Although The Bishop’s School Knights and La Jolla Country Day School Torreys football teams were almost evenly matched when they faced off Friday night, the Knights brought an aggressive, lopsided win home: 51-19. The Knights used a diverse selection of trick plays, running game, long passes, quarterback utilization and two-point conversions to get as much yardage out of each play.
But you wouldn’t know the game would end in the Knight’s favor, based on how it started. On the Torrey’s field, the first quarter was marred with unsuccessful attempts to get first downs, interceptions by and penalties against both teams.
The first glimmer of hope for the Knights came when wide receiver Clay Petry caught a pass a mere feet from the end-zone. But before he could clear the touchdown, Torrey Frankie Carney tackled Petry and knocked the ball from his hands, which was subsequently taken by Torrey Daniel Rosenberg.
With just under four minutes left in the first quarter, the Torreys were able to run in the first touchdown to end the quarter 7-0.
Motivated to make the next quarter theirs, the Knights pushed for multiple touchdowns — boosted by two-point conversion attempts. And rather than throw the ball, quarterback Dominic Haley carried it for several yards several times to push the Knights closer and closer to the end-zone.
The first touchdown of the quarter had with it a successful two-point conversion to put the Knights on the board 8-7.
Bishop’s coach Joel Allen explained that the two-point addition is a fairly new strategy, but one the Knights have used before. “We went for the two-point conversions 90 percent of the time last season,” he said. “It puts additional pressure on the other team.”
When it was their turn for possession, the Torreys made three solid attempts to clear 10 yards, and at the fourth down, opted to punt. But the punt was blocked and Bishop’s snatched the ball right back and was able to take to the end-zone for another touchdown. This time, however, their two-point conversion was unsuccessful, bringing the score to 14-7.
Soon after, an offside kick intended for the Torreys was intercepted and the Knights once again regained possession. Already advantageously close to the end-zone, it didn’t take long for Bishop’s to score another touchdown and successful two-point conversion to end the half 22-7 Bishop’s. “That was a turning point for us. It allowed us to settle down and focus,” Allen said. “We had a lot of opportunities in the first half that we didn’t take, we needed to find our rhythm.”
Keeping that momentum going, the Knights were able to score two more touchdowns in the third quarter: a rushing touchdown with a two-point conversion and the other that came from a 20-yard pass with an extra-point kick. Answering, the Torreys scored one additional touchdown, but missed the extra-point kick to end the third quarter 37-13 Knights.
Similarly, in the fourth quarter, Country Day only completed one touchdown (without the extra-point kick) to Bishop’s two, both with the extra-point kick to end the game, 51-19, Bishop’s.
“This was our first match against a league opponent, and in our goal to win the league championships this year, it was good to start the season 1-0,” Allen said. “Overall, sometimes the guys have a hard time taking themselves out of the game and look at each play and each quarter rather than the whole game or the whole season. They needed to focus, and were able to get it together at the half this time. We’re a good team, we just have to play like it.”
— Knight’s next home game: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 vs Classical Academy of Escondido, at La Jolla High School, 750 Nautilus St.
— Torrey’s next home game: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, also vs Classical Academy, at 9490 Genesee Ave.