When attending a Ramona High School Bulldog football game, fans should expect the unexpected and never leave the game early. Just when they think the game is decided, they are probably wrong.
Against Grossmont at home on Aug. 31, the Bulldogs had a 24-7 lead and appeared to be cruising to a victory, but lost 28-24.
This week at Morse High School it looked extremely bleak at halftime as Ramona trailed 12-0, but the Bulldogs then used all three aspects of their game—offense, defense and special teams—to come from behind and beat the Tigers 13-12.
When asked what adjustments the defense made at intermission, Coach Jason Matthews had a brief answer: “None.”
When pressed, he responded, “We were playing well on defense in the first half. Morse scored on a fumble and their second TD was set up by a fumble. We were swarming to the ball and we were containing their running game. We continued to do the same in the second half.”
“Playing well” was an understatement as the Dawg D held a very quick, shifty and fast Morse team to 129 yards total offense.
T-Bone Williams led the defense with nine tackles and a tackle for a loss. For his efforts he was named the Defensive Player of the Game.
Daniel Kemp and Travis Kerchner both registered four tackles apiece in the game and Kerchner had four assists. Kemp had a sack. Tanner Williams recovered his second fumble in two games
Sometimes a single play can turn around a team and change the momentum, and give life and confidence to a team. Senior all purpose football player, Javier Dominguez, made that play against Morse.
Trailing 12-0 in the third quarter, the Ramona defense held Morse and forced a punt. Dominguez, who plays cornerback on defense and running back and wide receiver on offense, stayed on the field and went back to receive the punt. He was fighting cramps at the time so he decided to take on the Tiger punt team too.
“I was starting to cramp up but I knew that if I could make the first guy miss that I could get off a good return. I had a feeling that if I got in the open that I could take it to the house.”
Dominguez made a move on the first Tiger downfield and the defender missed to the left of Dominguez on the 19-yard line. Dominguez then went right and picked up a key block from Austin Bell and then he found a wall of Bulldog blockers and out ran the entire Morse team for an 81-yard touchdown. Dominguez also did well on kickoff returns and made a big tackle on the kickoff team. He was the Special Teams Player of the Game.
From then on the momentum changed and the defense set the tone for the game.
Two turnovers by the Bulldog offense marred an otherwise impressive performance. A Bulldog fumble was returned for a 67-yard Tiger touchdown. The other fumble led to Morse’s second touchdown.