By Bill Butler
Two undefeated teams, the Torrey Pines Falcons and Murrieta Hawks (Pee Wee Division), battled to a 24-24 tie Saturday at Torrey Pines High School stadium. Torrey Pines had three regulars missing from the lineup--Carson Howard, Guard (ill) and both Louie Bickett (linebacker) and Conner Whitton (quarterback) (injured). In addition, Andre Nordan was playing his first game of the season due to a fractured thumb. Both teams entered the game with identical 2-0 records and the contest was forecast to be close.
Murrieta is a large, fast, talented team, while the Falcons are possibly a bit quicker and play a very disciplined game.
The action started with the opening kickoff, as Murrieta kicked to Zac Friedland, and he returned the kickoff up the middle of the field 75 yards for a touchdown. Ryan Wells was true with the PAT kick, and Torrey Pines had an 8-0 lead with only 12 seconds gone from the game clock.
Murrieta struck back quickly, as a back broke loose for an apparent touchdown run on their first possession. Tyler Alexander caught the runner from behind just short of the goal line, but his effort delayed the Murrieta score by only one play. Alexander then came off the corner to block the PAT kick, and the Torrey Pines lead stood at 8-6.
Murrieta would score three more touchdowns in the first half to take a 24-8 lead. It was the first time the Falcons had trailed all season and would be a challenge to the team to get back into the contest. The Falcons were up to the challenge!
In the second quarter and with the ball on their own 39 yard line, Nordan hit Alexander with a perfect over-the-shoulder pass, and Alexander raced untouched into the end zone. The Wells kick was good, and the score stood at 24-16, Murrieta.
The score went unchanged until late in the third quarter. With the ball at the Falcon 38 yard line, Alexander struck again, this time on a run around right end. Sixty-two yards later, the score was 24-22, with a Wells kick coming up. The kick was true, and the score was now tied at 24 apiece! Neither team would score again, although the
Falcons made it to the Murrieta 20 yard line with time running out in the game. A tremendous play by a Murrieta defender to intercept a Falcon pass stopped the Falcon attack, and the game ended in a 24-24 tie.
Two fine teams had fought to a standoff, perhaps to be continued in the Palomar Conference playoffs should both teams continue their winning ways.