All content courtesy our friends at 619Sports.net

A powerhouse battle of two top teams delivered a game worthy of being played at Qualcomm Stadium. But only one could actually earn the prize of a trip to Mission valley, and it was the Vista Panthers (11-1) who will move one step closer to becoming champions.

Brandon Ivy kicked a 23-yard field goal with three minutes left in the fourth quarter to give Vista the victory over Torrey Pines 20-17 in the CIF San Diego Section Division I semifinals at Falcons Stadium.

“The Falcon defense came out and fought every single play. But we wanted it more. We fought hard, we executed and we put 110% in every play,” said Vista’s senior tailback Shakeel Marshall, who had 107 rushing yards on 26 carries in the game.

Postgame video interviews:

Vista went into this game knowing that they were going to get a lot of Wilson and that he would be carrying the load for the Torrey Pines (10-2) team. With the adjustments made at half time, the Panthers defense was able to shut down Wilson’s running game in the second half.

Torrey Pines running back John Wilson had two touchdowns (41 and 12 yards receiving) and carried the ball 16 times for 126 yards (110 first half.)

“John Wilson is a heck of a player and a runner. Our goal was to get Wilson out of the game and we did not do a good job at that in the first half. I thought we made some good adjustments in the second half to shut him down,” said Vista head coach Dan Williams.

Vista scored after Marshall blocked a punt, setting up a 25-yard pass from quarterback Christian Gallardi to Myron Seabrook, giving the Panthers an early lead 7-0 in the first quarter.

Brandon Ivy came in for a 21-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half to tie the game 10-10. Instead, Torrey Pines drew a penalty for roughing the kicker. This penalty put the ball on Torrey Pines 2-yard line allowing for an easy 2-yard touchdown run by Joey McFadden on the following play for a 14-10 halftime lead.

The loss of Torrey Pines’ starting quarterback John Cabot to a shoulder injury at the beginning of the second half was a huge upset for the Falcons.

The Falcons’ backup quarterback Andrew Perkins tied the game in the fourth quarter 17-17 with a well-executed hook and lateral play to Mitchell Yocum who tossed the ball to John Wilson who went 41 yards for the touchdown.

Vista senior Stefan McClure had a huge impact on the Vista game in the fourth quarter. McClure had a 44-yard punt return that set up a 40 yard field goal by Brandon Ivy. His 36-yard reception helped position Vista for their only other score of the second half, the game-winning 23-yard field goal by Ivy.

Coach Williams said about player Stefan McClure, “Stef is the best player in the county in my opinion. He can play on both sides of the ball. He is explosive. He is our go to guy. I am happy he is on our team.”

“It was a tough game out there tonight. We had some ups and downs, some three and outs, but our defense really stood up tonight. It was a huge game and a huge win,” said Stefan McClure in regards to Vista’s victory.

Vista will meet fourth-seeded Mira Mesa in the Division Championship game Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium.

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