Bulldogs strike down the Titans

Football: Hemet beat Tahquitz in Ramona Cup game last Friday 26-12

Photo by Corey Evan
Action shot taken during Friday’s Hemet game against Tahquitz.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

The Hemet Bulldogs may not have clenched the bell again this season, but they still had the Ramona Cup to think about on Friday, Oct. 19. That was when the Titans came over to Bulldog Country for a game. Having beaten the West Valley Mustangs three weeks prior, the Titans knew that they only needed to win tonight’s game and they would have their first turn at hoisting the Ramona Cup trophy.
The Bulldogs kicked off this game, as the Titans attempted to show their commitment to being the ones to watch. But Bulldog fans got to watch with delight as Hemet’s Tyler Richardson brought in the first touchdown of the night at 7:36 in quarter one. Dawson Powers powered the extra point. With 5:30 on the clock, Daniel Reyes kicked in a 21-yard field goal to pad Hemet’s lead. On a fourth down, Nick Thornburg would nudge the ball into the end zone at 2:01 for a second Bulldog TD.
Richardson then dragged a 10-yard TD across the end zone at 10:01 in the second quarter, with another successful extra point by Powers. But not content with staying down, the Titans got up and sent the ball with Doug Osoimalo, who ran 61-yards to put Tahquitz on the board. Reyes responded to this Titan threat by kicking in a second field goal at 2:19.
The game was also special for Hemet, because it marked their Homecoming weekend. This year, the Hemet High Homecoming theme was “The Great Gatsby,” celebrating in Roaring 20s fashion. The Homecoming Court was crowned at half-time, princesses escorted by their parents and driven around the track in a fleet of classic cars: This year’s Homecoming Queen would be Keona Escorpiso. The court also includes princesses Mya Marie Dixon, Keilei Garcia, Haleigh Wicks and Ashley Zaragoza and princes Jared Laskowski, Johnny Moua, Hector Reyes, Matito Shivers and Nick Thornburg. Fans would have to wait for the dance to meet their king.
At 8:14 in the third quarter, Antoine Sullivan threw down the gauntlet for the rest of the game with the Titans’ second TD of the night. The Bulldogs responded by not letting it happen again this quarter, despite turnovers in control of the ball. This pushback did result in a minor Titan injury, but this didn’t faze either team. Both teams played their hearts out to the end, with Hemet winning 26-12 and keeping the cup.
For Coach Jason Thornburg and his Bulldogs, this and every other game has been about taking things one game at a time: “I think it’s nice to win homecoming, it’s nice to go against a crosstown school, but really it came down to our defense making great plays and stepping up when they had to.”
Thornburg describes the Titans as a “class act” and acknowledges that members of the Tahquitz coaching staff are part of his extended “coaching family.”
Forged in 2016 and going into its third year, the Ramona Cup is awarded to the Hemet football team (be it Hemet, West Valley or Tahquitz) which beats the others throughout the season. It was first hoisted by the Mustangs in its inaugural season. The Bulldogs clenched it last year.
With it being breast cancer awareness month, members of both teams sported pink socks this evening and their fans could be spotted wearing pink as well. It’s worth noting that breast cancer affects men as well as women. Annual mammograms are key to early detection: Go to cancer.org to learn more.

Elsewhere in football:
• The San Jacinto Tigers came up short against the Citrus Hill Hawks, losing 21-13. The Tigers wrapped up their season Saturday night at Tahquitz.
• The West Valley Mustangs were badly beaten by the Beaumont Cougars 49-0.
• The MSJC Eagles suffered their first setback of the season against the mighty San Bernardino Wolverines, losing 63-35. But with homecoming on Saturday, the Eagles preened their feathers and put on a show against the Antelope Valley Marauders.

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