Falcon football crowned homecoming heroes after thrilling win over San Rafael

Homecoming week at AWHS – when school spirit excels and the good times roll – is known to be one of the most exciting weeks of the year for students. However, this year’s homecoming week had its own unique twist. The school held its first outdoor rally, there was no official homecoming dance, and to add to the madness, the AWHS football team is going to finish with their first winning record since 2013 – something that is unfamiliar to the Falcon faithful. 

In 2019, when the school had its last homecoming, the football team was 2-6 heading into the homecoming week and the program was notoriously known for its woes. However, coming into this week’s game, the team’s record was 5-3.

On Saturday, Oct. 30, fans flocked into the Falcon bleachers to watch their playoff-aspiring squad face off against the San Rafael High School Bulldogs. The combination of homecoming festivities and the “senior day” football game brought one of the largest crowds this season. 

“The fans today created a great atmosphere that elevated our play,” said AWHS head football coach Anthony Jackson.

 The Falcons took an early lead with a 70-yard touchdown by junior running back, Nate Karpay-Brody on the first play of the game. However, the Bulldogs bit back and put up 7 points of their own with a 20-yard catch and run from junior wideout Harry Pocock. The Falcons went into halftime up 14-7. 

“We haven’t been in many tight games this season, but we always prepare ourselves accordingly throughout the week,” Jackson said. 

Following an extravagant halftime show –  including a dance routine from the AWHS Dance Troupe and the crowning of the 2021 homecoming royals – the Bulldogs tied the game at 14 with a four-yard touchdown from senior running back, Jacob Ferreri. The Bulldogs held the Falcons scoreless in the third quarter and retained control over the lead with one minute and 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and a score of 22-21, Bulldogs. 

Senior wide receiver Max Henzl, who had been rather quiet throughout the first three quarters, erupted in the fourth. 

“I wasn’t feeling so great about my play in the first half, but the fans brought a new life for me and my teammates,” Max said. 

Max caught two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a 24-yard throw from 3-year varsity senior quarterback Zach Atkinson as well as the game-winning 39-yard bomb, which Max caught with only 13 seconds left, giving the Falcons the lead. 

“I knew I had to catch that ball, I owed it to my teammates and coaches, thankfully I was able to hold on to it,” Max said. 

The Falcons’ homecoming victory was another memorable moment for what has been a historical football season so far. Next weekend, the Falcons look to tally their seventh win of the season against Novato High, on Saturday, Nov. 6. A win on Saturday would make for the most victorious AWHS varsity football season in the past 20 years.