By Bill Tamburrino
Oceanside’s coach, John Carroll, doesn’t just watch film, he studies it. And in studying film of Ramona High School’s football, Carroll noticed that the Bulldogs would be playing him without five defensive starters and four offensive starters.
Oceanside was at full strength last Friday and Ramona was not. As a result, the Pirates beat the Bulldogs 49-6 on Homecoming night at Oceanside High School.
Carroll has won two state championships, nine CIF championships, and twice finished second in the CIF because of his attention to detail. Oceanside is the No. 1 team in the San Diego Section and is ranked in the top 25 in the state.
“Playing without five starters is tough. We had to do that against Chaparral (of Temecula, in the top 10 in the Southern Section and in the top 25 in the state),” Carroll told RHS football coach Damon Baldwin before their game. Chaparral was Oceanside’s only loss and that may cost the team a trip to the State Bowl game.
Good coaches don’t use injuries as an excuse but they know that injuries have a profound effect on the outcome of games.
The game started badly as Ramona’s Hunter McHargue was intercepted on the Dawgs’ first pass attempt. Things didn’t get better.
The Pirates scored 21 points in the first quarter and their defense was better than their offense. The swarming quick and physical Pirates forced four turnovers and neutralized the Bulldog offense.
Ramona passed for 47 yards and ran for 35 for 82 yards total offense. Oceanside passed for 210 yards and rushed for 176.
Christian Drews had one catch for 41 yards. Garrett Binkley and Brandon Fitzpatrick also had one catch each.
McHargue was 3 for 11 with two interceptions. McHargue scored Ramona’s only touchdown on a 1-yard run. Brandon Gansch led the Bulldogs in rushing with 18 yards. Chad Miller-Laduke ran for 15 yards.
The Ramona-Oceanside game is a mandated cross league game by the North County Conference. It is considered a rivalry game even though Oceanside leads the series 25-1-1. Neither coach wanted to continue the series.
“I think at this point the challenge of our schedule has worn us down a bit and our confidence has been shattered a bit,” said Baldwin.
“We have to keep the big picture in mind and that is the next two home games and Division III. We are still ranked third in Division III and we need to re-group for Torrey Pines and not turn the ball over and stop the run on defense. We should get three or four of our injured starters back for this week’s game and that will help our team in all areas. We are looking forward to the challenge of Torrey Pines.
“Tanner Williams had a great game punting and Garrett Binkley continues to give fantastic effort at everything he does on the field,” said Baldwin.
“Josh Allen continues to provide great leadership at center and is really becoming a physical leader and is a great leader,” continued Baldwin.
Sophomore Christian Dominguez, had Ramona’s only interception. Zach Berg recovered a fumble for the Dawg defense.
This week is Homecoming week. The Dawgs play Torrey Pines and both teams enter the game with 4-4 records. The junior varsity game will begin at 4 p.m. and the varsity will kick off at 7 p.m.