Football win puts Ramona second in Palomar League

No. 22 Brandon Gansch runs in for a touchdown. Sentinel photo/Nancy Stegon
No. 22 Brandon Gansch runs in for a touchdown. Sentinel photo/Nancy Stegon

By BILL TAMBURRINO

The Ramona Bulldogs beat Westview 35-14 on Senior Night to take second place in the Palomar League and earn the No. 3 seed in the CIF Division III playoffs.

Ramona will play the winner of the West Hills-Hoover game on Nov. 16 at the Dawg Pound.

Ramona’s defense played its best game of the season and the special teams exhibited excellent play as the Dawgs dominated every aspect of the game. Hunter McHargue was 4-for-12 passing for 23 yards. Christian Drews and Garrett Binkley had one catch apiece. Brandon Fitzpatrick had two grabs.

Ramona was a team on a mission from its first position. Javier Dominguez returned a Westview punt to the Wolverines’ 49-yard line and the Dawgs drove for a touchdown. Brandon Gansch finished the drive with a 19-yard run. Tyler Vargas had the first of five PAT conversions and the Dawgs were off and running (and passing).

Brawnson Walter stopped Westview’s next drive with a sack on third down and the Dawgs got a short field after a poor punt and drove 48 yards for a TD. It was a two-play drive as Nathan Cherek scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 46-yard run. Cherek also scored on runs of 11 and 68 yards, as he rushed for a career high 184 yards on 18 carries.

The ferocious blocking of the offensive line allowed the Bulldog offense to rush for 299 yards. William Rieve, Patrick Hastings, Josh Allen, Daniel VanTol, Anthony Moreno, Trae Rodriguez, Matt Lawler and Drews paved the way for the Bulldog steamroller running game.

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No. 26 Nathan Cherek runs with the ball for a touchdown. Sentinel photo/Nancy Stegon

Ramona’s defense forced Westview to punt six times in the first half and Brandon Kelderman stopped one drive with an interception.

The Dawgs led 14-0 at intermission and 21-0 going into the fourth quarter. The defensive highlight of the third period was provided by Travis Kerchner who had back to back sacks.

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Tyler Vargas, No. 9, kicks a field goal. Sentinel photo/Nancy Stegon

Coach Stefon Pace’s defense recorded a school record of nine sacks. T-Bone Williams had 2.5, Hastings and Kerchner had two sacks apiece, Walter had 1.5 sacks, and VanTol had one. The Dawg D recorded 13 tackles of losses: Hastings and T-Bone had three apiece, Kerchner and Walter had two, Tanner Triplett, VanTol, and Javier Dominguez had one each. Nineteen Bulldogs made tackles. Westview’s quarterback was hurried a dozen times. The Dawgs completely shut down the Wolverine running game by holding them to 17 rushing yards on 29 rushes.

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Javier Dominguez, No. 1, tries to pull away from a Wolverine. Sentinel photo/Nancy Stegon

Ramona scored twice in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs’ final score was set up by a fumble recovery by Daniel Kemp. It was Kemp’s second fumble recovery of the game. Freshman quarterback Marco Cobian then drove the Dawgs 31 yards with Gansch scoring his second touchdown on a 6-yard run. Gansch finished the game with 93 rushing yards.

Ramona played one of the toughest schedules in the CIF and rebounded from a 1-10 season while rebuilding an entire offensive line. The Dawgs go into the playoffs with a 6-4 record overall and a 2-2 record in the Palomar League.

“We could have easily been 8-2. We lost two games that we could have won but we learned from those set backs and now we are ready for the playoffs. This team worked hard and improved and deserved the No. 3 seed in the CIF. I couldn’t be prouder,” said Coach Damon Baldwin.

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Ramona High varsity football players burst through the Go Bulldogs tunnel at the start of Friday night’s game against Westview High. Sentinel photo/Nancy Stegon
   
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