By Gideon Rubin
Torrey Pines didn’t know if it would make the playoffs going into its regular season finale against a heavily favored La Costa Canyon team.
The Falcons (in photo at right) emerged from what might have been a win-or-go-home game with new life.
A stunning 24-17 upset victory over LCC in a nonleague game on Nov. 2 helped the Falcons secure a San Diego Section Division I playoff berth, and sent them into the postseason with the wind at their back.
The Falcons, who improved to 5-5 overall for the season, hope to carry that momentum into their first round playoff game against Escondido (5-5). The Falcons are scheduled to play at Escondido on Friday (Nov. 9) at 7 p.m.
In the LCC game, Chase Pickwell scored on a run from the 1-yard line midway through the fourth quarter to break a 17-17 deadlock.
Pickwell rushed for 118 yards on 26 carries to lead the Falcons.
Mark Detrow contributed 39 rushing yards on six carries.
Falcons quarterback Mike Ward completed five of six pass attempts for 41 yards including a scoring pass to Jack Bailey.
Bailey caught four passes for 38 yards.
The Falcons broke a scoreless deadlock midway through the second quarter when Collin Brown kicked a 25-yard field goal.
Then after LCC tied the game, Ward connected with a 12-yard scoring pass to Bailey that sent the Falcons into the intermission with a 10-3 lead.
In a final tuning for the playoffs, Cathedral Catholic trounced Serra 55-7 in a nonleague game on Nov. 2.
The Dons, who’ve won five consecutive San Diego Section titles, were awarded the No. 2 seed and have a first-round bye in the Division III playoffs. They will play on Nov. 16 against the winner of a first round game between Monte Vista and Serra (scheduled for Nov. 9).
Josh Gizzi rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Dons, and Tony Johnson rushed for 96 yards and three touchdowns.
The Dons took a quick lead when Connor Larkin returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown on Serra’s first possession that set the tone for the win.
The Dons improved their overall record for the season to 8-2.
Santa Fe Christian concluded its regular season on a winning note with a fourth quarter outburst that propelled the Eagles to a 35-17 Coastal League victory over Francis Parker on Nov. 2.
The Eagles trailed 17-14 early in the fourth quarter before closing the game out with three unanswered touchdowns.
Conor Keith rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Eagles comeback.
Keith scored on a 70-yard run with less than 10 minutes left in the game to give the Eagles a 21-14 lead.
Keith’s 35-yard run in the closing minutes gave the Eagles a comfortable 28-14 lead.
Jake Bailey scored on a 50-yard interception return on Parker’s next possession to put the game out of reach.
The victory concluded a perfect 5-0 league championship run and gives the Eagles momentum going into the San Diego Section playoffs.