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Fast Start Falcons beat Skyview; advance to Quarterfinals

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Before you could blink, the home team had control. The Woodinville Falcons, playing Skyview in the first round of the State playoffs, scored three touchdowns in the first quarter to race out to a 21-0 lead.
 
The Falcons (10-1) then survived a second half rally, to prevail 34-21, at Pop Keeney Stadium last Saturday night. 
 
“Really pleased with our guys coming out fast in that first half against a very good football team,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said.
 
CageWoodinville struck first when Cage Schenck (#1) zipped down the sideline for a 38-yard touchdown. (Photo by Dale Garvey)
 
“[Skyview has] played some tough competition this year. They’re a little banged up tonight, but they’re top competitive physical football team. They gave us a challenge tonight.”
 
Skyview, having made the three-hour drive from Vancouver, had barely gotten off the bus before trailing 7-0. It came courtesy of Woodinville’s Cage Schenck. The fleet-of-foot Falcon caught a pass from quarterback Noah Stifle and raced 38 yards for a touchdown.
 
Woodinville quickly got the ball back and scored again. This time, it was Dylan Lewis, making a cameo appearance in the Falcon offense. The senior d-lineman caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Stifle, making it 14-0. 
 
blockWoodinville's Dylan Lewis (#29) reaches high to block this field goal attempt. It was returned 75 yards for a touchdown by Nolan Downs. (Photo by Dale Garvey)
 
Next series, things got out of control. Skyview mounted a nice drive deep into Woodinville territory. But when Evan Saftich attempted a 34-yard field goal, it was blocked by Dylan Lewis. All eleven Skyview players stood casually, thinking the play was dead. But Woodinville’s Nolan Downs scooped up the ball and raced 75 yards for the touchdown. Suddenly it was 21-0.
 
Woodinville led 31-7 going into halftime. Another humdrum rout at The Pop? As ESPN’s Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend!” 
 
Skyview quarterback Yaro Duvalko hit Mason Wheeler for a pair of third quarter touchdown passes. Heading into the fourth quarter, it was a 34-21 game. Skyview was moving the football. Falcon fans started to fret.
 
Once again, however, Woodinville rose to the occasion. First came Cage Schenck. He tipped an Evan Saftich field goal attempt, keeping the Falcon lead at 13 points. Minutes later, Noah Stifle pinned Skyview deep with a pooch kick. The Skyview returner was engulfed by Joey Johnson at the 12-yard line. (Johnson is a hellion on punt coverage).  
 
In the game’s waning minutes, the Falcons got the ball back. Now it was up to Johnson and the offensive line to move the chains and burn clock.
“In the huddle we said to stay calm, go out there and do our job,” Woodinville guard Nathan Metz said. “We just need a couple first downs and the game will be over. Make your blocks, play smart. And that’s what we did.”
 
The game’s outcome pleased defensive back Josh Spencer.
 
“Our offense started off strong,” Spencer said. “We kept working the running game and passing game. Defense played pretty good in the first half. We let down a little in the second half, but I have confidence in my teammates and we will never let up.”
 
Coach Maxwell saw benefits in his young team dealing with playoff pressure in the second half.
 
“It was definitely good,” Maxwell said. “We had to move the chains offensively, and the guys did a nice job doing that. We had to come up with stops [defensively] as things got more tense with the score tightening up. There are benefits to that. You can’t replicate those scenarios at practice.”
 
Woodinville will play Gonzaga Prep this Saturday at Pop Keeney Stadium. The winner will advance to the State semifinals. “We know they will be a good team,” Woodinville’s Josh Spencer said. 

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