Torrey Pines football players prepare to enter the field against Vista. The Falcons defense took the ball away from the Panthers repeatedly in the nonleague triumph.
Final score: Torrey Pines 44, Vista 9.
Key plays: Vista (1-3) shot itself in the foot throughout the first half on Friday, a shanked punt, interception, fumble and facemask on a punt return setting up Torrey Pines (2-2) deep in Panthers territory. Torrey quarterback Pete Mitchell had a 29-yard TD pass to Dwayne Hines and a 36-yarder to Christian Gange, the second coming 10 seconds before halftime for a 23-3 lead. ... Torrey running back Devin Slubowski’s 88-yard TD run in the third quarter was the big play of the second half.”
Key stats: The Falcons needed but 109 yards for four first-half scoring drives, going 29, 19, 23 and 38 yards for a field goal and three touchdowns, respectively. ... Mitchell was an efficient 8 of 13 for 130 yards and three TDs.
Quotable: “We played some great defense in the first half, got some short fields and were able to take advantage of it,” said Torrey Pines coach Scott Ashby. “That play right before the end of the first half was a big momentum changer.”
Quotable, too: “I think our offense is going to really get going now,” said Hines, whose team totaled just 31 points in the season’s first three games. Hines had TDs both rushing and receiving against Vista.
Pitching a shutout: Vista’s 2-0 victory over Torrey Pines last year still had both coaches shaking their heads leading up to this game. “That was so agonizing and painful,” said Ashby.
Said Vista coach Dan Williams: “That’s one of those fun defensive games where you see who’s going to make the last mistake on the offensive side of the ball.” Vista’s points came off a bad snap on a Falcons punt. It was the 12th time in the county history that a game ended 2-0, according to local high school historian Rick Smith. It was the second 2-0 game in Vista’s 75-year history (the Panthers beat Palm Springs in 1958).
Vista could get a kick out of this: When it was suggested that maybe this year’s game would end 3-0, Williams said, “We do have a kicker.” Panthers senior Jesse Tellez made a 43-yard field goal in Vista’s opener against La Serna. He also has lined up for a 53-yarder that was just under the cross bar. “We haven’t had the opportunities to kick,” said Williams. “He’s hit like 60, 62 in practice, so he could be a threat.”
Scene and Heard: Torrey Pines sophomore RB/LB Matthew Feeler nearly left it all on the field. By game’s end, all that was left of his name on the back of his jersey was the letter “F” ... There was more coaching going on in the stands than the sidelines as a local TV station worked with Torrey Pines students on a promo during halftime. Over and over and over they said their spiel. “High School Musical” probably took fewer takes. ... The Falcons had a 15-0 advantage in spirit banners. ... The Torrey Pines band took the long way into Ed Burke Field minutes before the game began. Fortunately, they were not stopped at the front gate to inspect their instruments or they would have missed kickoff.
Food review: Missed out on the funnel cake in the last visit to Torrey Pines, but wouldn’t make that mistake twice. It was the first order of business upon arrival. Topped it with powdered sugar and strawberry sauce. Delicious, earning four belches on our five-belch scale (Yes, Mom, I spoiled my dinner).