Poway defeats Ramona with help from special teams

The Bulldog defense lines up as Poway prepares to snap the ball. Sentinel photos/Bill Tamburrino
The Bulldog defense lines up as Poway prepares to snap the ball. Sentinel photos/Bill Tamburrino

By Bill Tamburrino

Ramona High varsity football Coach Damon Baldwin calls special teams “the invisible yards” that became very visible points on the scoreboard as Poway High School’s Titans parlayed a punt return, a blocked punt and a free kick (punted) return into 16 first-half points to beat the Bulldogs 33-7 at the Dawg Pound on Friday.

The Titans also had a punt return for a TD called back due to a penalty.

“We had played solid special teams for five weeks and tonight we gave Poway 16 unanswered points, Baldwin said Friday. “You cannot let that happen and expect to beat the number two ranked team in the section. We had four touchdown opportunities and did not execute when we needed. Defensively we played well enough to win.

“We got down by 16 points and our defense hadn’t given up a point. We still have a chance to get in the playoffs. Division III is not as strong as it usually is. There are Saints and Cathedral and then it is wide open. Three wins will get us in, but we have to find a way to win. Our attitude is good and the kids are playing hard. We will get some of our injured guys back soon, but we will not get Travis (Stevens) Josh (Mahaffey), Angelo (Valdez) and Preston (Johnson) back. That bothers me more than the losses because those young men deserved better their senior year.”

The entire first half was all Poway as the Titans took a 30-0 lead into the locker room. Ramona settled down and outscored Poway in the second half. Ramona picked up most of its 143 total yards in the final 24 minutes.

Kirk Kaliszewski scored on a 3-yard run early in the fourth period and had a 76-yard touchdown nullified by a penalty later in the period. “K-10” finished the night with 78 rushing yards.

Elias Jauregui had two carries for 12 yards and Justin Villagrana had two rushes for 6 yards.

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Ramona’s Alec Ghareeb pursues a Poway ball carrier on special teams.

Hunter McHargue was the victim of three sacks and was hit and hurried the entire night. He was sacked and tackled for losses five times for minus 16 yards rushing. McHargue managed to complete seven of 19 throws for 61 yards. He was intercepted twice. Several of his passes were dropped.

Tight end Christian Drews led the Bulldogs with three receptions for 22 yards. “Christian had three clutch third down catches and a sack on defense,” said Baldwin.

Jason Laws and Javier Dominguez both had two grabs. Laws had 23 yards in receptions and Dominguez had 16 yards in catches.

Ramona’s defense, which played well, came into the game leading the North County in take-aways but failed to get an interception or a fumble recovery.

“Patrick Hastings had his best game as a Bulldog. He played well at defensive tackle,” said Baldwin.

The Dawgs travel to the coast to take on the defending CIF champions, Oceanside High School tomorrow, Oct. 21. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

“We will continue to work hard and prepare for our toughest challenge of the season, Oceanside,” said Baldwin. “There is no quit in this team. The team has great character and the season is a long way from over.”

The undefeated freshman team faces Oceanside Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Dawg Pound.

Javier Dominguez not only played well on defense but he displayed courage on special teams. On one play Dominguez was tackled viciously after calling for a fair catch. When he returned to the sidelines, Coach Bill Clark asked him if taking the shot was worth the 15 yards.

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Members of Ramona’s and Poway’s football teams wore something pink to the footbal game on Friday evening to show support for breast cancer awareness and education. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This sign was in front of the Ramona stands.

“Heck yes!” Dominguez responded.

Daniel VanTol and Tanner “T-Bone” Williams had multiple tackles. Keyanis Crichlow had an outstanding game at cornerback.

Oceanside is a perennial power and big rival from the Avocado League and the Valley League. The Pirates only loss is to nationally ranked Servite of Anaheim.

   
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