Fifth seeded Torreys of La Jolla Country Day outlasted the top-ranked Southwest Eagles, 21-14, in El Centro Friday night, to close the curtain on this season’s last Imperial Valley varsity high school football representative. The Eagles were playing in the San Diego Southern Section Division IV CIF Semi-Final.
Both teams displayed consistent defensive execution in the first quarter. On the opening drive, Southwest’s stingy secondary turned the Torreys over on four downs. La Jolla Country Day’s size and textbook wrap-up tackling discipline was able to contain the Eagles’ high octane offense for the majority of the opening period.
With 1:05 left in the first quarter on 1st and 10 at their own 20-yard-line, Eagle’s quarterback, Cameron Jungers, hit running back Tyler Saikhon with a pass over the middle for an 80-yard touchdown hook-up to break the ice and score first, leading 7-0.
At the beginning of the second quarter on 4th and 2, Eagle’s defender, Brandon Vizcarra, chopped down Torrey’s quarterback, Braxton Burmeister, at the line of scrimmage to force another turnover on downs at the Southwest 38-yard-line.
On the very next play Eagle’s quarterback, Jungers, found running back, Justin Cordova, on a 62-yard touchdown streak for a 14-0 lead with 9:36 still to go in the second quarter.
La Jolla Country Day utilized a series of rushes on carries by QB Burmeister to gain significant yardage driving all the way to the Eagles 15-yard-line.
With time winding down in the second quarter, Torrey’s running back, Caleb Petry, muscled in a 15-yard touchdown run to finish off the offensive sequence and put La Jolla Country Day on the board 14-7 going into the half.
Southwest gained a big chunk of yardage on their first possession of third quarter when running back Saikhon snatched down a pass and ran 42 yards to the Torrey 33-yard-line.
The pivotal moment of the game came early in the third quarter on 3rd and 10 when Southwest pitched a sweep-right to Saikhon who had one man to beat, after a nifty move to get out in open space, when the ball was stripped and recovered by Torreys’ defender Ryan LaRicca at the La Jolla Country Day 20-yard-line, preventing a potential two score hole.
The Torreys capitalized on the turnover, scoring on a 38-yard touchdown bomb to wide receiver, David Wylie, tying the game at 14-14 with 7:34 left in the third period.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter La Jolla Country Day pieced together an 11 play drive that began on its own 34-yard-line and resulted in a four yard rushing touchdown by Petry for the go ahead lead of score of 21-14.
In an effort to salvage field possession, the Eagles punted the ball away with 6:00 min left in the game. La Jolla Country Day maintained possession the rest of the way and continued to move the chains until the final seconds ticked away.
Southwest concluded its season with the deepest playoff appearances in Eagle’s history, just one game shy of the CIF Division Championship Game.
“I’m proud of each and every one of our guys. We played our hearts and souls out; hopefully we can build on this and try to get that IVL championship next season,” said Southwest Head Coach John Mitosinka.