The Ramona Pop Warner Midget Bulldawgs lost to the Vista Panthers 22-44 in what Head Coach Matt Lisowski described as a wild, high-scoring game at Lincoln Middle School on Nov. 1.
While the Bulldawgs’ defense had trouble containing Vista’s pounding running game, the offense found its rhythm in the second quarter. On first and 10 from the Bulldawgs 20-yard line, Quarterback Eli Stein ran a simple quarterback sneak for an 80-yard touchdown, blowing by the speedy Panther linebackers and defensive backs.
On the Bulldawgs’ first possession of the second half, Lisowski put the offensive play calling in the hands of Stein. On a 12-play, 40-yard drive, Stein marched his team down the field with tough running from fullbacks Chad Miller and Anthony Ehresman, and half-back Grason Lanz.
The culmination of the drive came on a fourth and goal from the 1-yard line. Tucking in behind his big boys of center Trae Rodriguez and guards Mark Masters and Joshua Allen, Stein once again scored on a quarterback sneak.
The extra point was added by a kick held by Jacob Grybow and kicked by Victor Jacob.
“While Vista’s boys were a bit bigger and faster than us, the interior line proved time and time again that good, fundamental skills can beat size,” said Line Coach Monty Bell. “Both of my tackles, Nicolas Escoto and Dane Burtyk, opened up some good holes for (running back) Lanz.”
The Bulldawgs’ third score was set up by a fumble recovery by linebacker Brawson Walter. Starting at the Panther’s 20-yard line, Stein, led by his powerful offensive line, scored again on a 20-yard quarterback sneak.
“Eli has a never quit, never give up attitude,” said Lisowski. “No matter what the score, he’s always looking to get the team back into it. I’m proud to coach a player like Eli.”