Rain keeps hometown crowd light
By Bill Tamburrino
If it weren’t for bad luck…
The Ramona Bulldogs lost to Rancho Bernardo 38-22 on Homecoming 2011. It was a bad night. The weather was so bad that the Homecoming ceremonies were canceled for the first time that anybody can remember. And then there was
the luck issue.
The sparse but loyal crowd that braved the elements had to have a bad feeling when one of Ramona’s captains and the leading rusher in the Palomar League had to be wheeled to the center of the field for the coin toss in a wheelchair. Kirk Kaliszewski suffered a season-ending leg injury and, despite spending most of the week in the hospital recovering from an operation, the senior running back/linebacker had to be on the sideline supporting his teammates.
The Dawgs served notice in the beginning of the game when they opened the contest with an on-side kick. RB recovered the ball, but the Bulldog defense held.
The Broncos got out to an early 10-point lead in the first period. The Bulldogs answered with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Hunter McHargue to Jason Laws. Ali Aparicio hit the first of his two PAT kicks to close the gap to 10-7.
RB scored to make it a 17-7 game, but the Dawgs answered with a two-play 84-yard drive. On a second and seven from the 19 yard line, McHargue again found Laws open in the Bronco secondary for an 81-yard TD to make it a 17-14 game.
RB then went into its two-minute offense and scored with 27 ticks left on the scoreboard clock to take a 24-14 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The Broncos put the game away with two third quarter touchdowns, but the Bulldogs refused to give up. Justin Villagrana rushed for 68 yards on four carries in a 70-yard TD drive going the final five yards for the score. Elias Jauregui converted a 2-point PAT and the final score was 38-22.
Four Bulldogs were used to replace Kaliszewski. Villagrana had 78 yards on six attempts. Jauregui had 55 yards on 14 carries. Javier Dominguez had one rush for three yards and Chandler Vasquez gained one yard on one carry.
“Losing Kirk was a tough blow to overcome,” said Coach Damon Baldwin. “The kids that stepped in did fine, tried hard and did a good job, but you can’t replace the experience and knowledge that Kirk has in our system in three practices.”
McHargue had six of 12 passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions for 158 yards. Laws had two grabs, and Christian Drews, Nick Fitzpatrick, Keyanis Crichlow and Robbie Farren had one catch apiece.
“There were several positives,” said Baldwin. “Jason Laws had his best game as a Bulldog. Hunter McHargue continues to grow. The o-line played very well. Kwayde Miller turned in another top-notch effort and is showing why he is a Division I (FBS) prospect.”
Defensively, the Bulldogs showed more at the game than ever before, continued Baldwin.
“We have a lot of sophomores playing and I am proud of them for being thrown into the fire and working hard,” he said.
Daniel Kemp led the Bulldogs with 10 tackles. Sophomores T-Bone Williams and Daniel VanTol both racked up nine tackles each. Jauregui had eight tackles, and Drews and Dominquez both recorded six tackles. Drews recorded two sacks and Sam Noel had one sack.
“The rain and weather ruined our home crowd,” said Baldwin. “I hope that we can make up for it on Senior Night. To lose that much gate money concerns me.”
Baldwin is the school’s athletic director.
“Our athletic department is in dire need and the poor gate hurt the entire athletic department,” he said. “I take my hat off to those that showed up with umbrellas and jackets and braved the weather. The Bulldog Family loves you!”
Senior Night is Friday, Nov. 11.
Despite its 1-8 record Ramona is the ninth ranked team in Division III. A win over Westview on Friday would go a long way to secure a playoff berth.
Friday is Veterans Day. The entire Bulldog athletic program needs a big crowd.
“Come and support our seniors playing their last home game,” said Baldwin.