A reader submitted that a Torrey Pines team coached by Ed Burke should be considered as having the all-time best defense among San Diego Section championship teams.
Burke’s 2003 Falcons posted a 12-1 record, defeated Fallbrook, 7-3, in the Division I finals, scored 369 points, and allowed their 13 opponents only 69 points, an average of 5.3 points a game.
We researched the points allowed of more than 160 San Diego Section champions in all 11-man divisions since the section was formed in 1960. By our calculation Torrey Pines ranks ninth.
However, we eliminated the 1978 Christian team that allowed only 1.7 points in 10 games; number 6 Coronado, and number 8 Julian. Those teams played on a level much lower than Torrey Pines’.
The revised list, showing only five teams above the Falcons:
1–Herb Meyer’s 1984 El Camino Wildcats, who were 13-0, outscored opponents 401-48, and allowed 3.7 points a game.
2—Walt Harvey’s 1961 Crawford team that was 8-0-2, and outscored opponents 182-40 for a 4.0 defensive average.
3—Vic Player’s Marcus Allen-led 1977 Lincoln Hornets, who were 12-0-1 and had a 373-54 scoring advantage, their opponents averaging 4.2.
4—Gene Alim’s 1983 Sweetwater squad that was 13-0 with a 354-64 scoring edge and a 4.9 defensive average.
5—The 1984 Sweetwater Red Devils, who allowed 5.0 points while posting a 13-0 record with a scoring difference of 448-65.
However, Torrey Pines’ 2003 squad still looks pretty good.
High school offenses have continued to evolve each year as teams have passed more often and offenses have spread the field, putting increased pressure on defenses.
From 1985 through 2012 no other championship team had a defensive scoring average of better than 6.0. Morse was 14-0 in 1992 and gave up 84 points, a 6.0 average.