Back in August, coaches and players got together to begin the 2012 football campaign. Like any journey you have the hopes of an arrival but in the case of the Falcon A squad it was more important we were learning to travel together in one direction. Our head coach Rick Saks set the stage early the while we would “Finish the Journey” as Falcons we would do so with “No Regrets”. For at least half of the roster this was their last stop before entering High School and graduating from the Falcon program. The month included a 4 week practice week during the heat of summer which included 3 scrimmage opportunities with North Haven, Battle in the Swamp Jamboree and our last preseason test with H-K for the Salomon Cup.
With 19 players on our roster getting other full teams in front of us was key to our development as we begin to see what personnel would fit on offense and defense or in some cases both units when needed.
While the last scrimmage gave boys and staff a good sense of how far we had come from the beginning of camp, we also aligned on more we need to do for the regular season. Unfortunately, we experienced a couple of injuries with a broken arm for Michael Doyle and a foot fracture for Taylon Fay. Both players are on the mend and have been very active during practice and the last 2 games in a support role.
As our 1st game came against the Panthers of South Windsor we were excited to see a familiar opponent from our Battle in the Swamp from week 3 in August. We knew South Windsor would be improved and felt good that we were prepared. The Falcon Defense was on the field about 90% of the 1st half where we saw just about every play in the Panther playbook. The Panthers found the end zone twice on play action passes which completed long drives on both occasions.
The 2nd half included the boys fighting hard on both sides and even though it did not show on the scoreboard we were learning about ourselves on our journey. The final score was 30-0 in favor of South Windsor. We were ready for another week of practice to build forward from our learning.
Today the Falcons began the 1st week of a 4 week absence from the warm confines of Blue Devil Stadium as we traveled to Vernon for a battle with the Vipers. Captains were Brendan Wiknik, Robert Gleason, Ricky Sorenson and Griffin Saks. The Falcons Offense was first to get the ball and quickly began to move up field. Even though the 1st drive stalled we had a good understanding of how our next series would shape up. The first defensive series was unfortunately much shorter with only 2 plays, one where we stopped the Vipers for a loss and the other that resulted in the 1st score of the game. With the conversion the Viper were up 7-0.
With a reverse play called on the kick-off return Ricky Sorenson fielded the kick and started left where he handed to Owen Gonzalez who ran around right end for the Falcons 1st score. Great Job to the entire return team for blocking to help set up the run. Even though the conversion try failed we responded to the Viper score and closed the gap 7-6.
The 2nd quarter had the defense still working through base of the Viper offensive scheme where we continued to search for way to end a series and get the ball back for our offense. The defense struggled to stop the Vipers where they scored on two more drives. With the score 19-6 at less than mid-point of the game there was a definite sense of anxiety of really losing any chance to make this a competitive game. However with little time remaining in the 2nd quarter the Falcons forced their 1st turnover on defense as the Vipers tried to get greedy by trying to add a fourth touchdown through the air. The turnover gave the ball back to the offense where Griffin Saks went to work finding a couple of receivers which included a couple of catches by Bryan Shields. The momentum had shifted to the Falcons and it would set the stage for the 2nd half.
The 2nd half began with both the Falcons and Vipers exchanging scores during the 3rd Quarter. The Falcons showed a great mix of running and passing behind the line play of Brendan Wiknik, Patrick Hocking, Andrew Godbout, Victor Vieira, Jake Layman and Sam Longworth. The score at the end of the 3rd was 27-13. The Falcons did not close the lead to one touchdown but the Vipers, pushed to a 4th and Goal, scored on a short run through the hands of a few Falcon defenders.
The 4th quarter showed the Falcons resilience on offense as the unit continued to make progress with a balanced attack of pass and run. The team sustained another drive resulting in a third touchdown by Owen Gonzalez and Griffin Saks 2nd passing touchdown of the game. The 1 pt. conversion failed so the score was 27-19. As 4th quarter worked down the Vipers were able to add one more touchdown which made the final score 33-19.
While the scoreboard can’t measure effort the fans and staff were truly impressed with the Falcons team contributions end to end which again included some managing through injuries. Stay tuned Falcon Fans as the journey continues great memories were made today and we are set for more to come…
Written by Charlie Carroll