Torrey Pines Varsity Football 2016

September 1, 2016

Record: 2-1

8/26 Steele Canyon at home WIN 20-6

Carmel Valley News story is now available online as well as in the print edition:

2015 Div 1 semi-finalist
Union Tribune’s players to watch:
Mikel Oliver, Jr., TE-DL
Kyree Woods, Sr., OL-DL

9/2 Santa Fe Christian at home LOSS 0-31

Union Tribune’s #1 pick in Coastal League
Players to watch:
Caleb Phillips, Sr. MLB
Conner Whitten, Sr. QB

9/9 Fallbrook at home WIN 20-0

9/16 El Camino at home

2015 Div 1 finalist
Players to watch:
Chris Brown, Jr. RB-LB
Jaden Casey, Jr. QB
Malu Malotumau, Sr. DE

9/23 Westview at home

#2 pick in Palomar League
Players to watch:
Emeka Anyanwu, Sr. DB
AJ Leonard, Sr. RB
Beau Nelson, Jr. QB

10/7 San Marcos at home

2015 Div 1 quarter-finalist
Players to watch:
Bryson Bolin, Sr. QB
Kyle Philips, Jr. WR
Tyler Rogers, Sr. RB

10/14 at Oceanside

2015 Div 1 champion
#1 pick in Avocado League
Players to watch:
Jake Gerardi, Sr. TE-DE-PK
Azizi Hearn, Sr. WR-DB | Sr.
Donovan Laie, Jr. OT | Jr.
Tanner Schaul, Sr. LB-RB

10/21 Carlsbad at home

Players to watch:
Cameron Thomas, Sr. TE-DE

10/28 at Mission Hills

Players to watch:
Jack Tuttle, Jr. QB

11/4 at La Costa Canyon

Players to watch:
Tanner Clark, Sr. QB
Harper Engemann, Sr. FS
Zach Goodkin, Sr. WR-RB
Taj Sherman, Sr. LB

Falcons Shut Out Fallbrook

September 16, 2016

Torrey Pines defeated Fallbrook 20-0 in a defensive show featuring sacks, blocked punts, and five interceptions. The first half was scoreless as neither team could move the ball. Rather, the Falcons couldn’t move the ball and avoid penalties, as they had several breakaway plays called back. Torrey Pines’ first opportunity came with 5:35 in the half when Jacob Schneider tipped a pass and Nick Clapp intercepted to set up the Falcons at midfield, but they went three and out. Then a Warrior punt was partially blocked and the Falcons had 14 seconds remaining at the Fallbrook 38. A pass was just out of Scotty Gange’s fingertips in the end zone and the half ended.

Falcon defenders including Ty Helfrich, Louis Bickett, Gabe Gmyr, Jack Nelson, Carson Ward, and Michael Perrone kept close coverage on receivers and pressured the QB all night. Fallbrook tried the shotgun but had ball handling problems. A high snap resulted in a sack, then overcompensating, the next snap was low and fumbled. After another high snap was fumbled the Fallbrook QB stayed under center for the second half.


Andre Mieiers made 3 of 5 Falcon interceptions. Photo by Anna Sciplione




As the second half opened Falcon senior DB Andre Mieiers picked the first of three interceptions. The Falcons stopped themselves with penalties again, but then Falcon defenders hit the QB as he released the ball which was intercepted by Mieiers and run back to the Fallbrook 18. Luke Duerr ran for the score and Nino Alworth added the extra point, 7-0. After a partially blocked punt the Falcons started from the Fallbrook 29 and Gmyr ran for the score, 13-0. Mieier snatched his third pick to start Torrey Pines at the Fallbrook 26, Gmyr picked up a first down and Sully O’Brien ran for the score, 20-0.

In the fourth quarter Fallbrook was given an opportunity as Torrey Pines lost a fumble on their 34. But Carsen Gentes dashed their hopes with an interception in the end zone sealing the shutout win. Torrey Pines plays Friday at home against El Camino.

Falcons Tame Cougars

September 1, 2016

Torrey Pines Falcons won 23-10 over the Steele Canyon Cougars, a Division 1 semi-finalist last season. Torrey Pines opened the game looking like the young team they are, clearly struggling against the talent packed Cougars, rushing 6 times for net 1 yard and attempting one pass which fell incomplete. Meanwhile the Cougars rushed 11 times for 36 yards and completed 4 of 6 passes for 54 yards, scoring the game’s first points on a field goal.DSC_6967

Photo / Anna Scipione
Michael Gadinis breaks tackle

As the second quarter opened the Falcons had made offensive and defensive adjustments, beginning to get defensive penetration into the Cougar backfield. I mark the turning point as a sack by Jacob Schneider forcing the Cougars to punt. A line drive bouncing punt rolled to the 5, but the Falcon offense started mixing up their formations and play calls and the Cougars never regained their balance. Torrey Pines drove 90 yards including a 19 yard catch by Mac Bingham breaking tackles all the way, long runs by Sully O’Brien, Jack Nelson, and Bingham, and catches by Scotty Gange and Beau Morgans, capped by a Tanner Wyandt field goal to tie at 3-3.

