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Dons grind out win over Bulldogs

11/27/2013, 11:06pm PST
By Terry Monahan, Special to the U-T

Unusual touchdown by Cathedral Catholic center helps spark victory.

— After a sluggish first half and a weird touchdown on the final play before intermission, Cathedral Catholic High ran its way to Qualcomm Stadium.

The Dons had 170 total yards in the second half, mostly on the ground, and held Ramona to 10 yards en route to a 20-0 victory Wednesday night in the San Diego Section Division I semifinals. Cathedral will play San Pasqual for the championship Monday.

Running back Chris Moliga scored both second-half touchdowns for the No. 3 Dons (10-2) and finished the game with 27 carries for 142 yards.

But it took a run with a fumbled snap to key the second-half run.

Matt Fornaca, the Cathedral center, snapped the ball with one second remaining before halftime and wound up picking up the fumble and scoring a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

After discussion by the officials, Fornaca was credited with his TD.

“I’ve been a lineman my whole life and I’ve never run the ball,” Fornaca said. “I scooped it and went and waited for the refs to sort it out.”

The play, according to Ramona head coach Damon Baldwin, took all the air out of the Bulldogs’ sails.

“We were playing so well right there,” Baldwin said. “They said the QB spiked the ball and that’s why they got one more play.

“In my opinion, that’s a gross error since some of the refs were signaling no touchdown and others were signaling it was.

“It shocked all the air out of us.”

Ramona had two scoring chances, but quarterback Marco Cobian threw an interception at the Cathedral 2 on the game’s opening drive and the Bulldogs (10-2) muffed a punt at the Dons’ 45 in the second quarter.

Cathedral fumbled four times and two were turned into first downs and Fornaca’s touchdown.

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