The Woodinville Falcons opened their season with a football game and a smooch from a moose 2,000 miles away from home.

The Falcons won 42-7 Friday against Palmer High School in Alaska, about 40 miles northeast of Anchorage, but the team came away with more than a win. They also brought back a few stories.

For left tackle Andre Dillard, it was of his first flight. For assistant Mike Monan, it was of finding a new friend.

Before kickoff, the Falcons got to feed the reindeer and play with a moose at a reindeer farm. The offensive line squared up against a moose that weighed more than all of them combined, and players and coaches watched as they took turns kissing the moose.

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“It’s actually a very soft muzzle,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell joked.

Later that evening, owners of the reindeer farm came out to cheer on Woodinville.

The Falcons didn’t disappoint their new fans. Maxwell said he was impressed, considering it was his team’s first game while Palmer had already played three.

Woodinville had 518 yards, including 390 rushing, in large part to Alek Kacmarcik and Wyatt Smith.

Before returning Saturday night, the Falcons took a trip to the Matanuska Glacier and visited the Musk Ox Farm.

“We’re pretty thrilled with the experience,” Maxwell said. “Overall, I think they definitely got an appreciation for the environment they were in.”

Woodinville hosts Mariner in another nonconference game Friday at 7 p.m. at Pop Keeney Field.

Maxwell said it will be military appreciation night, and players will wear camouflage jerseys. At halftime, the first class will be inducted into the Woodinville High School Hall of Fame.

Kaelyn Sayles: 206-464-2906 or