Week 11: La Costa Canyon Mavericks 21, Torrey Pines Falcons 13

Friday’s match-up between the La Costa Canyon Mavericks and the Torrey Pines Falcons pitted two 4-5 teams against one another in their last regular season games of 2019. For having the same overall record, these two teams revealed themselves to be quite differently in Week 11, with the Falcons emerging on the victorious side of the 21-13 score.

Taking the win in what is annually known as the Beach Bowl rivalry game between the two teams, La Costa Canyon improved to 3-3 in Avocado League play, in a tie with the Oceanside Pirates for third place in the league’s field of seven. Torrey Pines, meanwhile, ended its regular season in a tie for last in the league (at 1-5) alongside the San Marcos Knights.

That might not have been the impression, however, of any casual fan who might have left Friday’s game at halftime. By the end if the first two quarters, the Falcons in fact led in the game by a score of 10-0, earned on an score-opening field goal from kicker Gabe Panikowski and a 13-yard touchdown pass from Falcons quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi to Dallin Van Strahl.

The Mavericks’ offense came roaring back in the second half, when they attacked from both the ground and air to overtake the lead. Running back Aiden Lippert’s 5-yard rush on a surprise direct snap from center gave the Mavericks their first touchdown in the third quarter. And the Mavericks overtook the lead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Marshall Euker to receiver Sam Bennett.

In terms of scoring, Panikowski would be the Falcons’ most consistent player. He added another 3 points on a Torrey Pines field goal in the fourth quarter to bring the falcons within one point of the Mavericks and within striking distance of an upset.

But Euker wasn’t done for the Mavericks, and his 8-yard keeper into the endzone late in the quarter all but solidified the win for La Costa Canyon.

The Falcons made for an exciting final few minutes as they succeeded in converting a fourth down on a 28-yard pass from Fowler-Nicolosi to Wyatt Gardner, but the Mavericks defense became suddenly stingy and forced the Falcons into three successive plays for losses.

The Falcons’ final try came on an attempt to convert on fourth down with 25 yards to go. Joining several on his Mavericks defensive line, Chad Nuschy heavily pressured Fowler-Nicolosi in the backfield and nearly earned the game-ending sack. A last-second release from Fowler-Nicolosi resulted in a penalty called for intentional grounding. With less than two minutes to play and the turnover, the Falcons’ upset hopes faded out there.

The release of final rankings from the California Interscholastic Federation early in the week will tell where these teams will land in next week’s playoff match-ups. Stay connected with KUSI to find out who plays who and where in the opening week of playoffs, and catch highlights from each postseason game on KUSI’s Prep Pigskin Report starting Friday at 11 p.m.

Categories: This Week’s Games