Steele Canyon had to change formation to put another man in the backfield to protect the pocket, but the Falcon secondary kept tight coverange and Cougar quarterback Thomas Fishburne had trouble all night finding an open receiver finishing the night with a very respectable 16 of 24 for 145 yards and 1 interception, but also scrambled 11 times for net 14 yards. Meanwhile Cougar designed runs netted 43 yards in 14 carries. By contrast after the adjustments Torrey Pines rushed 24 times for 193 yards and completed 8 of 12 passes for 197 yards and 1 interception, with sophomore quarterback Miles Hastings showing exceptional poise. On the Falcon’s next possession they drove for a touchdown from their own 12 yard line. Michael Gadinis caught a pass and broke a tackle for 43 yards and three plays later Hastings found Gange in the end zone for the score. With 52 seconds remaining in the half the Falcon defense flexed, kept the clock running, and the Cougars ran out of time ending the half behind 10-3.

On the first play of the second half Hastings hit Gadinas, Gabe Gymr made a key block, and Gadinas scored to make it 17-3. The Cougars ground out a 17 play 48 yard drive stalled on sacks by Schneider and Bingham, and when a fourth down pass was tipped the Falcons took over on their own 22. Midway through the fourth quarter the Cougars clawed back to 17-10 with a solid drive. But on the first play after the kickoff Luke Duerr burst through the line and ran 74 yards for a touchdown, and the Cougars were tamed, making increasingly desperate calls as time ticked away. A deep pass was intercepted by Morgans and run back all the way to the Cougar 38, from where the Falcons methodically used up the remaining four minutes. With first and goal at the 4, Hastings sportingly and wisely took knees until the clock ran out.

Falcons Playoff Bid Ended by El Camino

November 24, 2015

The scoreboard read Home 14 Guests 10 and senior Falcon running back Tristen Alesi sat dejectedly on the bench thinking of the catch he missed at the two minute mark. As the ball fell to the ground so ended Torrey Pines’ season and hopes of a victory over El Camino in the CIF quarter finals. Never mind that Alesi took crushing hits as the ball arrived from not one but two Wildcat defenders to shake the ball loose. Never mind that he was left flat in the end zone tended by the trainers for long minutes afterward. IF ONLY. If only he had managed to hang onto the ball the Falcons would have had another last minute win in their season of clutch victories, like when Torrey Pines defeated El Camino 17-13 in the regular season in the final seconds.

Coaches and teammates came over to, I imagine, try to talk some sense into Alesi and I hope they succeeded. I’m sure they reminded him that the main reason the Falcons were in the position to win with that pass was Alesi’s outstanding performance in the game, rushing for 47 yards and catching passes for 123 yards. He was also a big part of the reason the Falcons were in the playoffs at all. Of course he had plenty of help from his teammates. Senior running back Matthew Feeler rushed for 64 yards in the game, and made key catches, and first downs. There were also names you didn’t hear called often from the booth like junior tight end Michael Gadinis who against El Camino in the regular season caught pass after pass including a last second game winning toss. All this night El Camino had him double covered, but that left holes for the Falcon running backs or left them open for passes.

All year I’ve tried to call out all the players who have made a difference, but I know I’ve fallen short. Who was the lineman who opened the hole for Luke Duerr to run 30 yards? I missed his number. Who was the defensive back who deflected the pass? I missed his number. The Falcon victories to come so far were team efforts. When key players went out with injuries the team never gave up, even playing one of the toughest schedules in the county. So when senior quarterback Caden Kelley went out we saw senior Ben Spitters step in with poise, as did junior Johnny Hastings. We saw running backs Duerr, Jacob Montes, and Sully O’Brien step up to the challenge. We saw players like Kelley and Alesi come back from injuries to rally their team into the playoffs. So although that pass fell incomplete and the Falcons’ playoff run ended, this team showed us all and each other what they could do together. Torrey Pines is losing a lot of talent to graduation, but next year they know how to close ranks, fill the gaps, and support one another to strive for victory.

The Falcon offense moved the ball well but could not capitalize in the red zone, and you have to give credit to the Wildcat defense. On defense the Falcons contained El Camino most of the time, but allowed the big plays and you have to give credit to the Wildcat offense and stars like Chris Brown. On their first series the Falcons looked unstoppable with Alesi, Feeler, and Duerr picking up big gains, but the drive stalled on the Wildcat 30 where they turned the ball over on downs. El Camino seized the momentum when, after appearing to go 3 and out, the punter took the snap and ran for a first down. The drive was capped by a 37 yard touchdown run for the game’s first score.

