Ramona Pop Warner Smash Dawgs hosted the Rancho Penasquitos Sundevils for a close game. Under the hot morning sun, the Dawgs played a determined game against a formidable opponent.
From Ramona’s perspective, the contest had its share of ups and downs and in the end left all in attendance in awe of the potential these young athletes possess.
The Dawgs opened with their Blue offense with quarterback Isaiah Hernandez at the helm. Andrew Walker, making his debut at running back, combined with Hernandez on a 10-play scoring drive capped by a Hernandez touchdown run that put Ramona ahead early in the game.
While Hernandez and Walker weaved their way to the end zone, the Blue offensive line, led by center Josh Johnson, put forth an effort to pave the way for the dash and crash backs of the Dawgs.
Penasquitos answered quickly with a scoring drive of their own, but Ramona’s Red offense, led by field general Matthew Mendoza and running backs Dallas Dimino and Hernandez, traded blows with the Sundevils behind a punishing offensive line.
Set up by physical running by Dimino, Mendoza finalized Ramona’s second scoring drive with a streaking 30 yard rush to the end zone. The Sundevils managed to reach the end zone twice more, the last coming on the final play of the first half, leaving the Smash Dawgs trailing by eight.
If the first half did not contain enough excitement, the second half definitely did not disappoint. The Dawgs defense, with the flag-hawk Walker, the gamer Isaac Sossong and the bash brothers, Kevin and Kyle Weichert, stiffened. Stymied by the Ramona defense, the Sundevils turned the ball over on downs deep in their own territory. With less than two minutes left, the Dawgs’ Red offense capitalized on a Dimino scramble to the end zone.
Needing a 2-point conversion to tie, Ramona reached into its bag of tricks calling a pass from Hernandez to Dimino in what could be seen as the Dawgs’ version of the wildcat offense. In a brief period of silence in the stadium, Hernandez served a perfect arching pass over the Sundevils defense into the waiting hands of Dimino, tying the game with just over one minute to play.
The eruption of cheers that followed the Dawgs stunning comeback was quickly silenced as the Sundevils marched down the field, winning the contest on the final play of the game.
Despite the outcome, the Smash Dawgs played 50 minutes of football with heart, determination and intensity—characteristics that define true athletes and fine young men. Great job Smash Dawgs!