Falcon frosh defense haunts Sun Devils

Cool ocean breezes and pullovers replaced sunburns and sandals at Ed Burke Field last Thursday night as the Torrey Pines Freshman Falcons faced off with Mt. Carmel in a pre-Halloween contest. The looming specter of the Falcon defense dominated the evening in a 9-0 shutout, the Falcons’ fourth defensive shutout in 9 games this season.

The Falcon offense awoke with a start on its opening drive, using the running of Mac Bingham and Evan Galluzzi and a nice pass over the middle by Miles Hastings to Matthew Myrhum to reach the Mt. Carmel red zone. A fumble stopped the drive at the Sun Devil three yard line, an apparent break for the already-weary visitors.

Here though, the frightening Falcon front line went to work, bottling up three straight Sun Devil runs into the teeth of the defense. The complexion of the game changed immediately when menacing Michael Stearns blocked a Mt. Carmel punt and fellow linebacker Mike Schreiber recovered at the Sun Devil 15 yard line. On the next play, quarterback Miles Hastings (pictured) lofted a touchdown pass into the left corner of the end zone to Porter Hollen. A missed conversion left the score 6-0 with 3:42 left in the first quarter.

The second quarter contained a few terrifying moments but no points for either side. A largely ineffective Falcon experiment with a shotgun offense intermingled with several big defensive hits on the Sun Devil quarterback, a fumble recovery by Schreiber, and a touchdown saving tackle by Jason Heine. The game hit its low point when zombie-like referees shockingly allowed a fifth Sun Devil down, but the Falcons correctly sensed Mt. Carmel trickery and snuffed out a fake punt.

Mt. Carmel’s opening drive of the second half immediately aborted when Luke Mikolajewski recovered a first-play fumble deep in Sun Devil territory. Three plays later, Heine completed the scoring with a 25 yard field goal. Both offenses remained in the shadows for the remainder of the game. Mikolajewski sealed it with an end zone interception late in the fourth quarter.

Bingham led a spirited Falcon rushing attack with 32 yards, Hastings threw for 45 yards and a TD, and Hollen led Falcon receivers with three catches for 29 yards and a score. The ever-dangerous defense was paced by Schreiber, Bingham, Jack Foate, and Sean Hagan, each of whom had six or more tackles.

The 5-4 Falcons finish their season next Thursday at La Costa Canyon.