Early in the 2nd quarter Alesi caught a pass, juked the defenders, and rambled 50 yards to the Wildcat 21 where the drive stalled and Luc D’Arcy hit a field goal to make it 7-3. Torrey Pines had another chance when Ty Helfrich, in at quarterback, ran 18 yards to the Wildcat 33 then Jacob Montes and Duerr carried for another 1st down at the 23. A lost fumble ended the Falcon threat and El Camino threatened in turn until Alesi picked off a Wildcat pass on the 9 as the half ended.

Torrey Pines opened the 2nd half and after a sack faced 3rd and 22 from their 24. Kelley hit Alesi with enough for the first down and Alesi kept going sprinting past the secondary all the way to the 3. But the Falcons couldn’t punch it in with 4 tries. On the last attempt Feeler was brought down not by a Wildcat defender but by a slick spot on the turf as he tried to make a cut. El Camino took over on their 1 foot line and on 3rd and 9 Chris Brown popped through for a 98 yard touchdown run to go ahead 14-3.

The Falcons came right back with Alesi running for 30 yards, 1st and goal at the 5. Again El Camino’s goal line defense held, pushing Torrey Pines back to 3rd and goal at the 19, when Kelley found O’Brien in the end zone for the touchdown. 14-10. Torrey Pines’ defense then held the Wildcats. Feeler read a screen pass all the way to tackle the receiver for a loss. Then Kim Murray sacked the quarterback for a loss and El Camino had to punt it away on 4th and 17 from their 21. The Falcons’ final drive was a messy one, with many good runs and pass completions but also many penalties against both teams. Taking 8 minutes on the clock the Falcons drove from their 39 to 4th and goal at the Wildcat 3, turning it over on the incomplete pass. Though all the Falcons on the field and in the stands wished for one more last minute come from behind win, we never lacked for exciting football this year.


Tristen Alesi makes 73 yard reception. Photo by Anna Scipione

See complete schedule and results for varsity, junior varsity, and freshman teams.

Falcons soar over Eagles

November 17, 2015

Torrey Pines won the first round of CIF Division 1 playoffs against visiting Olympian, 21-14. The Falcons threatened first driving 72 yards in 18 plays to the Eagle 8 yard line where for the first time all year kicker Luc D’Arcy missed a short field goal. The Eagles then drove 59 yards to the Falcon 21 where Ty Helfrich recovered a fumble. Two plays later Torrey Pines quarterback Caden Kelley making his return from injury hit Scotty Gange who had found his way behind the Olympian coverage and then outran the defenders 76 yards into the end zone for the game’s first score. A D’Arcy extra point made it 7-0 Falcons. With just over a minute in the half Tristin Alesi took a pitch and ran for 27 yards to the Eagle 21, then Michael Gadinis caught a touchdown pass to go up 14-0.

Olympian fought back in the second half driving 85 yards in 15 plays to score, 14-7. Jacob Montes took the kickoff return 31 yards to the Eagle 49, Luke Duerr ran 23 yards, but then the Falcon drive stalled. D’Arcy was called in for another field goal attempt and again hit the upright. Olympian responded with an 80 yard 11 play scoring drive to tie 14-14. With 3:42 left in the game Duerr broke through the line for 36 yards to the Eagle 19. On 2nd and 6 Duerr was apparently stopped at the line of scrimmage but dragged his would be tacklers along to the 6 for first and goal. Alesi ran it to the 1 and then Montes scored the winning touchdown, with a D’Arcy extra point, 21-14. Olympian’s final comeback attempt was thwarted when after a pass completion near midfield a Falcon, perhaps Montes, stripped the receiver of the ball and Beau Morgans recovered. [Update: as reported by KUSI it was Collin Alston who stripped the ball.]

Duerr finished the night with 6 rushes for 77 yards, Alesi 4 for 45, and Matthew Feeler 10 for 45. Kelley was 6 of 11 passing for 128 yards. Crucial tackles and pass defenses were made by Gadinis, Feeler, Steven Mason, Jared Rosen, and DJ Jackson. This week in the second playoff round Torrey Pines travels to El Camino for a rematch, having defeated the Wildcats 17-13 at home in the regular season.


3rd and 8 at the 24. Caden Kelley spots Scotty Gange behind defenders. Photo by Anna Scipione


Scotty Gange outruns defenders for 76 yard TD catch. Photo by Anna Scipione


And nobody can catch him. Photo by Anna Scipione




Torrey Pines Returns Surfboard to LCC

November 12, 2015

The golden surfboard trophy went back to La Costa Canyon as the Mavericks defeated the Falcons 13-3 in a game where both teams had as much trouble hanging onto the football as a surfer hanging onto a surfboard with no tether. In the first half the Falcons outpaced the Mavericks with 231 yards of offense to 200 yards, but suffered two turnovers. The game opened with Johhny Hastings under center, who would share quarterback duties with Ben Spitters all game, and the Falcons drove from their 13 to the Maverick 12 on the running of Luke Duerr and Jacob Montes where a fumble gave LCC the ball. The defense held, the Mavericks got a good punt bounce, and Torrey Pines was right back at their 12.

