons were one game from winning the conference championship.

“With three winning season, their experience of high school football is going to be positive,” Hodson said.

Mount Baker, ranked fourth in the state 1A poll, put the strength of the Northwest Conference’s 1A division on display.

While the Mountaineers rolled by South Whidbey, the other two teams from the league in the playoffs also won by more than 40 points over North Sound Conference’s co-champions King’s and Cedar Park Christian.

The one Northwest Conference 1A team that did not qualify for the playoffs, Nooksack Valley, thumped 3A Oak Harbor 41-13.

Mount Baker dominated its game with the Falcons from the beginning, taking advantage of two turnovers and piling up 33 points before South Whidbey recorded a first down.

The Mountaineers led 40-0 at halftime and were up 46-0 before the Falcons scored.

South Whidbey finished a 90-yard drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters with a 31-yard pass from Kole Nelson to Alex Black. Nelson kicked the PAT. The drive included two runs of more than 10 yards by Bodie Hezel.

Alex Black returns a kickoff for South Whidbey. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Alex Black returns a kickoff for South Whidbey. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Bodie Hezel brings down Mount Baker’s Waylon Kentner.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Bodie Hezel brings down Mount Baker’s Waylon Kentner. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Ryan Morgan (23) looks for running room on a kickoff return.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Ryan Morgan (23) looks for running room on a kickoff return. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Billy Rankins scoots around end for the Falcons.	(Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

Billy Rankins scoots around end for the Falcons. (Photo by Jim Waller/South Whidbey Record)

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