Braves fall short in homecoming defeat
October 19, 2022
The La Conner High School homecoming football game last Friday was full of bright shining moments.
Not so much in the final score, but certainly during isolated moments of a 67-18 grid loss to league foe Friday Harbor and at intermission when the royal court led by King Jacob Pommels and Queen Makayla Herrera was introduced to a large Whittaker Field crowd.
While the homecoming royalty could not decree a second straight Braves win a week after the team broke a lengthy scoring drought in a convincing 30-6 victory at Charles Wright Academy, halftime festivities in its honor helped take the sting out of a lopsided Friday Harbor triumph.
The Wolverines amassed 369 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground in a physically dominant performance.
Junior running back Chris Gustufson led the victors with 157 yards on 11 carries, including a 43-yard TD jaunt for the game's first score early in the first frame.
Gustufson's backfield partner, sophomore running back Pierce Kleine, carried 14 times for 137 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Kleine also reeled in a 26-yard scoring toss from Wolverines quarterback Jaxson Waldron, who added two short TD scampers to his night's work.
Victor Velsquez brought back an interception 42 yards for a touchdown and Cody Anderson reached paydirt on a 27-yard run and 66-yard kickoff return, rounding out their scoring.
Still, the Braves provided their fans a few highlights to savor.
Junior signal caller Ivory Damien capped a seven play, 57-yard drive with a four-yard TD pass to Isaac Kitchen that narrowed a first period Friday Harbor lead to 21-6. On the play, Damien somehow escaped big hit from Gustufson in the pocket, maintained his balance and scrambled to the right to find Kitchen open in the back of the end zone.
The score was set up by 47-yard hookup from Damien to Tommy Murdock.
The Braves narrowed the score to 21-12 on their next possession on a brilliant 48-yard TD dash by Damien.
The team would not score again until Murdock powered in from three yards out with less than three minutes to play.
Damien finished with 64 yards rushing on 13 attempts. He completed 11 of 27 passes for 170 yards. In addition to Kitchen and Murdock, C.J. Edwards was also a favorite target, grabbing six Damien passes for 68 yards.
The Braves (1-4) showed marked improvement from their earlier 52-0 defeat at Friday Harbor. They resume NW2B action at Coupeville, which bested La Conner at home 46-0 on Sept. 23, this Friday at 7 p.m.
Coupeville (5-1) had its Oct. 14 game at Cascade of Leavenworth canceled due to poor air quality from regional wildfires.