La Jolla Country Day had redemption in mind when it faced off against Avalon in an eight-man football game on Sept. 11. Not only had the Lancers handed the Torreys one of their two losses last season, but the Torreys had also suffered a difficult defeat to Faith Baptist in their first game of the 2004 season.
Country Day gave Avalon some payback and got its season back on track by rolling over the Lancers, 48-0, in a game that was shortened by the mercy rule less than four minutes into the second half.
“It’s a great bounce back from last week,” Torreys coach Jeff Hutzler said. “We got beat in the fourth quarter last week. That loss last week might have been the best thing for us. The kids responded very well.”
And they didn’t take long to do it.
The Torreys scored on their third play from scrimmage, setting the tone for a game in which they found the end zone on seven of their nine possessions. They dominated defensively as well, limiting the visiting Lancers to 51 total offensive yards.
Glen Woods led Country Day offensively, carrying 13 times for 136 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on 33, 5 and 44 yards, helping the Torreys to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and a 42-0 advantage at the halftime break.
Woods was a workhorse too, running the ball on the Torreys’ first six plays and nine of the first 10. Most impressive, though, was the 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior’s ability to gain extra yardage after he was first hit by a defender. His second efforts resulted in a handful of first downs, and on a few occasions, he broke tackles for big gains.
“Last week, our quarterback had to throw the ball too much. We decided this week we were going to ride Glen and have Sammy (Morris) do the little things he does well,” Hutzler said. “That was our game plan. We kept Glen off defense so he’d had fresh legs, and he ran the ball hard.
Hutzler said Woods punishes people. “That really has most of its effect in the second half. In the first half, you knock guys back three or four yards, and then in the second half they don’t want any more of that. That’s his forte.”
Added Woods: “I know you have to work hard to get those extra two yards. Those always end up meaning a lot. It also shows my team that I’m working hard and I appreciate what the line is doing for me. I’m going to work just as hard as they are to get those two yards.”
Morris completed four of his six passes for 68 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception. He connected with Alex Maire for scoring passes of 11 and 12 yards, and hooked up with tight end Jon Thompson for a 37-yard touchdown strike.
Running back Wes Pinkston put the finishing touches on Country Day’s win with a 37-yard touchdown run with 8:53 left in the third quarter.
“I think we had some first-game jitters last week and weren’t all on the same page,” Morris said. “We really put ourselves in position to win today. Our offensive line did an absolutely fabulous job. We started two sophomores at the guards, and they played unbelievably.”
Country Day’s defense held Avalon to five first downs and forced the Lancers to punt on six of their eight possessions. They fumbled the ball away on their other two, which both led directly to Torreys scores.
The Lancers lost the first fumble at their own 17 yard line, and Morris hit Thompson in the end zone on the very next play. Avalon’s second fumble came at it own 5 yard line, and Woods raced into the end zone on the next snap.
“We’re learning a new defense,” Hutzler said. “We have been a 4-2 defense in the past and are running various fronts this year. We’re learning and trying to be very disciplined. We graduated two great defensive tackles last year, and at a school this size, you just don’t replace those guys very often.”
The victory over Avalon was a big one for Country Day, which has scheduled a difficult pre-league slate for the first few weeks of the season.
“We were really disappointed after last week,” Morris said. “We thought we played as best we could against a good Faith Baptist team. Avalon beat us last year at their place, so we knew we didn’t want them to come in here and do it again. We used that as our advantage for us today. We really came out today and made a statement for the rest of the league.”