Torreys Win Title While Bishop’s Stomps
By Andrew Smith
Chula Vista (11/28/2014) – After the first couple weeks of the season, there were few outside of the La Jolla Country Day locker room that believed they would be playing for a San Diego C.I.F. championship at year’s end. Laced with 16 sophomore starters across the field – they had to learn on the fly…and fast.
The inexperience showed early on as they had double digit dropped passes, a multitude of missed tackles and made a lot of dumb penalties against the likes of La Jolla and Castle Park in a pair of blowout losses. They rebounded with a 4-game win streak, but were unable to win a league game in the tough Coastal League.
In the long run, even though they took their lumps in league, that experience would turn out to be a blessing in disguise as they finished off their amazing run through the Division V playoffs with a third straight win over a higher seed and took home the title with a 42-0 beat down of Vincent Memorial Friday night at Southwestern College.
“Our seniors played a great game and it means an awful lot to win so we’re really excited,” said senior quarterback BRAXTON BURMEISTER after going 26-of-41 for 421 yards and tossing 3 touchdowns. Most kids dream of winning a Super Bowl and going to Disney World, but he noted the Torreys (7-6) had bigger and better plans…“We’re going to Denny’s!”
Perhaps no one else’s Grand Slam is going to taste better than senior captain DARIEN BROWN. He played bigger than his 5-foot-9, 145 pound frame and pulled off a triple play he’ll remember the rest of his life. He opened the game’s scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run and then caught a 52-yard TD pass from Burmeister to help them get out to a 14-0 lead. He later made the final score of the game when he intercepted a pass and returned it 57 yards.
The game was never really in question once La Jolla Country Day got the lead. BRENNAN GORING had 9 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He also blocked a punt and had 9 tackles on defense. Senior BEN CODEN had 6 receptions for 103 yards and CASEY MARIUCCI caught 5 balls for 58 yards.
“Give our senior leadership a ton of credit,” noted head coach TYLER HALES. “Early on, we hadn’t figured out our identity yet, but they kept everyone loose and in good spirits because we could have thrown in the towel at several different points in the season. It really just shows how much heart these guys have and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
There were no rookie jitters in his first year, after taking over for the legendary Torreys’ skipper JEFF HUTZLER, but it has been a long time coming for a program that claimed it’s first championship with an 11-man roster.
“It just feels like yesterday I was game planning with my offensive co-ordinator CARMY CESAIRE and defensive co-ordinator ROB GRASSO back in Indianapolis at a coaches clinic,” he recalled. “It’s all happened so fast, but it does feel like a monkey has been lifted off our backs.”
DIVISION IV — SEMIFINALS
(1) BISHOP’S 49, (4) Castle Park 14 – Every Knight it sounds like a broken record…senior superstar BULLA GRAFT scores 4 touchdowns, amazes opposing coach in the process and the Bishop’s Knights win by a large margin. In Friday night’s Division IV semifinals game at La Jolla High it was the same old song.
It didn’t take long for the well rested star to put his stamp on the game as he took the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. Then after the Trojans converted on a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line to tie the game, Graft got the rock in the same down and distance, but took it 77 yards for a score and the rout was on.
“We were seriously just trying to get one yard for the first down,” head coach JOEL ALLEN said after. “I called a dive and Bulla was just being Bulla. He never ceases to amaze me.”
Quarterback GRIFFIN SEAMAN then threw his usual four first half touchdown passes. MOZES MOONEY caught two – including a highlight reel screen pass – and JUSTIN WOODLEY took one in from 27 yards out. Graft caught the last one for a 28-yard score and then finished off Castle Park with a 77-yard score to begin the second half. He also intercepted a pass on defense.