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Falcons Conquer Mount Si to take Kingco Crown

  • Written by Derek Johnson
This was Northwest football at its finest – a rainy, murky evening in the Snoqualmie Valley. Two great teams slugging it out for the Kingco 4A Championship.
 
Parking? Forget it. Traffic was snarled for blocks around. The stadium parking lot was packed with people like Times Square on New Year’s Eve. A festive feeling permeated the air.
 
DSC 4138As time ran out, the Woodinville Falcons celebrated their 2018 Kingco 4A Championship. (Photo by Derek Johnson)
 
As it happened, the Woodinville Falcons outlasted Mount Si 16-14. With the win, the Falcons (8-1) won their third straight conference title.
 
“It feels great, people counted us out,” Woodinville’s Cage Schenck said. “We lost thirty seniors from last year and had all new starters on offense. We had a fairly new defense. It’s a big moment for our program. It shows we have a great coaching staff and a great work ethic. When we work together, there’s not much we can’t do.”
 
As the game got underway, Woodinville’s biggest issue was containing Mount Si quarterback Cale Millen. The Oregon commit used his pinpoint accuracy to drive the Wildcats down the field and into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
 
But Woodinville battled back. Two plays after getting speared, Carter Smith caught a 15-yard pass from quarterback Noah Stifle and rumbled to pay dirt. This tied the game at 7-7.
A Cale Millen touchdown pass returned the lead to Mount Si at 14-7. Right before halftime, the Wildcats threatened to score again. But the Falcons refused to yield, when Cage Schenck picked off a Millen pass to thwart the drive. Woodinville took over on its own 19 yard line with 1:09 left.
 
On first down, Stifle dropped back in the pocket and launched a 46-yard completion to Schenck down the left sideline. Moments later, Blake Glessner booted a 30-yard field goal. This cut the deficit to 14-10 heading into halftime.
 
“We were like, `let’s take a shot and see what happens,’” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “Why not?”  
 
The second half was all about defense. Neither team would manage a touchdown. But several Woodinville players stepped up in the clutch.
 
In the third quarter, Cage Schenck returned a punt with such ferocious creativity that teammates and fans alike were left with mouths agape. He fielded the kick at his own 37-yard line and worked his way to the right sideline. He appeared to be hemmed in. Suddenly he circled back to the center of the field, zigzagging his way through traffic, breaking tackles, and slaloming his way 51 yards to the Wildcat 12-yard line.
 
Whether one compares him to Houdini or a grand matador, one thing was clear: The Green Hornet had struck again.
 
“When I circled back to the middle of the field, my blockers were still blocking which was good,” Schenck said. “I was able to read my cuts and make a play. Maybe if I wasn’t so tired I would have scored.”
 
The Falcon drive stalled, and Blake Glessner drilled a 22-yard field goal. Now it was a 14-13 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.
 
Early in the fourth, Mount Si drove toward midfield. But a Cale Millen fumble was recovered by Woodinville’s Josh Spencer.
 
DSC 4119BIRTHDAY BASH: Noah Stifle celebrated his 17th birthday in style. The junior quarterback passed for 141 yards and a touchdown, and added 55 yards on the ground. (Photo by Derek Johnson)
 
With 6:03 left in the game, Glessner was money on a 47-yard field goal. The Falcons took the lead for good, 16-14.
 
“That kid has all the confidence in the world,” Coach Maxwell said of Glessner. “He’s not going to panic in those pressure situations.”
 
On the ensuing possession, Woodinville’s defense forced Mount Si to punt. With the conference title hanging in the balance, the Falcons needed to move the chains and milk the clock. Facing a critical 3rd and 7 from the Falcon 25-yard line, Stifle dropped back and hit Schenck on a “Cadillac” seam route for 23 yards and a first down. Moments later, Nolan Downs plowed 9 yards for another first down.
 
Mount Si got the ball back with desperate seconds left. Millen dropped back but was sacked by linebacker Aiden Colley. On the game’s final play, Millen threw a backwards pass and the Wildcats frantically lateraled the ball seven times. But Woodinville defenders closed in and the play expired on the Mount Si 20-yard line. The Falcons were champions.
Players rushed the field and frolicked in the rain. Woodinville Principal Kurt Criscione rushed over to Coach Maxwell and delivered a jarring bear hug. Athletic director Cathy Boyce walked around congratulating players while beaming a big smile. Then the players and cheerleaders serenaded Noah Stifle with a giddy rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
 
“It just feels awesome to win a Kingco championship,” Stifle said. “Especially to win a three-peat, that’s insane. Not a lot of teams can get that done. It’s cool to see that hard work does pay off -- and it’s not just people saying words.”
 
 

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