On Oct. 27, on the La Costa Canyon football field, the Torrey Pines Pop Warner Falcons junior varsity football team competed against the Vista Pop Warner Panthers for the Palomar Conference Championship. Head Coach Adrian Monteiro, Coach Rey Vargas, Coach Bill Jolley and Coach Jake Montes motivated the players with encouraging words, well-practiced plays and celebratory chest bumps under the heat of the noon sun.
The mood of the first quarter was solemn and serious as the young men took to the field and stared down their opponents. The culmination of hours of practices, bruises, scrapes, sweat and conditioning was going to be tested on 100 yards of green, gritty turf. The first Falcon offensive play started on the Vista 35-yard line with tense anticipation of the starting snap resulting in an 8-yard carry that gave the Falcons’ winning confidence. While sizing up their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, the Falcons pushed through the Panthers defense to the goal line.
Even with a turn-over on downs and a single breakaway touch down by the Panthers, the Falcons defense prevailed determined to stronghold yards and made amazing improvised receptions. The game went from a somber tone to triumphant fist bumps and shoulder slaps celebrating incredible demonstrations of athleticism, discipline and savviness. The line of tough-blocking crimson and gold did not allow another Panther touchdown.
With the careful watch of the referees ready with their piercing whistles and yellow penalty flags, the offense protected the quarterback for several 20-plus-yard passes making consistent first downs that led to victorious touch down after touch down. It seemed the temporary relief of ice water was not going to quench the momentous heat of this game. Fans cheered and vigorously shook their clanging cowbells in support.
The team demonstrated grit and commitment that led to a 31-8 win for the Falcons. Now, they are gunning for a repeat at the Best of the West Championship on Nov. 17 in Santa Clara.