The Ramona High football team used Homecoming night to take a first big step toward a possible league championship.
The Bulldogs were effective on offense, defense and special teams Friday night while pinning a 28-0 loss on defending three-time league champion Rancho Bernardo in the Palomar League opener for both teams.
Tristan Stacy scored on two long plays and Gabe Stallman led a defensive charge that produced six quarterback sacks and limited the Broncos to 163 net yards of offense, including minus-7 yards rushing.
“We’ve been coming together as a unit,” said Stallman, a senior defensive end who was in on numerous tackles for losses in addition to batting down several passes at the line. “We practiced hard this week on getting after the quarterback.”
Ramona (4-0) won the Palomar League championship in 2013, with Rancho Bernardo claiming the league title in each of the three seasons since. That 2013 season was also the last time the Bulldogs beat the Broncos and the last time RB was shut out (30-0).
Rancho Bernardo failed to avoid its first 0-4 start since 2012.
“We’re still growing up,” said RB coach Tristan McCoy. “We have a lot of juniors this year, and we’re looking for those leadership qualities. We’re going to get better.”
Ramona wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as quarterback Casey Buggeln found Stacy in stride for a 50-yard touchdown pass with just 2:04 elapsed in the first period.
The only other score of the first half came after a Rancho Bernardo punt midway through the second period. The Bulldogs advanced 66 yards on 10 plays, with Sean McDonald racing the final 13 yards around the right side and picking up a key block from Caleb Berman en route to a touchdown with 55 seconds remaining in the half.
A 92-yard TD run by Berman and a 56-yard Stacy punt return for a score padded the Bulldogs’ lead in the fourth quarter.
"Our defense was phenomenal tonight," said Bulldogs coach Damon Baldwin. "It was a great team win."
Hoff is a freelance writer.