By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona’s Bulldogs battled the defending CIF champions, Poway High School, in a Palomar League contest and lost to the Titans 37-21.
Poway had a decided edge in statistics but the pugnacious Bulldogs stayed in the game until the end.
The Dawgs scored first on a six-yard pass from Hunter McHargue to Brandon Fitzpatrick with 5:15 left in the first quarter. Tyler Vargas converted his first of three PATs and the Dawgs took a 7-0 lead into the second period.
Poway answered with 23 unanswered second quarter points. The Titan’s final score in the first half was a safety on a blocked punt. Ramona kicked off and the Titans had excellent field position. Keyshaun Crichlow was called on to blitz from his linebacker position. The sophomore forced a fumble from the Titan quarterback and T-Bone Williams then picked up a Titan fumble and rambled 63 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the half with Ramona trailing 23-14.
The third period was a defensive battle and the score remained 23-14 going into the final 12 minutes.
McHargue hit Fitzpatrick with a 30-yard TD toss with 9:11 left on the clock and suddenly Ramona was just two points behind the Titans. Poway then went to the air and took the lead with a 47-yard TD pass to take a 30-21 lead with 6:34 left in the game.
Poway’s defense then went on the attack and that pressure resulted in an intercepted pass that led to the Titan’s final score. The Titan defense forced three fumbles and an interception as they won the battle of turnovers.
Ramona’s defense forced three fumbles and recovered two of them. Both Tanner Williamses—Tanner S., aka T-bone, and Tanner—recovered fumbles. T-Bone had another outstanding game. He had eleven unassisted tackles, two assisted tackles, a fumble for a loss, a fumble recovery and a touchdown on the fumble recovery. Javier Dominguez also had a big day on the defensive side of the ball. He had 11 unassisted tackles and five assisted tackles. His brother, Christian, made seven tackles. Garrett Binkley had five tackles and four assists. Travis Kerchner had six tackles and three assists.
Poway’s defense all but shut down the Ramona running game as it held the Bulldogs to 48 yards on 30 running plays. The Dawgs passed for 149 yards as McHargue hit four receivers as he went 9 for 20 with two TD tosses. Fitzpatrick led the Dawgs with four grabs for 68 yards and two scores. Binkley had three catches for 55 yards. Dominguez had one catch for 10 yards and Christian Drews had one reception for 16 yards.
This week the Bulldogs travel to Oceanside for a mandated cross league game against the No. one team in the CIF. The varsity kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The frosh and junior varsity football teams had a good week. The frosh beat Poway 26-12.
“All week we stressed: heart, effort and attitude. We challenged the team to step up and play Bulldog football and they responded with their best performance of the season. It was a total team victory over a premier program and natural rival,” said Coach Mike Schuler.
Schuler had praise for Carl Bunday who had a 70 -yard touchdown run and a key interception. Marco Cobian also drew praise from the coach.
“Marco threw the ball well and had key scrambles for big plays. Noah White and Todd Roberts had key receptions,” said Shuler.
The offensive line and the entire defense played their best games of the season. The frosh are now 4-3 on the year and 1-1 in league action.
Coach Mike Ernst’s junior varsity remained in first place by beating Poway 12-7 despite only running 25 plays on offense. Poway shut down the Bulldog running attack so the versatile Dawgs went to the air attack. Colton Harris shredded the Titan defense with 151 receiving yards and a TD. Ryan Lopez also hit Wyatt Scott with a 6-yard TD pass for the winning touchdown. The defense came through in the clutch. Michael Camps intercepted a Titan pass in the end zone with 40 seconds left in the game to ensure the win. The JVs are now 5-1-1 and 2-0 in the Palomar League.