By Bill Butler
In a Palomar Conference league game on Sept. 8, the Jr Midget Falcons (D2) of Torrey Pines defeated the Oceanside Pirates 27-8 at El Camino High School. In some ways, this game was closer than the score indicates; however, the margin of victory could have been greater but for a couple of Falcon miscues. The Falcons lost two fumbles as a result of hard tackles by Oceanside defenders. These turnovers presented scoring opportunities for the Pirates, but they were unable to take advantage. The lone Oceanside touchdown came as a result of a long kickoff return following a Falcon field goal. This was the only time in the game that the Pirates threatened the Falcon goal line.
Torrey Pines scored first on a field goal by Tucker Pike to take a 3-0 lead. Oceanside countered immediately by returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. A two-point kick followed, and Oceanside led 8-3. The score remained the same until the final 30 seconds of the first half. Jackie Plashkes hit Brandon Ray with an option pass down the right sideline good for 26 yards. With 14.1 seconds remaining, quarterback Conner Whitton followed with the first of his two touchdown passes for the afternoon, hitting Ray in the end zone with a 23-yard strike with 8.3 seconds remaining. Tucker Pike was good with his first of three extra point kicks (each good for two points) to make the halftime score Torrey Pines 11, Oceanside 8.
The third quarter ended without further scoring, but with the Falcons at the Pirate 20 yard line. A Zac Friedland run picked up a first down at the 10. Another run placed the ball at the Pirate 6 before Whitton threw a bullet to Kevin Misak, who had cut across the field from his tight end position on the right side to find a hole in the Pirate coverage. Seconds later, the score became 19-8, and the Falcons had a bit of breathing room. Oceanside had to pass if they had any hope of getting back in the game. The Falcon run defense had just been too strong for the Pirates to hope to score enough to win the game by running the ball.
On the next series of plays, the Falcons stopped a Pirate run for a first down on 4th and 1 from the 40. After each team failed to move the ball, Zac Friedland intercepted a Pirate pass at the 43-yard line and took it back 57 yards for a Falcon TD. A kick later and the Falcons led 27-8. This would be the final score, as Falcon defenders Nick Clapp and Garth Erdossy each intercepted passes for the Falcons.