After allowing a long touchdown drive to begin Friday’s game the Bulldog defensive team stuffed the Rams with aggressive line play. Photo by Lou Martin

Bulldog fans were a little nervous Friday night as they watched the Rancho High School Rams take the opening kickoff, march downfield from their own 20 yard line,  score the initial touchdown of the game. The drive took 15 plays and 7:30 minutes reminiscent of the Del Sol game last week. It was all Bulldogs the rest of the way as they stiffened and manhandled the Rams 50-13.

The Bulldogs took the ensuing kickoff on their 10-yard line and returned it to the 24. Seven plays later Dawg quarterback Cody Jones was standing upright in the end zone. Caesar Zarate’s extra point kick gave the Dawgs a 7-6 lead which they would not relinquish the rest of the way. Jones ripped off runs of, 23, 25, 23 and the final 22 yards for the touchdown. Bulldog Josh Bishop on the kickoff hit the Ram runner in his tracks on the 12 yard line. The Dawg defense stuffed the Rams on three straight plays forcing a Ram punt. Bulldog Kai Mitchell broke through blocking the punt and teammate Brayden Lee fell on it for a touchdown. Zarate’s P.A.T. was good as the first period ended with the Dawgs up 14-6.

Rancho began the second period from the 21 yard line.  Workhorse Fullback Robert Howard ripped off a 19 yard gain to the 40 yard line marker. The Rams drove down to the Bulldogs 32 yard line riding on the back of Howard. The Bulldog defense made a big stop taking over the ball on downs. Jones started the drive going for 13 yards followed by runs of 8, 4, and the final 26 yards from Mitchell for the score. Zarate’s P.A.T. was good upping the Bulldog lead to 21-6. The Bulldog would hold the Rams again on the next possession forcing a Ram punt with 3:38 minutes on the second period clock. Jones and Mitchell alternating carries drove for the touchdown in less than two minutes with Mitchell going the final five yards for the score. Alternate Q.B. Jarron Linge hit receiver Nick Cox for a two point conversion and a 29-6 Bulldog lead. The story of the first half was the running of Jones and Mitchell. Jones had 126 yards in the first half on only eight carries.

The Bulldogs received the second half opening kick-off on the 25 yard line. A two yard loss and a bad snap forced a Bulldog punt deep in their end zone. The Rams got great field position to start their drive, the Bulldog 32 yard line. A motion penalty moved the ball back to the 37 yard line where Bulldog Mitchell had a pick six for an apparent Dawg touchdown. A personal foul negated the T.D. giving the Rams a first down on the Dawgs’ 23 yard line. Mitchell would take it in from 21 yards out to cut the Dawgs’ lead to 29-13.

The Dawgs would respond minutes later with new Q.B. Tony Urias at the helm and Bishop at the running back position. Bishop returned the Kick-off from the 15 yard line to the 36 yard line. Urias gained 18 yards on a keeper and Bishop ran it in from three yards out. Zarate’s kick was good giving the Dawgs the lead at 36-13. Bulldog coach Yori Ludvigson substituted freely the rest of the way. The third Q.B. of the night Jarron Linge drove the Dawgs 70 yards scoring on a keeper from three yards out. The P.A.T. failed on a bad snap. The Bulldogs kick-off soared to the 10 yard line. The Dawgs held and forced a punt which was blocked by lineman Jacob Ruvalcaba making the score 44-13.

The Bulldogs would score early in the fourth period on a Jared Tietjen interception and 36 yard run for the T.D. making the final score 50-13.

The Bulldogs record now stands a 2-2 for the season.

“We had a great week of practice and everything felt good going into the game,” said Coach Ludvigson. “We took the momentum away from them after that first long drive. The Kids didn’t panic and executed better than last week. We saw on game film that they would put six in the box so we ran at them.”

The Dawgs will host Sunrise Mountain next week in a sort of homecoming for former Dawg Coach Chris Sawyers who will lead the Miners into the Dawg Pound. The Miners are 0-4 for the season.