Irresistible Falcons meet immovable Mavericks

Coach Mike Lytle’s Pop Warner Midget Falcons are currently the only undefeated team in the Palomar conference.
Coach Mike Lytle’s Pop Warner Midget Falcons are currently the only undefeated team in the Palomar conference.

By Tim Pickwell

Any day that a team with “Torrey Pines” on its jersey beats a team with “La Costa Canyon” on its jersey is a good day.

The rivalry is wide (extending from soccer to lacrosse, volleyball and football), deep (reaching into elementary school), and intense (friendships have ended, cars have been vandalized).

Saturday, Sept.  22, at Torrey Pines High School was a very good day.

Head Coach Mike Lytle’s Pop Warner Midget Falcons came into Saturday’s 4 p.m. game at Torrey Pines High School with an unblemished record (4-0), and averaging 36.8 points per game, while allowing a stingy 12.5 points.  The Mavericks (3-0-1) had scored nearly 27 per game, while allowing only two TD’s each outing.

Irresistible Force, meet Immovable Object

LCC opened the match by kicking short to Jacob Schneider who fielded the ball at the 38 yard line.

The Falcons “Gold O” took the field, and QB Tyler Lytle quickly fed the ball to beefy Fullback Adam Eastwood.  Running behind a line of Graham Valentine (LT), Brian Minarik (LG), Ronan Gilliland (C), Yu Jay Kurosu (RG), and Kyle Hurt (RT), Eastwood gobbled up 10 yards on two carries.   The teams then traded penalties, and the Falcons were forced to punt.

The Mavericks started on their own 36 yard line.  D-End Schneider strung out a running play on the right side of the Defense to hold LCC to two yards.  An LCC back then busted through the middle of the line and had nothing but daylight for 70 yards.  Fortunately, Safety Caden Wolfson, playing with a soft cast on his arm, made the shoe string tackle to stave off disaster.

LCC then ploughed into the line, with first Falcon Brian Minarik, then LB Noah Rubinmaking stops.  LB Eastwood made a tackle, and a holding penalty marched LCC backwards.

With 1st and 20 on their own 36 yard line, the Mavericks ran a draw.  The running back bounced it outside and went sprinting down the left sideline with an escort.  Cornerback Tyler Alexander gave up ground, avoided the racing escort, and squeezed the ball carrier towards the sideline.  Alexander played it brilliantly, and finally eluded the blocker and ran the ball carrier out of bounds, but deep, deep into Falcon territory at the 16 yard line.

Huge play by LCC;  Huge save by Tyler

Bad snap, and LCC fumbled on the next play.  Eastwood recovered, and the Falcon Offense was in business.

But, backed way up.  The first run lost a yard.  A pitch-out to Moe Mirer gained a yard.  On third down, a scrambling Tyler Lytle wisely threw it out of bounds.

Punter / Linebacker / Fullback / Ginger-Haired Noah Rubin found himself backed against his own endzone on 4th down.  The Mavericks came pouring in on the snap, but Rubin uncorked a doozy.  The ball hit past midfield and got the roll down to the Maverick 28 yard line.  The returner unwisely picked it up, and was immediately clobbered by Ronan Gilliland—who somehow managed to snap the ball and beat the kick downfield.  (Note to self: check space/time continuum algorithms to see if it is even possible for a Center to be the first man downfield).

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