Torrey Pines 2017 Varsity Football

September 14, 2017

Aug. 25 at Punahou, Hawaii – loss 7-23
Sep. 1 Santa Fe Christian – win 35-17: Story
Sep. 8 at Fallbrook – win 44-0
Sep. 15 at El Camino
Sep. 22 at Westview
Oct. 6 at San Marcos
Oct. 13 Oceanside
Oct. 20 at Carlsbad
Oct. 27 Mission Hills
Nov. 3 La Costa Canyon

See also: – Carmel Valley News – Official Team Web Site


Falcons top Santa Fe Christian 35-17 in Home Opener

September 14, 2017

Coming off an away opener loss to powerhouse Punahou, Hawaii, 23-7, the Torrey Pines Falcons won handily over Santa Fe Christian 35-17. The Falcon offensive line dominated the Eagles and senior running back Sully O’Brien and junior Mac Bingham were unstoppable, while the Torrey Pines defense led by senior linebacker Jack Nelson made key tackles and an interception to thwart the Eagle offense. The bad news for the Falcons was their mistakes, penalties and fumbles, costing them scoring opportunities. The good news for the Eagles was the talent showed by many of their players.


Mac Bingham scored three touchdowns / Photo Anna Scipione

On their second possession Torrey Pines got its running game in gear with Bingham, O’Brien, and senior Beau Morgans alternating big gains moving 89 yards with Bingham scoring, Falcons 7-0. SFC started with great field position on the 37 after Chase Baptista fielded the kickoff at the goal line. Passes from Michael Linguadoca to seniors Joshua Thomas and Joe Burich moved the ball to the Falcon 10 where the drive stalled and they settled for a field goal, Falcons 7-3. O’Brien took the kickoff from the goal line to the 30 and soon Bingham streaked through the line 58 yards to make it 14-3.

SFC began to move the ball again but were brought short on a jarring tackle by senior Michael Perrone, a name we heard called from the booth many times. Starting from their own 5 after the punt, Torrey Pines picked up a first down only to lose a fumble which was returned for an Eagle touchdown, Falcons 14-10. On the next series the Falcons drove to the Eagle 2, with a 57 yard pass completion from junior Jason Heine to O’Brien. A fourth down pass appeared complete in the end zone but referees ruled he didn’t have control of the ball before he stepped out. The Eagles couldn’t move the ball from deep in their territory, and their punt was partially blocked, setting up Torrey Pines at the 35, where another fumble gave it back to SFC. They marched downfield with Linguadoca’s passing and scrambling and Burich’s runs and catches. But after Nelson got a sack to force fourth and long, a field goal attempt was blocked.

Penalties ended Torrey Pines’ first drive of the second half, and Nelson ended SFC’s. Then O’Brien caught a pass and rambled 56 yards to make it 21-10. A short punt set up the Falcons on the Eagle 38. O’Brien swept wide and cut sharply inside to pick up 24 yards and the touchdown, Falcons 28-10. SFC went back to basics and moved on the ground with running of Baptista and Demitri Washington. Then the Eagles tried a trick play, a reverse halfback pass, and Nelson jumped inside the receiver for the interception. The Falcons ran it downfield and Bingham took it in for his third score, 35-10. With time running out fullback Jack Miles spearheaded a final Eagle drive and scored. Senior quarterback Chris Temby took knees to end the game. Final, Falcons 35 Eagles 17.

Torrey Pines is 1-1 and plays at Fallbrook Sept. 8. SFC falls to 0-2 and faces La Jolla next away.

Falcons Lasso Mavericks

November 11, 2016

When a junior running back breaks long gains all night, running for four touchdowns and catching another touchdown pass, in a 41-9 drubbing of rival La Costa Canyon and the Avocado League championship, the story writes itself. But that’s not the story that running back, Sully O’Brien, would tell. I watched him as JV star last year in pre-game warm ups. As backup quarterbacks practiced on the sidelines, who was shagging balls for them? Sully. So I think his story of the Falcons’ win would feature his teammates, starting with Luke Duerr. In the fourth quarter Torrey Pines was backed up to their own 6 yard line. Then a Falcon streaked downfield outdistancing all his pursuers. Of course I expected to see O’Brien’s number again, but outrunning the Maverick secondary was Duerr, the power back who normally makes his yardage by running straight over would-be tacklers. I haven’t seen that combination of speed and power since Earl Campbell. His 78 yard gain set up O’Brien’s fifth touchdown two plays later.

