Beginning the fourth quarter with two consecutive plays, Torrey Pines running back Sully O’Brien brought the ball to the Carlsbad 5-yard line. The Falcons’ offensive drive — seven plays and 54 yards — ended with quarterback Jason Heine carrying the ball through a throng of Lancers those last five yards into the end zone, tying up the game.
“I just read the [defensive] tackle and cut back, and just took another cut back,” Heine said. “I got nailed in the end zone, but it ended up well.”
Heine’s equalizing touchdown lifted the Falcons’ momentum, helping Torrey Pines (6-2) earn a 21-14 victory over Carlsbad (1-7).
Just two minutes after Heine’s touchdown, the Falcons regained possession of the ball once more. In nine relatively short, incremental plays, Torrey Pines was able to move the ball 55 yards down the field, placing themselves one yard away from the end zone. On fourth down with four minutes in the quarter, a risky hand-off to fullback Luke Duerr proved successful as Duerr fell into the Lancers' end zone, rushing straight through the middle of the defensive line for his second touchdown of the night and the win for the Falcons.
“I was right on the -yard line, and coach just came up to me and he was like, ‘Luke, you need to score on this,’” Duerr said. “He was telling the [offensive] line, ‘Just block your hearts out,’ and that’s what they did. It was just an open hole; I found the end zone, got it.”
In the final two minutes during Carlsbad possession, a pass from Lancers quarterback Isaiah Ramos was intercepted by Falcons wide receiver Nick Clapp at the Falcon 47-yard line, preventing any chances for the opposing team to score and completely securing the win for Torrey Pines.
“We started out slow in the first half, but in the end we knew we had to win, and we knew what we had to do,” O’Brien said. “We just played with our hearts and came out with the win. Everyone played well.”
According to Torrey Pines head coach Ron Gladnick, the Falcons were expecting a “tough” game against the Lancers, whose season record “is not indicative of how good they are.”
“I am so proud of our kids, because in critical situations on both offense and defense … we made enough plays — plays that mattered to win the game,” Gladnick said. “We got a very, very tough Mission Hills team next week … but we control our destiny. If we beat them, we’re one step closer to an Avocado League title.”
Torrey Pines faces an undefeated Mission Hills next week in an away game at 7 p.m. Carlsbad will play El Camino at home next Friday, also at 7 p.m.