San Marcos wins wild shootout

In the most exciting game of the year the San Marcos Knights visited the Torrey Pines Falcons. The Knights had outscored their five previous opponents 169-117 while the Falcons defense allowed just 3 points in the previous three games. Ball control of the San Marcos offense contrasted to Torrey Pines’ big plays, and the lead changed repeatedly.

Sully O’Brien took the first snap of the game 80 yards to put the Falcons ahead 7-0. After breaking one tackle at the line of scrimmage and then juking a safety, nobody had the speed to catch him. San Marcos came back with an 80-yard drive, including a fourth down conversion to tie the game at 7. Andre Mieiers ran the ensuing kickoff back 91 yards, and Gabe Gmyr ran for the touchdown to put Torrey Pines back on top.

In Q2, Torrey Pines lost a fumble on a backwards pass and the Knights quickly capitalized to tie at 14. O’Brien made a 45-yard run but San Marcos’ defense held and took over on downs. They attempted a 47-yard field goal after their drive stalled, but it was no good. Late in the half Luke Duerr scampered for 43 yards but time ran out and the half ended tied.

San Marcos took the second half kickoff 68 yards, were stalled by Kevin Misak, and kicked a 27-yard field goal to go ahead 17-14. On the Falcons’ first snap, Duerr ran 80 yards for a 21-17 lead. Carsen Gentes intercepted to start Torrey Pines near midfield but they went three and out, as did San Marcos.

Q4 opened putting football wins and losses into perspective. Running back Quadir Talley made a nice gain but he and the ball went down separately as he was scissored between two tacklers, and did not get back up. Trainers tended him unmoving as play was suspended for 40 long minutes, with fans not knowing his injury. The loudest cheers of the night came not for the big plays, but when as Quadir was loaded into the ambulance he raised his hand and waved to the crowd. Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with the Talley family for his full recovery, so much more important than a win.

When play resumed, San Marcos drove for a touchdown to go up 24-21. O’Brien again streaked downfield, but the Knights did have one player who could match his speed, and caught him by a shoestring on the Knight 21. Torrey Pines had to settle for a field goal to tie 24-24. Falcon kicker Joey Matsen hit every field goal and extra point all night.

With 1:37 remaining, San Marcos tried desperately to score. Misak sacked the quarterback, then Gmyr diagnosed a flea flicker and with 7 seconds left on the 11 San Marcos tried a field goal. It was blocked by Mieiers and the game went into overtime.

Torrey Pines scored on a pass from Miles Hastings to Michael Gadinis. Then San Marcos scored to enter double overtime tied 31-31. San Marcos scored, then Torrey Pines took over. On fourth and two at the 17 the Falcons tried to draw the Knights offsides to no avail. A pass was just off the fingertips of Gadinas and the game ended with a San Marcos win, 38-31.