SAN DIEGO — At least one thing was determined in the Palomar League last weekend. Vista High School is six yards and eight points better than Orange Glen.
Trailing 29-21, sixth-ranked Orange Glen was on No. 3 Vista's six-yard line with less than a minute to play. After the next play, Orange Glen was ready to attempt a game-tying two-point conversion, but an apparent touchdown pass was negated by a motion penalty.
With 31 seconds remaining, the next pass aimed toward the end zone was intercepted. End of drive. End of game.
The race for the Palomar League crown and the two playoff berths continues.
Though Orange Glen (1-1, 5-1) dropped behind the defending league champion, Vista (3-0, 6-0), Fallbrook, ranked No. 7, kept pace with Vista.
Fallbrook (2-0, 6-0) scored an impressive 20-3 win against Poway on Friday.
"That was probably one of our most important wins of the season," said Scott Barrick, Fallbrook quarterback. "They're really good. We had to beat them if we want to make the playoffs."
It may sound strange to discuss the playoffs at this juncture in the season, but that's indicative of the quality of the Palomar League. Poway couldn't agree more with Barrick's assessment. The Titans, who were previously ranked in the Top 10, are 1-2 in league and perhaps out of the race.
And the poised Barrick, a junior who split time last season at wide receiver, has had much to do with Fallbrook's showing.
He completed 18 of 28 passes for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. Barrick leads the county in passing with 1,423 yards in 6 games, a 237.2 average.
Fittingly, the county's second-rated pass offense belongs to Orange Glen and quarterback Brett Salisbury.
Brett, the brother of USC quarterback Sean Salisbury, has thrown for 1,279 yards in six games. He has completed more than 60% of his passes.
Barrick and Salisbury will duel in two weeks at Orange Glen.
"I'm looking forward to playing against (Salisbury)," Barrick said. "But, I'll just be out to win, to get the job done."
The Barrick-Salisbury matchup will have a lot at stake. How much, will ultimately be determined in the season's final week, when Fallbrook plays Vista.
Should Orange Glen beat Fallbrook, Fallbrook could find itself in a must-win situation against Vista. Many expect Vista to be the team in a rematch against defending CIF San Diego Section 3-A champion Sweetwater at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.
But, that's weeks away and all three teams have to keep beating Poway, Torrey Pines, San Dieguito and Mount Carmel--all better than average teams--to stay in contention.
"Yeah," Barrick said. "The coaches are concentrating on getting us up for this week's game."
Fallbrook plays host to Torrey Pines on Friday. The Falcons (1-2, 2-4) are a much better team than their record suggests. Three of their losses were by less than a touchdown. Orange Glen plays at San Dieguito and Vista plays host to Mount Carmel.
Add football: It may not be as impressive as Sweetwater's, but El Camino has a winning streak of its own. The defending 2-A champion Wildcats won their 23rd consecutive Avocado League game Friday, when they beat Carlsbad, 14-0. However, El Camino is just 3-3 overall and San Pasqual is favored to win the league title.
Monte Vista, which had held opponents scoreless for 16 straight quarters, had its streak broken Friday when El Cajon scored a touchdown in the second period. Monte Vista, which has the No. 5 defense in the county, beat El Cajon, 21-6.
Add streaks: The Valhalla girls cross-country team had its streak of 38 consecutive dual/tri-meet victories broken Friday. Valhalla was beaten by El Capitan, 19-40, and Helix, 27-30, in a tri-meet at Santee Lakes. El Capitan's Tammy Kniffing was the top finisher, covering the two-mile course in 11:51.