ENCINITAS — Dana Hills High School receiver Billy Mitchell considered himself the unlikeliest of heroes after the Dolphins come-from-behind 26-24 win over Torrey Pines at San Dieguito Friday night.
"I'm surprised they put me in," Mitchell said. "I'm just a sophomore. It feels great. I didn't expect to be in."
But he was. Mitchell caught quarterback Jon Micalizzi's seven-yard lob pass in the end zone with 2:35 left to give Dana Hills (1-1) the win.
Micalizzi, who threw just nine passes, used his mobility to his advantage. On a third-and-goal from the Falcon seven, he dodged a couple of defenders, scrambled toward the right sideline and heaved the ball to Mitchell, who made diving grab.
"Billy just broke open," Micalizzi said. "I lobbed it up there and was just praying the whole time. Billy made a helluva catch. He's a good player and he'll be around a long time."
For a while, it appeared the Dolphins would dispose of Torrey Pines (0-2) quickly and early. Torrey Pines' Brett Walsh and Dana Hills' J.B. Hollis traded first-quarter field goals, then the Falcons fumbled on three straight possessions, and Dana Hills converted all three into scores.
The first turnover resulted in a three-yard touchdown run by Victor Vurpillat with 52 seconds left in the opening quarter. The second fumble led to a 52-yard field goal by Hollis. And on the first play after Tim Walker dropped a snap on an attempted punt, Vurpillat's run from four yards out gave the Dolphins a 20-3 edge.
The Falcons came back to take the lead early in the fourth quarter. Mike Geiserman's nine-yard run late in the third quarter made the score 20-18, and Torrey Pines took the lead with 9:59 left when Steve May scored on a 45-yard reverse. The Falcons missed the extra point, however.
Midway through the second quarter, Dana Hills contracted Torrey Pines' case of butterfingers. Three plays, after the Dolphins recovered the Falcons' fourth fumble, on their own 30, they fumbled on the Dana Hills 40-yard line.
That miscue was promptly turned into a Torrey Pines touchdown. After Mark Thomas was stopped for three-yard loss on a rushing attempt, he was given the ball on the next play. This time, Thomas fired an option pass. He found a wide open Bob Teischer at the 10, and Teischer caught the pass and eased into the end zone. May's pass to Jay Jones gave the Falcons a two-point conversion, making the score 20-11, Dana Hills.
Torrey Pines had another chance to score before the end of the half, thanks to a second Dolphin give-away. Micalizzi lost the ball when hit by defensive lineman Steve Casper, and the Falcons recovered on the Dana Hills 40 with 50 seconds left.
However, that scoring opportunity fizzled when Mike Raith intercepted Jeff Stefan's pass in the end zone 17 seconds later
In other nonleague action:
Sunny Hills 24, Don Lugo 20--The Lancers (1-1) rallied from a 14-0 deficit to defeat Conquistadores (1-1) in Chino District Stadium at Chino. David Wackerman gained 176 yards on 23 carries to lead Sunny Hills. Quarterback Trevor Painton completed 9 of 123 attempts in the first half for 174 yards, as Sunny Hills scored 24 straight points to take a 24-14 halftime lead.
Wackerman scored Sunny Hills' first touchdown on a 15-yard run with 2:49 remaining in the first quarter. The Lancers tied it later in the quarter on a 24-yard touchdown pass-play from Painton to Tim Imperiali. Sunnys Hills then took the lead for good at 17-14 with 1:35 left in the first half on 23-yard field goal by Juan Rasilla.
Following an interception by Lancer linebacker A.J. Vidaurri, the Lancers scored their final touchdown on a 27-yard pass-play from Painton to Kevin Mattias.
Don Lugo rallied behind the play of quarterback Rich Jimenez in the second half. The Conquistadores cut the Sunny Hills' lead to 24-20 with 6:50 remaining on the third quarter on a five-yard run by Tim McCollum.
Don Lugo drove to the Sunny Hills' 20-yard line with two seconds left, but Jimenez' pass was incomplete in the end zone.
Jimenez completed 19 of 37 attempts for 277 yards and 2 first-quarter touchdowns.
Fullerton 32, Norte Vista 12--Fullerton took advantage of Norte Visa turnovers to take a 32-0 lead and went on to an easy win before 1,500 in Fullerton District Stadium.
The Indians (2-0), defending CIF Central Conference champions, converted two interceptions and a fumble into three touchdowns.
The Indians took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter when Darrell Corbin capped a 39-yard, 7-play drive with an 11-yard scoring run.
Fullerton made it 14-0 on its first possession of the second quarter. Mick Mineni recovered a Brave fumble at the Norte Vista 45 and on the next play, Mineni caught a 23-yard pass from quarterback Victor Williams, moving the ball to the Norte Vista 22. Eight plays later, Tom Hughes scored on a one-yard run.