The crowd poured into the Lindbergh High School football stadium Friday night for the start of homecoming weekend.
Faces were painted green and the homecoming court was announced at halftime, but the one thing missing in the end was a victory from the varsity football team.
The Lindbergh Flyers fell to the Eureka Wildcats 31-7 Friday night in a highly contested conference matchup.
Both teams came into the contest with 4-1 records. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Flyers.
Flyers head coach Tom Beauchamp said his squad didn’t play its best game and hopes the loss will help drive home a message to his players.
“It’s a tough loss. The guys, I don’t think we played our best game,” he told the Call. “We’ve got a lot of things we’ve got to improve on and we’ve been telling them that, but so far we’ve been kind of coasting … Finally, we had a real challenge and we didn’t play the way we wanted to. And I think that will hopefully wake up some kids and they have a little better demeanor in the way we are preparing for games.”
The extremely dominant Eureka offense was on the field for most of the game, but Lindbergh’s defense kept the team in the game, allowing just 14 points in the first half as the Flyers scored 7.
But in the second half, the Wildcats ran away with it, adding two more touchdowns and a field goal and allowing none.
Flyers receiver Ryan Woodland scored the team’s only touchdown of the night just before halftime with 1:04 left in the quarter.
“We just thought that we could beat them going deep, so we ran verticals and saw our opening. So I just ran in and caught the ball and scored,” he said.
The play could have been a game-maker as the Flyers stopped the Wildcats on a last-minute drive in the half, but they weren’t able to carry that momentum into the second half.
Lindbergh simply couldn’t penetrate the solid Eureka defense.
“They just had people everywhere and we weren’t able to pass the ball that much like we’re used to,” Woodland said. “They just had bodies flying everywhere.”
Lindbergh quarterback Peter Simpson threw just shy of 50 percent with 14 completions on 29 attempts and two interceptions.
Another obstacle the Flyers faced in the contest was Eureka’s onside kicks.
The Wildcats successfully executed two onside kicks to help keep the normally potent Lindbergh offense off the field.
Beauchamp said he did expect to see the Wildcats attempt some onside kicks, but was thrown off some by it.
“We kind of did (expect it) a little bit and it did throw us off,” he said. “And again, it was one of those situations where they got two of them and it’s not a good situation for us. But on the other side of the coin, it one of those things where they are rolling the dice.
“They also gave us the ball on the 50 and the 40. Again it’s one of those things where they roll the dice and if the offense isn’t doing well, then I guess it’s the right thing to do. So we just gotta get the offense rolling again. We didn’t execute very well.
“I’m not taking anything at all away from them. I’m just saying that we didn’t do things we needed to do to be successful and we’ve got to fix that.”
The Flyers (4-2) will be working on that “fixing” this week as they prepare to travel to Northwest to take on the 0-6 Lions Friday night.