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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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The top-ranked Vista Panthers’ dreams for an undefeated season ended on Friday Night as the Mission Hills Grizzlies came from behind twice to post a 31-28 upset win at Mission Hills High School.

Gio Garcia’s 32 yard field goal with three minutes to play in the fourth quarter, his first field goal attempt and make of the year, gave Mission Hills the victory. The kick came after a muffed punt by Vista star tailback Shakeel Marshall, who fumbled twice on the game.

Mission Hills Grizzlies (6-2, 3-0 Avocado East) head coach Chris Hauser stated in regards to his team’s success, “This is a tremendous feeling, this season is one of a kind we have not felt like this, this year. We have won five games prior to this, but nothing compares to what we went through tonight.”

“To be down and come back and rally and get to them and find a way to get the lead and hang on to it, it means the world to our school, our football team and to the coach and staff.”

Postgame video and interview with Coach Hauser:

No one would have suspected this victory at the beginning of the game as Mission Hills trailed 14-0 in the first five minutes of opening quarter. A twenty-seven yard touchdown pass to Aaron Salas by Mission Hills quarterback Hunter Moore gave the Grizzlies their first points on the scoreboard. With only two minutes left in the first quarter Hunter Moore tied the game up with a sixty-eight yard touchdown run, making it a 14-14 game.

Hunter Moore definitely had a great game. The senior quarterback completed 11-of-14 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns, and carried the ball for 109 yards and had one touchdown, and two passing touchdowns.

Coach Hauser said in response to Moore’s great game, “He was a special kid tonight. We needed him to do things with his legs and arm tonight and lead this football team and that is what he did.”

“There was no special magic, no special words of wisdom we just believed in our game plan,” said Hauser.

The Grizzlies were again down early in the second half 28-14. This was not for long. Sitting in the Mission Hills stands, fans began to see some magic with a team that began to just believe.

In the key play of the night, Vista’s Shackeel Marshall (19 carries, 182 yards) fumbled all alone while running in for what looked to be a touchdown and a 35-21 lead. Instead, the ball was dropped untouched at the sixteen yard line and recovered by the Grizzlies. This led to Mission Hills’ fourteen-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Moore to Aaron Salas that tied the game 28-28.

“Turnovers lost this game for us, that’s the bottom line,” said Vista head coach Dan Williams.

Tied 28-28 in the fourth quarter, Mission Hills was stopped on offense and forced to punt. Marshall waited for the kick at his twelve yard line but muffed the punt, recovered by Mission Hills gunner Mitchell Cannon. While the “Blackshirts” defense held strong and pushed the Grizzlies back three yards, Gio Garcia delivered the clutch field goal which propelled the upset from 32 yards away.

As for the Mission Hills team, this was the first time in the game where they took the lead 31-28. With three minutes left, Mission Hills defense shut down Vista’s last drive of the game, giving them victory.

Vista falls to 7-1, 2-1 in league with the loss. Mission Hills, meanwhile, controls its own destiny in the Avocado East league and is sure to break into the 619 Sports/NC Times Top 10 poll after this huge win. It was a victory to savor for Hauser, a Panthers alum who left Vista’s coaching staff in 2003 to move to Mission Hills.


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Sport: Football Position: Quarterback Height: 6’3″ Class: 2011 School: Vista High School Vista, CA

The undefeated Vista Panthers are off to an amazing start this season with the help of senior QB, Christian Gallardi. Gallardi had a standout performance in his team’s game against Great Oak. Vista rolled over Great Oak 30-6 with Gallardi throwing for two touchdowns. Gallardi completed 18 of 26 passes for 322 yards.
To view Christian’s complete SportsForce profile click here –

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services –

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