Four first half turnovers proved costly for the Torrey Pines Falcons in the Carmel Valley Clash football game against Cathedral Catholic last Friday night.
The Dons capitalized on two fumble recoveries and two interceptions to go up 21-0 by halftime. The Falcon defense held its own in the second half, limiting the Dons to a field goal for a 24-6 finish.
One of the night's standouts was Cathedral quarterback Max Brewer, who hit 13 of 19 passes for 252 yards. On the other side of the ball, Nick Balelo got in some hard hits and sacked Torrey Pines quarterback John Cabot three times.
For the first meeting between the two teams since Cathedral moved to Carmel Valley in 2005, Falcon Stadium was packed on the home and visitor's sides. "Best in the Valley, best in Cali," read one Dons fan's sign.
The scoreboard would light up early as Torrey Pines fumbled on the kickoff return, setting the Dons up on the 20 yard line and junior running back Jonny Martin easily got in for a touchdown.
Showing off his running ability, Torrey Pines' Cabot took off on a 50-yard run on the next possession but a tackle knocked the ball loose and was recovered by the Dons.
Brewer found the Dons' junior wide receiver Chance Early on a 70-yard touchdown pass to put the score at 14-0. Early, whose father, Quinn, was an NFL player, would finish the night with five receptions for 117 yards.
Cathedral's Corey Garcia intercepted Cabot to set up the first half's third touchdown, Martin again. Martin was the night's workhorse, rushing 24 times for 58 yards. He also got action in a halfback option, completing a pass.
Cabot led Torrey Pines with 102 rushing yards but also showed off his arm with some nice connections with receivers Ryan Rodas and Parker Vail. He finished the night 8 for 16, intercepted three times by Cathedral's Garcia, Ray Krickel and Hugh Yoder.
Torrey Pines junior Hunter Shigley had an interception of his own, picking off a Brewer pass and running it 30 yards to set up the Falcons first score of the night by kicker Blake Busse.
Despite the loss, Torrey Pines defense remained energized and tough in the second half, Kevin Cuff and Robbie Rodriguez both sacking the quarterback.
Both teams travel tonight: Cathedral faces Helix and Torrey Pines will battle Rancho Bernardo.