Then there’s Carson Ward with a 30 yard touchdown run of his own, Gabe Gmyr whose fancy footwork sheds tacklers like teflon, quarterback Jason Heine whose running gives Torrey Pines a triple option threat, and of course the offensive line which opens those holes. See “Cerebral lineman thrives in Torrey Pines’ wing-T offense”, San Diego Union Tribune, 11/5/16,

Even when the Falcons keep it mostly on the ground as they did against the Mavericks, the aerial game keeps the defense honest. Quarterback Miles Hastings hit Michael Gadinas for a 24 yard gain in the first quarter, loosening up the defense, and connected with O’Brien for screen passes in crucial third down conversions.

Don’t forget the defenders. The Maverick quarterback was pressured all night while their receivers were covered by Falcon defenders including Peter Nelson and Nick Clapp. Trailing 20-3 as the second half opened LCC was driving to get back into the game. A pass completion to the Falcon 20 would have set them up to score, but Clapp stripped the ball and Beau Morgans grabbed it and sprinted to the Maverick 25, and Torrey Pines scored to go up 27-3.

An LCC pass into the end zone would have gone for a touchdown but was knocked away by Johnny Hastings. Then on third and seven Falcons swarmed into the backfield for a sack and LCC went for it on fourth down. Ty Helfrich and Kevin Misak sacked the quarterback for a huge loss and turnover on downs.

On their next series the Maverick receivers couldn’t beat Clapp’s coverage on the sidelines. Then they threw for the end zone but Clapp made the interception giving Torrey Pines the ball at their own 4. After Duerr’s big run Torrey Pines was up 34-3. Falcon defenders stripped the ball on a quarterback keeper and again had the ball in Maverick territory at the 30. It took just one play, a run by Ward, to put the Falcons up 41-3.

Torrey Pines has a first round bye and opens playoffs November 18 at Cathedral Catholic.


Nick Clapp’s night included a forced fumble and interception. Photo Anna Scipione


Sully O’Brien carried for four TD’s and caught for one. Photo Anna Scipione

Falcons Tame Grizzlies

November 11, 2016

I was out of town for this game, so for the story I bring you the always excellent tweets from @Torrey PinesFB_2016, lightly edited. I’ll credit him by name, with permission.

The Torrey Pines Falcons won on the road against the Mission Hills Grizzlies, 33-14. Let’s go to the action on the field.

The Falcons kickoff to start the game. Touchback. Grizzlies ball on the 20. Defense starts strong. 3 and out. Grizzlies punt fair caught at our 40.

Opening carry by Heine gains 12. Duerr adds 9 more on the next play. Falcons facing 4th and 2 from the 26. Fumble. Grizzlies return to the Falcon 40. Unsportsmanlike conduct brings it back 15. Grizzlies drive into the red zone. 1st and 10 from the 20. 1st and goal for Grizzlies from the 8. Mission Hills TD. PAT good. 7-0, 2:33 left in 1st.

Hastings pass to Gadinis good for a 1st down and moves the ball to midfield. End of 1st: Torrey Pines 0, Mission Hills 7.

Duerr powers for 16 yards to push the Falcons into the red zone. 1st and goal at the 9. Duerr crosses the line for a TOUCHDOWN FALCONS. Alworth PAT good. Tied at 7, 8:55

Mission Hills breaks off a 70-yard run to the 1 yard line. QB keeper, TD Grizzlies. PAT good. 14-7, 7:48

Facing 4th and inches, the Falcons convert for a 1st and 10 from the Grizzlies 37. On the sneaky reverse, Gmyr carries 30-yards for a TOUCHDOWN FALCONS. Alworth PAT good. 14-14. 2:48 left in half.

With 1:13 left in half, Falcon D forces a Grizzlies punt. Fair catch. 1st and 10 at our 30. Halftime: Mission Hills and Torrey Pines tied at 14

We are back on the field for the 2nd half. Falcons back to receive. No return. 1st and 10, at the 20. The reverse works again. This time Beau Morgans picks up 16 to put the ball on the Falcon 35. Montes carries the ball into Grizzlies territory. 1st down on the 38. Torrey is in the red zone on a Heine carry. 1st down on the 16. Sully carries the ball to the 4. 1st and goal. 3rd and goal from the 1, and Duerr converts for a TOUCHDOWN FALCONS. PAT good. 21-14, Torrey Pines. 3:28

Falcon defender Schneider goes off and forces a punt. Punter attacked by Scotty Gange for a SAFETY FALCONS!! Add 2 for us. 23-14, 1:35 End of 3rd: Torrey Pines 23, Mission Hills 14

Sully sweeps right and flies down the sideline to open the 4th and carries the ball to the Grizzlies 28. Alworth splits the uprights for a 38-yard FIELDGOAL FALCONS. 26-14, Torrey Pines. 9:41

On 4th and a foot for the Grizzlies the Falcon D pounds the line and holds!! 1st and 10 from the MH 42. From the 22, Gmyr runs around the left side to pick up a first and puts us in the red zone. 4:55 Falcons recover our own fumble and lose 3-yards. Ball on 16. Duerr carries to the 6, 4th and 1. Falcons call time out to consider going for it. 2:33.

