Carlsbad’s Junior Mitey Mite Crusading Lancers had to earn their 14-6 win against the Ramona Pop Warner Attack Dawgs when the Dawgs played host to the Lancers on Saturday.
The Dawgs struck first during an initial half where miscues and staunch defensive efforts defined the action between the sidelines. Ramona’s ever elusive Zaak Della Gala slashed a menacing Lancers defense for a 50-yard touchdown scamper behind an offensive line anchored by Zachary Barnes, Nolan Browning, Kadyn Cole, Angelo Flores, Hunter Mahaffey, Colin Nungesser and Benton Welch.
Despite showing flashes their offensive prowess, untimely penalties and costly mental errors often put the Dawgs at a disadvantage. The defense picked up where it left off and held the Lancers scoreless through the final whistle of the first half.
Defensive standouts Matthew Populin, Josh Johnson, Lucas Carlson, Hayden Carr and Carter Larzalere led the assault that stymied the Carlsbad offensive effort throughout much of the game.
Carlsbad opened the second half on offense. The Lancers exploited a rare Ramona defensive breakdown and scampered for their first score of the game. The two squads continued to battle with unyielding defensive stands, but Carlsbad was able to capitalize once more for a touchdown using its power running attack.
Ramona continued to fight. With only minutes left in the game, the Dawgs drove deep into Lancer territory. Needing a touchdown and a 2-point conversion, the offense chipped away at a stout Carlsbad defense. On what appeared to be a potentially game tying drive, the last of the Dawgs’ misfortunes struck when the Lancers pounced on a Ramona fumble, allowing Carlsbad to run the clock to the final whistle and claim the game.
Again, the young Attack Dawgs demonstrated outstanding resilience regardless of a game full of adversity, said Coach John Pecoraro.
“This group of young men put forth a winning effort and once again showcased their rigid determination, demanding that their opponent earn the victory,” said Pecoraro.