The Ramona Bulldogs lost to Westview High School 24-7 before a Senior Night crowd on Nov. 11, but it will not be the seniors last home game of the season.
Ramona was given the eighth seed in the Division III CIF playoffs and will host the Lincoln Hornets this Friday at 7 p.m.
Ramona battled Westview evenly until the Wolverines (7-3, 2-2) took a 3-0 lead into the half with a 39-yard field goal with 1:33 in the second quarter.
Westview then early in the third period took a 10-0 lead.
The Bulldogs scored with 3:54 left in the third quarter when Hunter McHargue hit Jason Laws with a 21 yard touchdown pass to make it a 10-7 game. Westview scored two unanswered touchdowns to ensure the victory.
Elias Jauregui had an outstanding game at running back. The senior all purpose player rushed for 148 yards on 21 carries. Jauregui has been a defensive specialist for most of his Bulldog football career, but when Kirk Kaliszewski went down with a season ending injury Jauregui had to step in and take on the majority of the load in the Bulldog running game.
“I was overwhelmed with emotion when I saw Kirk in the wheelchair after his operation,” said Jauregui. “That motivated me to step in and do all that I could to help my teammates.”
Jauregui not only stepped in on offense; he continued to play defensive back and on special teams.
McHargue completed three of 12 passes for 59 yards. He hit Laws twice for 51 yards and Keyanis Crichlow once for eight yards.
Ramona’s defense was on the field most of the night and was worn down by Westview’s balanced attach. Westview ran for 179 yards and passed for 143. Daniel Kemp, Alec Ghareeb, Jauregui, Christian Drews, T-Bone Williams, Javier Dominguez and Daniel VanTol all played well and had multiple tackle games.
“Our o-line played well again,” said Coach Damon Baldwin. “Because of injuries many of our big guys have to play some defense. We have lost 10 starters this season and guys have stepped in or have been pressed into double duty and have taken up the load.”
Baldwin called a team meeting on Saturday at 1 p.m. He had to attend the CIF selection meetings as he is a league representative.
He began the meeting explaining the seeding process in Division III. The top four teams (Cathedral Catholic, Saint Augustine, Olympian and Pt. Loma were all given byes.
He then explained that two teams that opted out of playing Ramona got the number 12 and number 11 seeds. He then explained that Kearny had an 8-2 record and got the five seed.
He waited until the last moment to explain how Ramona got the eighth seed based solely on strength of schedule. The team erupted in an emotional cheer. They want to keep playing. They love playing the games and they love being on the team.
“Throw out that 1-9 record,” said Baldwin. “Every team starts with a clean slate in the playoffs. Last year Lincoln came into the playoffs with a losing record and beat us here and made it to the stadium. It can be done. Let’s do it!”
The team is going to give it their best shot. They have all season.
The Bulldogs have been through so much adversity this season. They may surprise some people in the playoffs.