Ramona’s Bulldogs opened the Valley League football season with a come-from-behind 38-35 win over Mt Carmel.
Ramona had to rebound from a plethora of first half mistakes and make adjustments on defense and special teams at half time to pull off the victory. The Dawgs are now 5-0 on the season and are 1-0 in the Valley League.
“Mt. Carmel is an outstanding team and they played very hard. We made too many mistakes on special teams and on defense in the first half. The defensive coaches and special teams coaches made great adjustments at halftime and we stormed back to find a way to get the win,” said Coach Damon Baldwin.
The Mount forced a three and out on Ramona’s first possession and took a 7-0 lead with 8:27 left in the first quarter.
Ramona then drove the length of the field and tied the score with a Tyler Jackson two yard run with 4:15 left in the opening period.
Mt. Carmel then scored fourteen points in two minutes and forty-nine seconds on an offensive drive and a punt return to go ahead 21-7.
The bulldogs stormed back with two touchdowns as Tyler Jackson rushed 17 yards for a score and Seth Drake grabbed an Erik Ernst pass. The Dawgs tied the score with only 42 seconds left on the clock in the first half. That 42 second was enough time for the Sundevils to reel off a long kickoff return and score on a 33 yard pass and leave 23 seconds for the Dawgs to try to tie the game. The score was 28-21 at half and the Dawgs had adjustments to make.
The Dawgs scored 10 unanswered points in the third period to take the lead. Bryson Garcia hauled down a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ernst and Colin Murphy drilled a Ramona 30-yard field goal as Ramona took a 31-28 lead going into the final period.
The never-say-die Sundevils scored with 5:06 remaining in the game to re-take the lead 35-31.
Ramona had to score a TD to win the game. Ernst opened the drive with an 18-yard pass to Quincy Watts, and the offensive line then cleared the way for Ramona’s ground game to score the winning TD.
Tyler Jackson scored from two yards out with 1:19 left on the clock, and the Dawgs led 38-35. Everybody in the Dawg Pound wondered if the Dawgs left too much time on the clock.
The Ramona defense forced a turnover and Ernst took a knee twice to preserve the win.
Jackson finished the night with 98 yards on 19 carries. Ryan Morgan rushed for 90 yards on 16 attempts. Logan Peterson had six carries for 13 yards.
Ernst completed eight of 12 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns. He threw no interceptions.
Bryson Garcia had three catches for 38 yards and a TD. Seth Drake had one grab for 18 yards and a TD. Jackson, Trevor Kerchner, Watts and Preston Snyder also had catches in the game