Coach Baldwin praises Bulldogs' win against Carlsbad

Josh Allen, No. 65, and Anthony Moreno, No. 77, protect Hunter McHargue on a pass play. Moreno was named Lineman of the Week.  Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino
Josh Allen, No. 65, and Anthony Moreno, No. 77, protect Hunter McHargue on a pass play. Moreno was named Lineman of the Week. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino

By Bill Tamburrino

“This win was the best team effort that I have coached at Ramona High School,” an elated Coach Damon Baldwin told the varsity Bulldog football players after they came from behind to beat Carlsbad High School 9-7 on the road on Friday.

“It was a total team victory,” the coach continued. “The offense sustained a long drive to score the winning touchdown. The defense kept Carlsbad out of the end zone on big stands twice. The winning margin was provided by special teams (a field goal). Our scout teams gave us a great look all week. You guys came here and beat a team that has won many CIF championships and has put several players in top Division I programs and in the NFL.”

Carlsbad struck first and scored early in the second period to take a 7-0 lead. The Dawgs then drove to the Carlsbad 18-yard line and sophomore kicker Tyler Vargas kicked a 35-yard field goal with 2:38 left in the first half. The Dawgs trailed 7-3 at intermission. Vargas had a good night all around and was the Special Teams Player of the Game.

The Dawgs drove 67 yards for the go ahead touchdown with 1:50 left in the third quarter when Brandon Gansch went untouched into the end zone on an outside zone run.

Vargas converted the PAT but the point was nullified by a penalty. Carlsbad blocked the second PAT attempt and the Dawgs led 9-7.

The two teams then traded punches like two heavyweights in a boxing match. Both defenses gave grudgingly but did not surrender a score. The turning point of the game was when Carlsbad elected to go for a first down late in the fourth quarter on fourth down inside the Bulldog 15-yard line instead of taking a chip shot field goal attempt. The Bulldog defense held and the Dawgs took over and ran out the clock.

In a physical contest,  the Lancers won the battle of the statistics, but the Dawgs won the war. Carlsbad out-gained Ramona 274-185 but the closer the Lancers got to the end zone the tougher the Bulldogs got.

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Defensive Player of the Game Travis Kerchner back peddles on a pass against Carlsbad. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino

Tanner Triplett, Christian Drews and Tanner Williams all recorded five unassisted tackles each. Daniel VanTol, T-Bone Williams, Javier Dominguez, Garrett Binkley and Travis Kerchner all recorded four unassisted tackles. Kerchner had five assists, a tackle for a loss in the final drive and broke up one pass to earn the Defensive Player of the Game. Daniel Kemp and VanTol both recorded sacks and Binkley hauled down a key interception.

“The defense came up with some very big plays. Javier Dominguez had two game saving Hustle plays that saved touchdowns. Tanner Williams is really developing into a great safety. Our defense has played tremendously the past two games. Our kids are getting comfortable in the defense. You need experience and healthy players to do well and so far we have had both,” said Baldwin.

Five Bulldogs carried the ball against Carlsbad for 106 yards. Brandon Gansch (46), Nathan Cherek (19), Chad Miller-Laduke (31), Hunter McHargue (4) and T-Bone Williams (9) all rushed for positive yardage.

“McHargue played his best game as varsity quarterback in two years,” said Baldwin. McHargue was the Offensive Player of the Game. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 79 yards, and hit six different receivers. Matt Lawler had three grabs. Kevin Hagan and Brandon Fitzpatrick had two catches apiece. Dominguez, Gansch and Binkley had one grab each.

Baldwin praised offensive tackle Anthony Moreno and center Josh Allen. Moreno was the Lineman of the Game.

Garrett Dart played well on special teams and was the Scout Team Player of the Week.

“We are excited about the challenge of playing El Camino,” said Baldwin. “The Wildcats have a great historical program and have won multiple CIF crowns, a state championship, and have sent numerous players to major colleges and the NFL. Since the school opened in 1984, Ramona has never beaten the Wildcats in a varsity football game. We would like to invite the entire town to come to the game this Friday.”

The  junior varsity tees it up, Sept. 21, at 4:30 p.m. Varsity kicks off at 7 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to get a seat on the home side of the Ramona High stadium.

   
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