For the first time the Falcons showed a different look than their normal Wing T, lining up in the shotgun. Montes took a direct snap, shot through the hole and picked up 30 yards. But the Falcons second drive also ended in a turnover with an interception on the LCC 39. Maverick quarterback Tanner Clark completed 2 of 2 passes and scored on a keeper to put LCC ahead 7-0. LCC drove to the Falcon 8 before a tackle in the backfield by Jared Rosen forced them to settle for a field goal, 10-0.

Torrey Pines came right back moving from their 20 to the Maverick 44 where it was 4th and 4. Luc D’Arcy took the snap but instead of punting he threw to Thomas Stearn for a first down at the 30. Matthew Feeler picked up 12 more but the drive stalled on the 8, fourth and less than 1, and the LCC defense held to take over on downs. The Maverick’s next play was a long pass carried into the end zone, but fumbled out of the end zone so the Falcons took over again at their 20. The teams traded punts, with LCC on the short end of the trade, and Torrey Pines started at midfield in the final minute of the half. Spitters passed to #14 and to Tristen Alesi to the 7, and as time ran out the Falcons finally got on the board with a field goal. LCC 10-3.

The Mavericks opened the second half driving from their 8 to the Falcon 1 where Beau Morgans recovered a fumble for the Falcons. From there it was a defensive struggle until LCC drove to the Falcon 29 and made a 46 yard field goal to go up 13-3. In the fourth quarter the Falcons alternated quarterbacks, with Feeler and Duerr running big gains, but stalled at the Maverick 38. D’Arcy angled his punt to go out of bounds on the 4. But LCC ground out first downs as the clock ticked away to victory.

Torrey Pines ends the season with a 3-7 record including many tough non-conference opponents, but has a 2-2 record in the Palomar league and so is seeded in the playoffs Nov. 13 at Torrey Pines.


Jacob Montes bursts through for 30 yards. Photo by Anna Scipione

Mavericks Deal JV Falcons end of Season Loss

November 12, 2015

Torrey Pines JV suffered a tough season closing loss to visiting La Costa Canyon, 23-7. In the first half the Falcon offense managed just 35 yards and 2 first downs while quarterback Chris Temby completed 1 of 8 pass attempts. As in previous games a tenacious defense kept the Falcons in the game, holding the Mavericks to 114 yards and completing 5 of 12 passes with two interceptions. Indeed halftime would have been a scoreless tie but for a single sustained Maverick drive of 67 yards mixing running and passing to go ahead 7-0. Other Maverick drives were halted on interceptions by Louis Bickett and Gaston Schenk, who also made big stops on runs.

In the second half Torrey Pines’ offense picked up 149 yards, 9 first downs and a touchdown, completing 9 of 16 passes. Meanwhile the Falcon defense held La Costa Canyon to just 3 first downs. They threw only 3 passes with 1 completion and 1 interception. But the Mavericks still made 170 yards total offense and 16 points mostly on a few big plays to seal their victory.

The opening play of the half was a 78 yard touchdown run, putting the Mavericks up 13-0 after Bickett blocked the extra point. The teams traded punts and then Torrey Pines, needing to get something going and facing 4th and less than a yard at their 36 went for it, and came up short. The Mavericks ran the next snap into the end zone to go ahead 20-0. As the 3rd quarter was ending La Costa Canyon passed deep downfield and were picked off by Peter Nelson. Starting on their 10 the Falcons drove impressively with Temby completing pass after pass to Connor Munoz and to Jack Nelson, who also broke tackles to run for 18 yards. But the drive fizzled and trailing by 20 in the 4th quarter they had to try to convert on 4th and 4, and with an incomplete pass turned the ball over.

The Mavericks had their only completion of the half with the quarterback throwing backward to the halfback who lobbed a deep spiral to the Falcon 10. Three plays later they’d been pushed back to the 17 and settled for a field goal to lead 23-0. Torrey Pines’ scoring drive came halfway through the 4th quarter starting from their 14. Peter Nelson picked up 8 yards on a reverse and Jack Nelson ran for two first downs. Ryan Cesari and Peter Nelson caught passes, then Jack Nelson took a screen pass breaking tackles 29 yards to score the game’s final points, 23-7. Torrey Pines finished the season with a 5-5 record and a lot of talent to take into next year’s Falcon varsity team.


Jack Nelson touchdown reception. Photo by Anna Scipione