We are lined up to go for it!!! FIRST DOWN!!! (Barely!!!) 1st and goal, on the 5. 2:27 The Falcons score again as Sully weaves his way into the endzone for a TOUCHDOWN FALCONS. Alworth PAT good. 33-14, Torrey Pines. 2:20

Louis Bickett owns the air defense tonight. Great pass coverage all night. 2. :21 left. Grizzlies ball on our 28. Schneider and Helfrich sack the Grizzlies QB. Ball now on the 42. Final score: Torrey Pines 33, Mission Hills 14


Louis Bickett leads Falcon pass coverage. Photo Anna Scipione


Scotty Gange added a safety. Photo Anna Scipione

Falcons Upend Lancers

November 11, 2016

I was out of town for this game, so for the story I bring you the always excellent tweets from @TPFB_2016, lightly edited. I’ll credit him by name, with permission.

The Carlsbad Lancers visited the Torrey Pines Falcons who prevailed in a tough fought game, 21-14. Let’s go to the action on the field.

Hastings and Gadinis connect to move the sticks for the first time this game. Ball on our 38. The Falcon drive stalls on our 45. Punt.

Lancers take over on offense on their 19. Lancers go 3 and out. Punt. Falcon ball on our 42. Lancer apparent TD called back on a holding penalty. Ball on the Falcon 28, 1st and 18. End of 1st quarter: Torrey Pines and Carlsbad scoreless The Lancers are first on the board with a 43-yard TD pass. PAT good. 7-0, 8:57 left

André Meiers returns the kick from the 1 to the Lancer 48. Shifty running QB Jason Heine move the Falcons to the 29. Sully O’Brien carries the ball to the 3. 1st and goal Falcons. Duerr crashes through the middle of the line for a TOUCHDOWN FALCONS. Alworth PAT good. We are tied at 7. 4:56

Carlsbad touchdown. PAT good. 14-7, 2:57 Halftime: Carlsbad 14, Torrey Pines 7

We’ve kicked off for the 2nd half at TPHS. Lancer ball. Kevin Misak and David Niddrie going off on D forces a Lancer punt. Falcon ball on our 27. End of the 3rd: Carlsbad 14, Torrey Pines 7

The Falcons are in the red zone. 1st and 10 from the 11. QB keeper by Heine for a TOUCHDOWN FALCONS. Alworth PAT good. Tied at 14. 10:27

Falcons have the ball in the red zone again. 3rd and 4 from the 14. Duerr carries the ball for 4 yards. 1st and goal Falcons are on the half yard line facing 4th down. Time out to think about it. 2:58 Falcons are going for it. …… Duerr goes untouched up the middle for a TOUCHDOWN FALCONS. Alworth PAT good. 21-14, Falcons. 2:54

Lancer pass picked off by Clapp at our 47!!!!!!! 1:42 O’Brien carries across midfield. Carlsbad timeout. They have 2 remaining. 1:34 Falcon ball on the 42, facing 3rd and 3. O’Brien carries for 2.

4th down Timeout Carlsbad. 1:20 Falcons line up to go for it. 1st down Falcons!!! Carlsbad out of timeouts. :53 left. Taking a knee to run out the clock for the win. Final score: Carlsbad 14, Torrey Pines 21


Torrey Pines’ kicker, Nino Alworth. Photo Anna Scipione

San Marcos Wins Wild Shootout

October 11, 2016

In the most exciting game of the year the San Marcos Knights visited the Torrey Pines Falcons. The Knights had outscored their five previous opponents 169-117 while the Falcons defense allowed just 3 points in the previous three games. Ball control of the San Marcos offense contrasted to Torrey Pines’ big plays, and the lead changed repeatedly.

Sully O’Brien took the first snap of the game 80 yards to put the Falcons ahead 7-0. After breaking one tackle at the line of scrimmage and then juking a safety, nobody had the speed to catch him. San Marcos came back with an 80 yard drive including a fourth down conversion to tie the game at 7. Andre Mieiers ran the ensuing kickoff back 91 yards, and Gabe Gmyr ran for the touchdown to put Torrey Pines back on top.

In Q2 Torrey Pines lost a fumble on a backwards pass and the Knights quickly capitalized to tie at 14. O’Brien made a 45 yard run but San Marcos’ defense held and took over on downs. They attempted a 47 yard field goal after their drive stalled, but it was no good. Late in the half Luke Duerr scampered for 43 yards but time ran out and the half ended tied.

