The Westview-Ramona showdown had shades of the tale of The Hare and the Tortoise. Westview jumped out to a fast start, but Ramona kept plugging away and eventually earned a come from behind 40-30 victory to keep its hopes of a share of the Valley League title alive.
Ramona bounced back from its first loss of the season to improve its record to 8-1 overall and are 4-1 in the Valley League. The Ramona Bulldogs are 4-0 against the Poway Unified School District’s varsity football teams, including a scrimmage this season.
“The victories over Westview were a community effort,” said Coach Damon Baldwin. “We had a trio of wins as our freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams all beat Westview High School.
“I am very proud of all of our student/athletes, coaches and the community. The Bulldog fans traveled down the hill and were loud and awesome. Our entire program appreciates their support.”
The Westview Wolverines feature a big play jackrabbit type of an offense. They pass 90 percent of the time and they pass well.
Wolverine Quarterback Tommy Helms completed 15 of 28 passes for 301 yards. Three of his passes went for long touchdowns.
Ramona scored first on a Joey Dambrose 15 yard touchdown run. Jesse Cappadocia’s PAT was good and the Dawgs led 7-0. Dambrose finished the night with 119 yards on 19 carries.
Helms hit Steven Sousa with a 63 yard TD pass to tie the score at 7 at the end of the first period. On Westview’s first possession of the second period, Helms hit Tyler Musco with a 65 yard TD pass to give the Wolverines the lead.
Ramona then drove down the field and Ian Hunt hit Matt Laws with a 15 yard TD pass to tie the score at 14.
Westview then appeared to put the game away as they scored two unanswered touchdowns on pass plays of 93 yards and 21 yards to take a 27-14 lead.
The Bulldogs kept on plugging away and Hunt found Mikey Head on the goal line for a 22 yard TD pass with 36 seconds left in the first half. The Dawgs then recovered an onside kick and were threatening to tie the score as the half ended.
“At halftime, our defensive staff made some great adjustments and our players executed the adjustments and we did not give up a touchdown in the second half,” stated Baldwin.
Enter Ryan Morgan. Morgan picked up the majority of his 166 rushing yards and scored all three of his touchdowns in the final 24 minutes.
“Our O-line dominated the Westview defense in the second half, and Morgan and Dambrose did a great job of running the ball,” said Baldwin. “The line opened the holes and Ryan and Joey broke tackles and that added up to a win. Malcolm Mayors also did a great job of blocking from his new position at fullback.”
Ramona won the battle of contrasting styles. Westview lives by the long play and quick score and the Bulldogs feature a balanced attack that controls the ball. Ramona gained 309 yards on the ground with four rushing TDs. Hunt completed 12 of 16 passes for 120 yards and two TD passes. He hit six different receivers with passes: Head (5), Laws (3), Dambrose, Morgan, Conor Bradwell-Johnson and Lyndon Scott.
In the second half, the Bulldog defense did not give up any big plays and the offense had four big drives.
The Dawg defense limited Westview to minus 10 yards rushing. Christian Rodriguez led the Dawgs in tackles with five (one for a loss). Kevin Guglielmetti (4), Tanner Hix (3), Seth Drake (3) and Cody Lambert (2) had multiple tackle games.
Guglielmetti (2) and Lambert (1) recorded sacks. Guglielmetti also tipped a pass that was intercepted by Seth Drake.
Mikey Head kept his streak of having punt returns nullified by penalties alive as he returned another punt to no avail.
This week, the Dawgs battle the number one ranked team in the CIF, the Oceanside Pirates, in the Dawg Pound, for a share of the Valley League crown.
Ocean is rated in the top 10 in the state and is nationally ranked.
This week’s game will be more like David versus Goliath than the Hare versus the Tortoise. In both cases, the underdog won.