San Rafael Football stuns Archie Williams on homecoming weekend

Senior Tam McCauley leads the Archie Williams Falcons back on to the field following the halftime break in their homecoming game October 21, 2023.
Senior Tam McCauley leads the Archie Williams Falcons back on to the field following the halftime break in their homecoming game October 21, 2023.
Willy Finley

On Saturday, Oct. 21, the Archie Williams Falcons varsity football battled in a close match up against the San Rafael Bulldogs. The Falcons came off of a tough loss against Marin Catholic and hoped to better defend their home field but fell short with a final score of 21-35.

In the first quarter, the Falcons started off strong advancing the ball with some well executed plays. Senior running back Tony Rojas was able to gain a chunk of yardage and senior wide receiver Nicholas Lillevand terrorized the Bulldog’s secondary. The Falcons connected for the first touchdown of the game and took the lead 7-0. The Bulldogs turned over the ball after junior Cooper Carroll intercepted a pass attempt. 

Senior runningback Tony Rojas stiff arms a San Rafael opponent as looks for a first down. (Willy Finley)

The Falcons kept up their strong playing and connected for another touchdown to extend their lead to 14-0. The Bulldogs began to gain momentum and started to break down the Falcons’ defense, later resulting in a touchdown to end the quarter 14-7.

At the start of the second quarter the Bulldogs struggled again to gain yards as senior defensive tackle Axl Yarbrough was able to swallow up the Bulldogs’ offense. After several exchanged offensive drives, both teams came up empty. The Falcons attempted a field goal on a fourth down, but senior Bulldog Bodhi Shipley blocked it and scored another touchdown to end the half 14-14.

“I think we played hard and we played like we haven’t played all year before, we just need to make less mental mistakes and more tackles,” said coach Corey Carroll.

Senior wide receiver Nicholas Lillevand capitalizes with a touchdown to give the Falcons a 20-14 lead on the Bulldogs. (Willy Finley)

After the halftime break, the  The Falcons gained possession due to a turnover. However, they received a penalty that pushed them back 10 yards.  This didn’t stop Archie from advancing the ball right back up to the original line to gain an opportunity to score. Senior quarterback Sam Black threw a deep pass that was successfully caught by Nicholas to score for the Falcons and take the lead, ending the quarter at 21-14. 

The fourth quarter was difficult for the Falcons, as they received two back-to-back personal fouls that pushed them back 30 yards from the original line of scrimmage. After a turnover, the Bulldogs began to pick up some steam and added another touchdown to tie the score 21-21. 

Senior wide receiver Nicholas Lillevand capitalizes with a touchdown to give the Falcons a 20-14 lead on the Bulldogs. (Willy Finley)

Archie’s offensive woes continued and San Rafael capitalized on yet another turnover by scoring a touchdown making the score 21-28.After a frustrating and incomplete drive by the Falcons, the Bulldogs gained back possession of the ball. The Bulldogs scored the game’s last touchdown making the final score 21-35. 

“Overall, I think it was a really big improvement from last week, we put in a lot of heart and had a really good week of practices,” said senior defensive end Peter Irwin.

Seniors Nicholas Lillevand Sam Black celebrate following Nicholas’s receiving touchdown. (Willy Finley)

The Falcons face off against the Redwood Giants in their next game on Saturday, Oct. 28 on their home field, still looking for their first league game win of the season.

“I think we should have won this game candidly and I think we outplayed [San Rafael], we just made too many mental mistakes,” Carroll said.

Dance troupe performs their dance routine at the halftime break. (Luca Roy)

 

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