El Camino handed Torrey Pines a pair of gifts in the second quarter and the Falcons turned them into 14 points.
But in the second half, those same Falcons returned the favor with three fumbles that El Camino transformed into 21 points and a 42-31 football victory Friday to open Avocado League play.
Trailing 24-19 at halftime, the No. 7-ranked Wildcats (3-1, 1-0) turned the first two fumble recoveries into a 20-yard TD run by Rense Garner and Jaden Casey’s 33-yard TD toss to Malachi Russell for a 33-24 lead.
Chris Brown added the final touchdown off a turnover with a 5-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
“It all came down to who wanted it more,’’ said Brown, a senior running back who carried 27 times for 169 yards and four touchdowns. “It took a relentless effort in the second half.
“This win means a lot to us because that’s a good team.’’
Torrey Pines (2-2, 0-1), ranked No. 6, had won two straight and eight of the last nine meetings against the Wildcats, and still holds a 15-9-1 lead in the series.
But the Falcons failed to slow Brown and Casey, who was 15-of-19 passing for 227 yards and the one TD.
El Camino receiver Wayne Steward caught eight passes for 100 yards, using his efforts to switch up the offense and keep Torrey off balance.
“It’s a lot different running the ball now,’’ added Brown, who came into the game with 227 rushing yards in the first three games. “Teams who want to stop the run better watch out because we have more weapons now.’’
The Falcons scored in the second half on Mac Bingham’s 3-yard run with 10:09 to play — his fourth TD of the game — but it still wasn’t nearly enough to seriously threaten the Wildcats.
Monahan is a freelance writer.