Falcons Ram-tough in season opener
Football: Foothills doubles up LCI 32-16
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 06:00 am
It didn’t take long for the Foothills Falcons to erase an early deficit in their football season opener.
It took about 13 seconds or however long it would take speedy Josh Koshman to run 92-yards in full football gear while carrying a pigskin.
Koshman’s spectacular kick-off return sparked 32 first-half points as the Falcons opened their high school season by doubling up the LCI Rams 32-16 Friday in Lethbridge.
“Lethbridge scored on us on their first drive on about four plays — we were a little nervous,” said Falcons coach Darren Olson. “Then Josh ran it back about 90 yards and then we kind of took control after that.”
That’s kind of like saying Stephen Harper kind of likes to take control of his cabinet.
The Falcons scored four more touchdowns in the first half to take a 32-8 lead going into the locker room.
Foothills quarterback Hunter Karl threw a pair of touchdowns in his first start replacing last year’s Big Rock Conference MVP Taylor Armsworthy. One was a long pass to the Florida Flash, T.J. Tighe, and the other to Garrett Young.
Karl also had a 15-yard TD scamper.
Who would replace Foothills All-Everything, Armsworthy, was a question mark after last year’s Big Rock Conference MVP graduated. Karl’s athleticism helped earn him the spot behind centre.
“He is such a good athlete that the more chances he has to handle the ball, the better for us,” Olson said. “As quarterback he is involved in every play.”
After giving up the opening drive touchdown, the Falcons’ defence settled down, according to defensive co-ordinator Nathan St. Dennis.
“We had some opening drive jitters and they (the Rams) came down and scored quite easily,” St. Dennis said. “But from that point on we settled down and we were much better.”
The Falcons were led by their linebacking trio of Cody Thompson and Ben Wattie on the outside and Matt Hunter in the middle.
“We knew going in that our linebackers would be a huge strength for us and they were in that game for sure,” St. Dennis said. “With their experience, they would co-ordinate the defence similar to a quarterback co-ordinating an offence. They did a great job and definitely led our defence.”
St. Dennis said he believes in team speed on defence and the high-flying Falcons delivered.
The Falcons forced one fumble and had a pair of interceptions — both of them from Grade 10 safety Daylon Creason, a graduate of the Foothills Bantam Eagles.
“I had all the jitters of playing my first high school game,” Creason said.
“Our defence really got into the game. We just said: “This is what we need to do to win this game and help our offence.’”
Creason helped snuff out a Rams’ drive in the late half when he picked off a pass on about the Falcons’ 20-yard line.
“Just before the first half ended, the LCI quarterback threw it in my direction and I was able to step in front of it,” Creason said.
His second pick came late in the game when he got under a long throw to an LCI receiver. He returned it about 20 yards.
“I was so excited to get two interceptions — I was thrilled,” Creason said with a chuckle. “I never thought that would happen.”
It was an impressive win for Foothills as LCI was ranked in the top 10 among Tier I schools (1,250 students and over) at the end of last year. The Falcons were ranked No. 6 in Tier II polls released last week. The Falcons have a tough home opener this Friday as they take on the Cardston Cougars at Falcon Field at 7 p.m.