Kaliszewski scores 6 touchdowns in first football win of season
“I have a lot of friends on the offensive line and they had a great game. They opened up some huge holes.” Kirk Kaliszewski
By Bill Tamburrino
Coach Damon Baldwin had praise for several players and his team after the Bulldogs came from behind and held on to beat Otay Ranch High School 49-42 on the road in one of the most exciting games in Bulldog football history.
“Ramona did not beat Ramona…When we do not beat ourselves, we can be pretty good,” said Baldwin. “Otay Ranch is by far the most talented team that we have played and it took all 48 minutes to beat them. Actually it took longer than that because the game clock operator for Otay had trouble starting the clock quite a bit of the time.”
Ramona got a school record from running back Kirk Kaliszewski as the senior scored six touchdowns to lead the Bulldog offense. Kaliszewski had 30 carries for 273 yards. He actually spent less time on the field than usual.
“We took Kirk out of the starting defensive line-up because we knew that we would have to use him a lot on offense,” explained Baldwin.
“I have a lot of friends on the offensive line and they had a great game. They opened up some huge holes,” said Kaliszewski. “It helped getting a rest on defense. I never got tired and I felt fresh the entire game.”
Baldwin had praise for senior Josh Mahaffey.
“Josh is a team player,” said Baldwin. “This week he left his safety and wide receiver positions to help the team at quarterback. He played very well in his first start at quarterback.”
The offensive line played an outstanding game, said Baldwin — “no sacks! And they opened up some huge holes. Paul Mehaffie played very well in his first start. Kwayde Miller played his best game as a ‘Hog’ in the trenches after deciding to attend SDSU (Baldwin’s alma mater). Luke Papps continues to be consistent and the heart and soul of the front. Connor Guasti and Ivan Rodriguez play with tremendous heart as undersized linemen.”
The Bulldog defense continued to lead the county in takeaways, noted Baldwin. “Our ability to create turnovers is huge and that means that our kids are playing very hard. We gave up a lot of yards but Otay has great athletes and they get yards on everyone they play. The turnovers made up for the yardage. As long as we create turnovers, we have a chance to win.”
Defensive coordinator Stefon Pace praise for Javier Dominguez. “He played a great game. He is a shutdown corner who tackles and hits as hard as anyone in the county. He never gives up on a play.”
Dominguez made the defensive play of the game. He chased down an Otay Ranch ball carrier who was headed for the end zone. Dominguez stripped the ball and Alec Ghareeb recovered the fumble for a 14-point turnaround.
Ghareeb had a great night. Dubbed “The Thief,” he also recovered a fumble when Tanner “T-Bone” Williams blocked a Mustang punt and he had an interception for three takeaways on the night. Brawnson Walter and Elias Jauregui also intercepted passes.
Otay Ranch got off to a fast start and took a 14-0 lead. Kaliszewski then got the Bulldogs on the board with his longest run of the night, a 54-yard touchdown. Ramona then tied the game with a 14-yard K-10 run.
Otay then appeared to put the game out of reach to take the momentum and a 28-14 halftime lead. Ramona then scored five straight touchdowns to lead 49-28.
“We were up 42-28 with under three minutes to play and I was trying to run out the clock and be a good sport,” said Baldwin. “I took Kaliszewski out of the game so that he could get a round of applause from the Bulldog fans that made the long trip. Then I looked up and Elias (Jauregui) was running for a 41-yard touchdown with 1:33 left on the clock. But Otay has great athletes and they scored on a 50-yard run. Otay then recovered an on sides kick and drove down and scored again to make it a one score ball game with 26 seconds left. They recovered another on sides kick but I did not think that it went the required 10 yards and told the officials so. Our defense then held and we had one of the most exciting wins in Bulldog history.”
Special teams played a big part in the win. Ramona won by 7 points. Ali Aparicio converted seven PATs.
“We need the whole town at Valley Center,” said Baldwin. “VC is our rival game since El Capitan decided to get out of the Wildcat Game. Valley Center has a great staff and their kids play hard and with class.
“Our frosh are 4-0 and the junior varsity is playing well and is 2-2 despite the fact that 10 sophomores are on the varsity. Our parents keep our kids fed with team meals, snacks and the pre-game food helps keep the kids energized and fired up. Give a big thanks to Leighanne Kerchner and Bernadette and Tony Gawne.”
The Dawgs have played a team from the Grossmont League, the City League and the South Bay. From now on it is all North County Conference teams for the Bulldogs in mandated cross league games and Palomar League action.
- Bulldogs lose football’s season opener after strong start
- Football team drops halftime lead, loses to Morse
- Ramona beats Serra in football season opener
- Bullpup football upsets Valley Center Jaguars
- JV football shares Valley League title
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