Bulldogs’ Homecoming game results in league victory over Torrey Pines
By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High School’s Homecoming game was a 38-24 victory over Torrey Pines, resulting in the Bulldogs’ first 2012 Palomar League win.
Coach Damon Baldwin might have been the happiest person this side of the Homecoming king and queen.
“Another huge win over a dominant San Diego County Football program!” he said.
“I do not have the words to express how proud our coaching staff is of our kids. Torrey Pines is always one of the top of the Division I schools and our kids took it to them. The Bulldogs were physical, played fast and confident and closed out the game when Torrey Pines tried to make a late run,” said Baldwin.
It was the first time since the El Camino game that the Bulldogs were 100 percent healthy with six starters back, some going two ways, and that got the morale of the team high. The Homecoming crowd didn’t hurt either.
The Bulldogs dominated in all phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams.
The Bulldog defense set the tempo and let the Falcons know it was going to be a physical game when they kicked off and forced the Falcons to a three and out first series. Ramona took the punt and drove 49 yards. The drive ended when Hunter McHargue hit Christian Drews with a 15-yard touchdown pass. Tyler Vargas made the first of his five PAT conversions and the Dawgs had a lead that they would not relinquish.
The defense then forced a punt and McHargue hit Javier Vasquez with a 61-yard touchdown pass, the longest of the season, and with the help of Vargas the Dawgs led 14-0.
Both teams scored 10 points in the second quarter. Torrey Pines scored 10 unanswered points. Then enter the special teams of the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs were forced to punt but the Falcons muffed the punt and Bulldogs regained possession on the Falcon 36-yard line.
The Dawgs drove and with 1:20 left on the clock Brandon Gansch followed the blocking of Anthony Moreno, Daniel VanTol, Josh Allen, Patrick Hastings and William Rieve for a four-yard touchdown run.
Ramona wasn’t finished. The defense got the ball back with 15 seconds left in the half and the Dawg offense moved the ball into field goal range for Vargas. The sophomore kicking specialist drilled a 33-yard field goal and the Dawgs led 24-10 at half.
Ramona’s offense completely dominated the Torrey Pines defense in the third quarter and had possession of the ball for the first 10 minutes of the half. However, a Torrey Pines interception with a 67-yard return for a touchdown made the score 24-17 going into the final stanza.
The Dawgs opened the final quarter by finishing an 82-yard drive with Chad Miller-Laduke finishing the drive with a touchdown run to give the Dawgs a 31-17 lead. The key play on the drive was a Matt Lawler reception inside the 5-yard line.
Torrey Pines made the game interesting by driving 80 yards for a touchdown to make it a 31-24 game with 3:35 left in the game.
A Falcon onsides kick failed and the Bulldogs recovered the ball on their own 38-yard line. Nathan Cherek then showed his track speed and took the first play for a 62-yard touchdown run again with the help of the dominating offensive line.
With the score 31-24, Ramona’s defense recovered a fumble. Tanner Triplett got credit for the forced fumble and the recovery. That ensured the victory.
On the night, the Dawg offense rushed for 243 yards. Cherek led all rushers with 151 yards. Gansch ran for 70. McHargue completed eight passes for 138 yards, hitting Dominguez, Garrett Binkley, Drews, Gansch, Lawler and Brandon Fitzpatrick as he spread the ball around.
The defense played its best game of the season against a quality opponent. Daniel Kemp was in on 13 tackles. Nine were solo. T-Bone Williams was in on nine tackles and Travis Kerchner was in on eight. Zach Berg, Patrick Hastings, Brawnson Walter, Triplett, Ben Barnat, Grady Vasquez, the Dominquez brothers (Javier and Christian), Brinkley, Tanner Williams and Brandon Kelderman all made tackles for the swarming Bulldog D.
Coach Mike Ernst’s junior varsity clinched the Palomar League junior varsity championship using the varsity’s formula of taking advantage of special teams, defense and offense.
After falling behind 14-0 and trailing 20-14, the JV Dawgs rallied to win. On offense, QB Ryan Lopez went 11-for-12 for 180 yards with one TD pass a 75-yard bomb to Colton Harris. Michael Camp rushed for two touchdowns. Brian Fonseca converted on all three PAT attempts for the difference in the game.
Coach Ernst got some help from his staff. Coach Carl Sapper told Ernst that the punt block was there and it was. Troy Jordan and Justin Martinez blocked the punt and David Southerland recovered the loose ball. That play shifted the momentum according to Ernst.
On defense, Wyatt Kent recovered a fumble on the 3-yard line to stop the last Falcon drive that would have won the game.
Friday night is Senior Night at Ramona High and the Dawgs will play Westview for second place in the Palomar League. The Bulldogs beat Westview in a Palomar League game in 2010. The league champion junior varsity will kick off at 4 p.m. and the varsity at 7 p.m.
- Bulldogs set sights on homecoming win
- Attack Dawgs face tough battle in game against Torrey Pines
- Cagers lose to Poway, Torrey Pines on the road
- Bulldogs lose homecoming game to Broncos
- Bulldogs lose battle against defending CIF football champions
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