Late San Pasqual touchdown gives Warriors one-point loss
Last updated 4/14/2021 at 9:46pm
A one-point football loss can be a disappointment since one of many actions could have reversed the result. Fallbrook High School's 14-13 loss April 9 at San Pasqual showed Fallbrook head coach Troy Everhart where the Warriors need to fix vulnerabilities.
"There are no moral victories," Everhart said. "We've got to close that game out, figure what we need to do to get better."
The one-point loss was preferable to Fallbrook's 2019 result against San Pasqual. "It was 63 to nothing last year," Everhart said. "I think we closed the gap a little bit."
Fallbrook's problems included a fumble less than 20 yards from the San Pasqual end zone, a 19-play drive which resulted in no points, a blocked extra point attempt, and a holding penalty which took the Warriors out of comfortable field goal range on Fallbrook's final possession of the game. "We had our fair share of mistakes," Everhart said.
Although both of San Pasqual's touchdowns were on plays for large yardage, the Golden Eagles were held to 65 yards rushing. "That's all they do is rush the football," Everhart said. "We held them the whole night except for the last series of the first half and the last series of the second half. Other than that, they did nothing."
San Pasqual received the opening kickoff and gained two first downs on the initial possession. Anthony Thomas then forced a fumble, and John Downey scooped up the ball and returned it to the San Pasqual 8. On the following play, Marcus Washington ran eight yards into the end zone, and Josh Gomez kicked the point after for a 7-0 Fallbrook lead.
"We stopped them again, got the ball back," Everhart said.
That was the beginning of the 19-play drive which did not result in a score. That possession started in the first quarter and concluded in the second period. With less than 40 seconds remaining in the half, a hook and lateral play gave San Pasqual a touchdown, and the conversion kick created a 7-7 tie at halftime.
The scoreless third quarter included the Fallbrook fumble in the red zone. In the fourth quarter, the Warriors' defense held the Golden Eagles deep in their own territory to force a punt, and Fallbrook had possession 46 yards from the San Pasqual end zone. On the eighth play of that drive, Kenneth Spring threw a nine-yard pass to Kaleb Collings for the touchdown with just over three minutes remaining on the clock.
The Golden Eagles penetrated Fallbrook's offensive line to block the kick for the point after. Everhart noted that the Warriors learned the need to block the defenders seeking to block the kick. "You've got to figure out a way to block," Everhart said.
With about 90 seconds left to play, San Pasqual ran a fade route and gained more than 30 yards for the touchdown. The extra point was the final scoring in the game.
The Warriors had one more possession. "Drove the field, just some amazing plays by Kenny Spring," Everhart said.
Spring took the Warriors inside the 10-yard-line, but a holding penalty brought back the line of scrimmage. With third down and about 20 seconds left Fallbrook faced the possibility of a 40-yard field goal, which was possible but not certain for Gomez. "I felt like we had better odds with Kenny," Everhart said.
Spring threw the ball into the end zone, but the pass was intercepted. "Give them credit," Everhart said of San Pasqual. "They had enough guys down there to defend it."
The loss gave Fallbrook a season record of 1-3. "I couldn't be more proud of the kids. I'm disappointed in the results, obviously," Everhart said.
"We're vastly improved," Everhart said. "They're figuring it out that they're good football players and they believe in the system."
Fallbrook started eight sophomores on defense April 9. "We had two starters go down, and the kids rallied," Everhart said.
"We've got to continue to grow our football acumen and understand things," Everhart said. "That's as much as my charge as it is theirs."
The Warriors' season is scheduled to conclude tomorrow at home against Rancho Buena Vista. Senior Night ceremonies will honor 13 twelfth graders prior to the game.
The other players on the varsity roster are expected to return. Fallbrook's freshman team defeated San Pasqual to improve the ninth-graders' record to 3-1.
"We'll be playing a lot of sophomores and juniors next year," Everhart said.