By Gideon Rubin
Before they went through the drudgery of two-a-day summer practices in August, the Torrey Pines football team was already hard at work developing camaraderie and leadership skills during summer team-building retreats
All that work has paid off some pretty handsome dividends.
The Falcons remained unbeaten after overcoming their largest deficit of the season in a 45-21 drubbing of Ramona in a Palomar League game on Oct. 29.
The Falcons, who’d never trailed by more than a field goal before the Ramona game, trailed by 18 points early in the second quarter. Six unanswered touchdowns later, they marched off the field with a 2-0 league record and an 8-0 overall mark.
Falcons coach Scott Ashby cited the qualities his players developed during the retreats to be the cornerstone of the Falcons success.
“Everyone on this team believes in team goals,” Ashby said. “Our kids have a great belief in themselves and what they’re trying to accomplish. I think they feel like there’s never a situation they can’t rise above.”
Falcons quarterback John Cabot helped them rise above their most recent challenge, completing eight of 11 pass attempts for 217 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Falcons running back John Wilson rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, and Andrew Fargo rushed for 79 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
Hunter Shigley led the Falcons receiving corps with two scoring receptions – both for touchdowns for -112 yards, and Wilson caught five passes for 88 yards.
The Falcons trailed 18-3 when Cabot got them going with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Shigley midway through the second quarter that made it 18-10.
Before that, Jake Mitchell’s 25-yard field goal in the first quarter accounted for the Falcons’ only scoring.
The Falcons closed to within 21-16 late in the second quarter on Fargo’s scoring run from the 20.
Then they took the lead for good midway through the third quarter, when Cabot hooked up with Shigley on a 52-yard scoring strike.
After an uncharacteristically slow start, Cathedral Catholic is back in familiar territory.
The Dons, who lost their first three games to start the season, have since won four of their last five games including all three Eastern League contests to move into sole possession of first place.
The Dons relied heavily on their defense in their most recent game, a formula that worked out just fine as they returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a 24-14 league victory over Mira Mesa of San Diego.
The Dons managed just 139 yards of total offense, but Troy Johnson and Patrick Downey returned interceptions from 17 and 26 yards out late in the second quarter to give the Dons a 21-7 lead their would never relinquish.
The Dons stretched their lead to 24-7 on Jacob Roman’s 21-yard field goal early in the third quarter.
Running back Jonny Martin accounted for most of the Dons offense, rushing for 104 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries.