It was Senior Night at Del Norte as the Nighthawks hosted new Palomar League rival the Ramona Bulldogs. It was the very first time these two teams ever faced each other.
All eyes were on Bulldogs Junior running back Tristan Stacy who is just one kick-return for a touchdown away from braking the CIF San Diego Section record of four in a season. Would be able to bring one back to the house and break the record?
Ramona got off to a quick start, after an impressive 40-yard rush to put the Bulldogs within striking distance, four plays later Tristan Stacy would find the promised land for his first score of the night and giving Ramona the early 7-0 lead. Del Norte was unable to respond and on Ramona’s very next possession the Bulldogs would add to their lead with a Casey Buggeln one-yard touchdown run.
Late in the first quarter the Bulldogs would continue to add to their lead on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Casey Buggelin to Hunter Gurrola giving Ramona the 21-0 lead.
Looking for a spark, the Nighthawks use some trickery on their very next possession. On 4th and 18 on Del Norte’s own 14-yard line… Scott McKirdy pulls out the fake punt giving the Nighthawks a fresh set of downs. A few plays later looking at a 4th and 5 to go, McKirdy gets hit while kicking bringing out the flag and a roughing the kicker penalty. So, another fresh set of downs for Del Norte. Facing 4th and 10 on the Bulldogs 45-yard line, Scott McKirdy goes to his bag of tricks one more time using the fake punt again this time he finds Francisco Sanchez for the 30-yard pass. Three plays later Will Carpenter would rush it in from 5-yards out, putting the Nighthawks on the board. Ramona still leads 21-7.
With time winding down in the second quarter and the Bulldogs driving, Casey Buggeln’s 45-yard pass is tipped by his own receiver and into the hands of Nighthawks Robby Hauck has the amazing diving catch. Though Del Norte wouldn’t be able to get anything started and forced to punt it away.
On the Bulldogs second possession to start the second half Dawson Castro would run the ball in from 7-yards out to extend Ramona’s lead to 28 points. And they weren’t finished just yet. Tristan Stacy would get his number called one more time and run one in from 38-yards out making it a 35-7 game with time running out in the third quarter.
To start the fourth quarter, Eder Landgrave would punch the ball in from 4-yards out the give the Bulldogs a commanding 42-7 lead.
With a running clock, the Nighthawks would march down the field and put seven more points on the board making it 42-14, in one of the Blend Real Estate Final Four games of the final week of the 2016 regular season.
With the win, Ramona solidified a playoff spot in the CIF San Diego Section Division 1 playoffs and despite a loss Del Norte will be playing in the Division 3 playoffs.
While Tristan Stacy did get his hands on the ball for two kick-returns, he wasn’t able to find the end-zone and will have to settle for tying the CIF San Diego Section kick-return record with four.
PREVIEW: One of Friday night’s Blend Real Estate Final Four games features a Palomar League match-up between two teams that will be going head-to-head for the very first time. The Del Norte Nighthawks play host to the Ramona Bulldogs.
As the season comes to an end, many teams are looking for key wins to improve their power ranking that will be the same case with the Bulldogs.
Ramona head coach Damon Baldwin will be looking to start off fast and keep up the pace until the final whistle blows. A win Friday night would give the Bulldogs a decent seed when the playoff brackets are introduced Saturday afternoon.
Del Norte head coach Patrick Coleman may have to re-think strategy when it comes to Friday night’s game, especially when it comes to the kicking game. Will the Nighhawks kick it deep allowing the Bulldogs potent kick-returner in Tristan Stacy to get his hands on the ball or will they sacrifice field position to prevent Stacy from returning one to the house.
He is just one kick-return for a touchdown away from breaking the CIF San Diego Section record for returns for scores in a single season. The current record of four kick-returns for a touchdown was set back in 2004 by Chula Vista’s Harry Williams.
Stacy is having an impressive season, with 15 returns for 623 yards, averaging 41.7 yards per return. He also has one punt return for a touchdown as well.
Will Tristan Stacy be the new kick-return king? Find out Friday night only on the PPR.
You can catch on the highlights from this Palomar League match-up in the Blend Real Estate Final Four, during the 90-minute Prep Pigskin Report, Friday night at 10:30pm.