Bulldogs battle Pirates for championship

   Ramona High School will be playing for the Valley League championship against the Oceanside Pirates for the second straight year on Friday.

   The Dawgs enter the game with an 8-1 record. The Pirates are 9-0. The Dawgs hope to pull off the upset of the new millennium. The Pirates want revenge for last year’s tie.

   To get to the championship game, the Ramona Bulldogs got back in the win column with a 35-13 win over Westview High School on Senior Night at the Dawg Pound.

   The Dawgs used a relentless defense and a grinding offense to wear down the Wolverines.

   “Westview is a passing team, so we put pressure on their quarterback from the very beginning,” said Defensive Coordinator Ed Munyer. “We recorded two sacks and forced 13 hurries. We changed coverages in the secondary to confuse the quarterback. Our entire defense contributed to the win.”

   Defensive back Seth Drake led the Dawgs in tackles with seven. Drake also had an interception.  

   Defensive back Nate Lutu and  linebacker Colton Houlihan had six tackles each. Lutu also had an interception.

   Matt Neylan forced six hurries, recorded a sack and had two solo tackles. John Henry Yorba had five tackles from his defensive tackle position.

   Yorba and Marshal Thrasher shared a sack. Defensive end Christian Scherer had five hurries. Scherer (1), Trevor Kerchner (4), Andrew Stemm (4), Dakota Rhodes (3), Thrasher (2), Stephen Foster (2), Tyler Harvey (2), Jarod Widner (2),  Quincy Watts (2), Ben Sparks (2), Sam Hine (1), Spaso Illich (1) and Bryson Garcia (1) all recorded tackles in the game. Lutu and Stemm earned big hit awards for their punishing tackles.

   The Dawgs defense limited Westview to 11 rushing yards on 14 carries a new school record.

   Ramona’s offense relied on its punishing ground game to eat up the clock and stack up the yardage.

   Ryan Morgan carried the ball 26 times for 156 yards. He scored one touchdown on a 30-yard scamper.

   Tyler Jackson made the most of his 15 carries. Jackson gained 64 yards and scored a career high four touchdowns. The Dawgs rushed for 237 yards on the night.

   Erik Ernst completed three of eight passes for 44 yards Bryson Garcia had two grabs for 34 yards. Morgan had one catch for 10 yards.

   “Every player on the roster played and contributed to the win,” said Coach Damon Baldwin. “The seniors registered a big win on their last scheduled home game at the Dawg Pound. I don’t have to say how big the Oceanside game is. We will be playing them for the Valley League championship for the second year in a row.

   “We control our own destiny. There are plans to have a parent bus for the game. We will have as many fans at the game as they will. This community supports its student/athletes.”

   Oceanside is the number one rated team in the CIF and the state in its division. They have won five consecutive CIF crowns. They have six players who have already committed to NCAA Division I schools for scholarships.

   Ramona came from behind to tie the Pirates last season. That tie cost Oceanside a chance to defend their state championship.

   The game will be worth the trip to the coast. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

   The junior varsity will be playing for the Valley League championship at 4:30.

   With a combined record of 17 and 2, Ramona has one of the best football programs in the CIF.   

   
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