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Fog lifts for Mavericks

11/08/2013, 11:42pm PST
By Kirk Kenney, U-T

La Costa Canyon wins annual rivalry game, but nothing rivals good eats at LCC games.

La Costa Canyon quarterback Jake Mann throws a 45-yard completion to Quinn Smith. Mann also rushed 18 times for 194 yards.

Final score: La Costa Canyon 27, Torrey Pines 0

Key plays: Host LCC (7-3) used a pair of second-quarter touchdown runs, 15 yards by QB Jake Mann and 16 yards by RB Max Gornish, to take control Friday night against Torrey Pines (6-4) in a rivalry game known as the Beach Bowl. … Gornish’s score came after a successful onside kick that was covered by Colin Nishioka. The drive was keyed by a second-and-24 pass play from Mann to Quinn Smith that went for 45 yards. It was Mann’s only completion (in three attempts) of the half. ... The LCC defense stopped Torrey Pines three times on fourth down, and Mavericks DB Isaac Williams ended two other drives with interceptions.

Key stats: Mann carried 18 times for 194 yards, most of it coming on 52- and 78-yard runs in the third quarter. The longer run went for a touchdown that completed the scoring.

Quotable: “Our offensive line kept dominating them,” said Mann, who credited his teammates up front for springing him for big gains. “We just took the will out of them.”

Quotable, too: “I’m very proud,” said LCC coach Sean Sovacool, who gathered his players moments after the game ended, gestured to the scoreboard and said, “That’s what’s supposed to happen.”

Scene and heard: A layer of fog rolled in minutes before the game began, threatening to obscure the opening kickoff, and settled in for the evening. ... The LCC students represented in large numbers, many of them sporting white Mavericks PRIDE spirit shirts and waving white pompoms. ... The Falcons won the halftime “Survivor” obstacle-course competition between the schools, so they had that going for them. ... Didn’t want to weigh in on the health-care situation, but those LCC boys out in the cold with their bare chests painted may want to slip on some jackets until the website gets debugged. ... Hundreds of LCC student bodies filled the field as time expired, joining the players in a postgame celebration usually reserved for postseason victories.

Understated perspective: “This is the biggest rivalry, I think, in sports,” said Mann. “There’s so much emotion in this game, so much talk, that it’s really, really special.”

The rivalry: La Costa Canyon opened in 1996, but the rivalry dates back two decades earlier. San Dieguito was the only high school in the district until 1974 when Torrey Pines opened seven miles to the south. LCC opened seven miles north of San Dieguito, with much of the student body shifting to the new school.

Prized possession: The teams played for possession of the Golden Surfboard. The special board was painted eight years ago by students of LCC art teacher Ron Lenc. It features LCC’s green and gold colors on one half and Torrey’s cardinal and gold on the other. Torrey’s victory last year brought the surfboard to campus for the first time in eight years. Torrey Pines coach Scott Ashby never did catch a wave with it. “It’s just been sitting in the office,” said Ashby. “Give me a lake. I’m not an ocean guy.” Neither is Sovacool, but maybe he will finally get some lessons.

Big family: Both schools were off Friday, giving the coaches some time with the family. Asked how many kids he has, Sovacool said, “202. Two here at home and 200 on campus.” He spent the morning in the living room watching “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” (while sneaking a glance at some Torrey Pines film on his iPad) with his 2-year-old daughter while his 6-month-old son slept nearby.

Welcome back: Both teams are glad to have key players back from injuries. Torrey Pines WR/DB Jack Bailey was sidelined in midseason with a concussion. “He’s a pretty special kid,” said Ashby. “Having him back the past few weeks has been huge.” Bailey, a junior, has been offered by San Diego State and Ashby expects a handful of Pac-12 schools to recruit him as well. LCC senior RT Jake Brown tore his hamstring against Poway in the season’s second game and missed six games before returning last week. “He’s a beast,” Sovacool said of the team captain, who expects to have an opportunity at the next level.

Food review: LCC games include a veritable restaurant row with Rudy’s Taco Shop (word on the street tacos — excellent), Rita’s Italian Ice, Papa’s Kettle Corn (the free sample lured me into a purchase), a hamburger/hot dog table, candy table, cookie table. And that was before you arrive at the two concession stands. What a way to wrap up the regular season. The dining experience earned a rare five belches on our five-belch scale.

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