Falcons squander late lead in 22-21 season opener

By Hector Trujillo


Torrey Pines High School could not have asked for a better start to their season opener, taking a 7-0 lead thanks to a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by running back Bassim El Sabawi.

Then it was the Falcons’ defense, which stood out by stopping Sunnyside High School on a fourth and four inside the Falcons’ 10-yard line despite having controlled the ball for more than seven minutes. Torrey Pines (0-1) blew a chance to extend the lead on their ensuing drive after fumbling the ball on the visitor’s nine-yard line.

It was a sign of things to come for the Falcons, who ended up with a one-point loss, 22-21.

The Wildcat offense took advantage with a 78-yard touchdown run by running back Jacob Holloway. Sunnyside would rush for almost 300 yards, thanks in part to tailback Lejon Mason who rushed for 142 yards despite leaving the game in the fourth quarter due to a leg injury.

The Falcons appeared to take the lead late in the first-half but had the score negated after a 15-yard block-in-the-back penalty was called.

The Falcons regained control early in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by running back Trace Woods to make the score 14-7. The Falcons extended their lead to 21-7 early in the fourth quarter after a 86-yard touchdown run by running back Joseph Driscoll.

But the Wildcats mounted their comeback on the very next possession, cutting the Falcon lead in half with five minutes left. Sunnyside got the ball back on their own two-yard line with just over three minutes left. The offense methodically moved the ball 98 yards with a combination of run and pass plays, getting into the end zone with 19 seconds left.

Trailing 21-20, Sunnyside opted to go for the win and converted on a game-winning two-point conversion run.

The Falcons’ chance for a miracle comeback ended after they fumbled away the ensuing kickoff at their own 36 yard-line.

The Falcons hope to avenge their week one loss at home this Friday at home at 7 p.m. against Cathedral Catholic High School.