In the Division 2 CIF Final Steele Canyon, making their first ever appearance in football, showed that they weren’t just happy to be there playing against 12-0 Ramona. Not only did the Cougars prove to be a worthy opponent, they won their first ever football title 33-29 and handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.
Ramona likely felt like everything was going to plan when they drove for an opening touchdown when Silver Pigskin Finalist Tristan Stacy ran one in from 9 yards out for a 7-0 lead. QB Thomas Fishburne answered late in the 1st quarter when he hit Jordan Anderson on a 41-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 7. And the first half continued that way; back-and-forth. RB Sean McDonald scored to give Ramona a 14-7 lead, Fishburne struck back with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Kenneth Watson to tie it 14-14, QB Casey Buggeln threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Stacy for a 21-14 lead, and RB DeOntae McKinney tied once again with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Steele Canyon could only muster a field goal in the 3rd quarter and took a 24-21 lead into the 4th quarter. They added to the lead with a safety with a little over 6:00 remaining then took the free kick and drove to the 1-yard line where Fishburne snuck it in for a 33-21 lead. Ramona kept it close when McDonald scored a touchdown with 1:20 left. However, the Cougars recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock to win their first-ever football title.
PREVIEW The Division II Finals pits the undefeated Ramona Bulldogs (12-0) playing in this game for the first time since 2012 against the Steele Canyon Cougars (9-4) making their first ever appearance in the title game.
The Cougars have already bucked the odds making it to this point as a #7 seed including an upset of #2 seed Bishop’s in the quarterfinals. After winning their final two regular season games Steele Canyon won three consecutive playoff games to earn their first-ever trip to the CIF Finals. As the season has gotten later Steele Canyon found their offense averaging 39 points per game over their last 5 games. Besides upsetting Bishop’s, they edged out Granite Hills in the semi-finals 28-27 so they are battle tested.
The Bulldogs have ripped through the competition all season long. They have outscored their opponents by an average score of 34 to 8 which includes a pair of shutouts. Senior Tristan Stacy, a Silver Pigskin finalist, has accounted for 19 touchdowns and has done it in numerous ways; 5 rushing, 11 receiving, 2 on punt returns, and 1 on a kick-off return. Head Coach Damon Baldwin took his 2012 team to the Finals where they lost to Lincoln, so they will be looking for their first football title since 1973.
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