How the Falcons ended the curse

October 28, 2010 — by Guest Writers Tim Lycurgus and Kevin Darchuk

After seeing Los Gatos lose to Palo Alto the previous week 42-0, students started predicting that this could be the year we finally won. Fans weren’t disappointed as the Falcons managed to come away with a 21-17 victory. Here’s why:

1. Offensive Line did its job.
The line gave quarterback Kevin Smith time in the pocket, yielding only one sack to a defense that averaged over three sacks a game. With this extra time, Smith was able to complete several passes for large gains, including touchdown passes of 17, 27 and 32 yards. On top of this, the offensive line opened gaps for running backs, seniors Greg Johnson and Marcus Hoffman and junior Troy Doles, who had 183 yards of total offense, to move the ball on the ground.

2. Falcon defense came up with big stops at the right time.
The Saratoga defense did not have many stops yet came up with big plays when they needed them most. The Falcons started out the game by forcing Los Gatos to punt, letting everyone know it could stop the Los Gatos offense and then recorded a crucial stop at the end of the first half to keep the score 10-7 instead of a two possession game and momentum on the side of the Falcons. In the second half, after giving up the lead on a long scoring drive, Saratoga’s defense came up with two late stops, including the interception in the end zone with under a minute to play to secure the lead.

3. Support from the stands.
The bleachers were packed and the band and the student section remained in the game all four quarters. The fans made sure that the Falcons had an actual home field advantage by cheering nonstop and supporting the team.

Turning Point: The Los Gatos fans were getting louder and louder as Saratoga faced third and long early in the third quarter. The Falcons ran a trick play (jet sweep-reverse-flea flicker), resulting in a 27-yard touchdown pass to Doles to take the lead for the first time all game. This play quieted the Wildcat fans in the bleachers and gave the Falcons the momentum they needed to pull out the victory.

How the game was won: After recording their first defensive stop of the second half, the Wildcats downed a punt on the Falcon 1-yard line. Saratoga proceeded to drive up to midfield, eating valuable time off the clock, and converting on several third downs, including a diving catch by senior wide receiver Chris Guengerich as Smith was hit in the backfield. This drive forced Los Gatos to put the ball in the air at the end of the game which set up Doles for the game winning pick in the end zone to bring home the victory and end the Wildcat winning streak for good.

The Falcons face the Wilcox Chargers tonight at home in an attempt to secure a CCS bid. Come out and support your Falcons.

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