San Marcos took the second half kickoff 68 yards, were stalled by Kevin Misak, and kicked a 27 yard field goal to go ahead 17-14. On the Falcons’ first snap, Duerr ran 80 yards for a 21-17 lead. Carsen Gentes intercepted to start Torrey Pines near midfield but they went three and out, as did San Marcos.

Q4 opened putting football wins and losses into perspective. Running back Quadir Talley made a nice gain but he and the ball went down separately as he was scissored between two tacklers, and did not get back up. Trainers tended him unmoving as play was suspended for 40 long minutes, with fans not knowing his injury. The loudest cheers of the night came not for the big plays, but when as Quadir was loaded into the ambulance he raised his hand and waved to the crowd. Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with the Talley family for his full recovery, so much more important than a win.

When play resumed, San Marcos drove for a touchdown to go up 24-21. O’Brien again streaked downfield, but the Knights did have one player who could match his speed, and caught him by a shoestring on the Knight 21. Torrey Pines had to settle for a field goal to tie 24-24. Falcon kicker Joey Matsen hit every field goal and extra point all night.

With 1:37 remaining San Marcos tried desperately to score. Misak sacked the quarterback, then Gmyr diagnosed a flea flicker and with 7 seconds left on the 11 San Marcos tried a field goal. It was blocked by Mieiers and the game went into overtime.

Torrey Pines scored on a pass from Miles Hastings to Michael Gadinis. Then San Marcos scored to enter double overtime tied 31-31. San Marcos scored, then Torrey Pines took over. On fourth and two at the 17 the Falcons tried to draw the Knights offsides to no avail. A pass was just off the fingertips of Gadinas and the game ended with a San Marcos win, 38-31.

dsc_8538mGabe Gmyr scores Falcons’ second touchdown. Photo Anna Scipione


Falcon running back Quadir Talley. Photo Anna Scipione

Falcons Subdue Wolverines

October 6, 2016

On its first posession Torrey Pines drove the length of the field converting two fourth downs to take an early lead. Luke Duerr picked up one first down, then later on 4th and 3 quarterback Miles Hastings hit Scotty Gange for 25 yards, first and goal, and Duerr carried it into the end zone. The extra point was missed and the Falcons were up 6-0. After that there was no score until a wild fourth quarter, which is not to say that nothing happened in the tense battle of field position.

Westview picked up just 5 first downs through 3 quarters, two of those on penalties. Andre Mieiers diagnosed a screen pass forcing the Wolverines 3 and out. Gabe Gmyr, Jacob Schneider, and Yujay Kurosu each made tackles ending two drives, and Kevin Misak three.

Late in the second quarter with the Falcons pinned back on their 5, Duerr gained enough breathing room to allow a decent punt, so Westview had 35 yards to cover in the last two minutes. After a 9 yard sack by Misak, Westview took to the air and Mieiers deflected two passes in the corner of the end zone to deny them a score before halftime.

With 3 minutes in the third quarter Westview got an opportunity when a personal foul penalty gave them first down across midfield. Westview quarterback Beau Nelson had fumbled a high snap and players were diving for the ball. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Nelson got there first and Schneider’s dive carried him into Nelson, drawing the flag. Then on 3rd and 6 Misak sacked Nelson and Westview punted.

On the next series Schneider was right back in the Wolverine backfield, causing a fumble recovered by Torrey Pines. Duerr picked up 15 yards and a first down, then Gmyr ran 20 yards to make it 13-0. On the kickoff Chris Temby shed a block to tackle the returner as he caught the ball on the 12. Kurosu got another sack, Westview punted, and Mieiers slipped tacklers for a good return putting Torrey Pines on the Wolverine 28.

A couple of plays later it looked like Duerr was stopped for a short gain. That’s how it looked to Westview. That’s not how it looked to Duerr who runs over anyone who fails to make certain he’s on the ground, and he went 20 yards for a touchdown, 20-0. With 2:46 Westview was throwing it long, and Tanner Watkins intercepted to the 19. Ty Helfrich carried to the 2, 1st and goal, then punched it in for the final score, 27-0. Torrey Pines has a 4-1 record and plays next at home Oct. 7 against San Marcos, a 2015 Division 1 quarter-finalist.


Luke Duerr Ran For Two Touchdowns. Photo Anna Scipione


Gabe Gmyr 20 yard touchdown run. Photo Anna Scipione


Torrey Pines’ biggest fan, Vice-Principal Garry Thornton, watches from the sidelines. Photo Anna Scipione