By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High School‘s football team was the underdog against Grossmont High School but the Bulldogs played like anything but underdogs in their beat-down of the No. 6th-ranked team in the San Diego Section.
The Dawgs, who will continue to be underdogs because of the strength of their schedule, sent a message to the pollsters as they handed the Hilltoppers a 52-22 whuppin’ to improve to 3-0 on the season.
The Dawgs entered the Grossmont game ignored by the pollsters in the CIF Top 10. That will change but they still have No. 1 Oceanside, No. 5 Helix and No. 9 Poway on their schedule. The Dawgs have already held their own against No. 8 San Pasqual.
“We had lost two heartbreakers to Grossmont by three and four points the past two years after dominating play for most of the game. This group of players willed themselves to not let that happen. This was four quarters of dominant football. We set five goals that needed to be met to win the game. Play 48 minutes: Complete. Hold Grossmont to 50 plays: Complete. Dominate the time of possession: Complete. Our last drive went 90 yards and took 10 minutes off of the clock. Complete. 400 yards total offense. We had over 500 yards. Complete. Win the important CIF Division I game. Complete, ” said Coach Damon Baldwin.
Grossmont averaged 54 points and 553 total yards per game on offense entering the game. Coach Stephon Pace put together a game plan that shaved 32 points off of that average.
The Dawgs started the game by taking the opening kickoff and marching down the field for a score. Baldwin stayed primarily on the ground with his play selection but mixed in enough passes to keep the Hilltoppers from loading the box with linebackers. Brandon Gansch finished the drive scoring the first of his three touchdowns from three yards out. Gansch ran for the 2-point conversion and the rout was on.
Ramona scored on its next possession when Marco Cobian hit Garrett Binkley with a 15-yard screen pass. Tyler Vargas added the PAT to make it 15-0 RHS after one period of action.
Ramona scored on its first possession of the second quarter on a 30-yard Vargas field goal to make the score 18-0. Nathan Cherek scored twice in the second quarter on runs of nine and a season-high 83 yards. The Dawgs took a 32-14 lead into intermission.
Gansch scored twice in the third period and Grossmont scored to make it 46-22.
Ramona finished the game with a statement drive. Coach Baldwin’s charges drove the length of the field and ate up the clock behind the dominant blocking of Patrick Hastings, Mike Hoover, Trae Rodriguez, William Rieve, Clayton Cooke and Matt Lawler.
“Our O-line was devastating! They took control of the game in the opening drive and finished off the game with a show of power football,” said Baldwin.
Coach Stephon Pace was elated with the play of the defense.