Prep Impressions: Week 1

13Sept7FOMBPrepImpressionsI covered the Riverside Ramona-Riverside Poly varsity football game for The Press-Enterprise and HSGametime.com on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, and came away thinking that the Rams had a legitimate shot in this game if only they could quit turning over the football.

Coach Damon Dustin’s team fumbled three times in the first half — twice on its first two drives — and could not climb out of the hole it dug.

There’s no doubting the Rams’ talent this year; With QB Damon Mayes leading a re-invigorated attack and some decent physicality on defense the Rams should’ve been in this game.

Ramona’s defense contained Poly’s runners and allowed very few big plays — usually a recipe for success — but were let down by the Rams offense.

The loss becomes even more problematic because Ramona hasn’t defeated Poly since the schools rejuvenated the rivalry in 2010. In fact, the Rams have beat the Bears in a varsity football game since 1997.

Ramona coach Damon Dustin:
“Damon kept us in the game. He made three great passes but still gotta hold onto the football. We had a big play for a slant — could’ve gone all the way — fumbled and that hurt us, momentum-wise, for sure. I think we probably would’ve scored on the play, or got close, and maybe the momentum would’ve shifted our way. I kinda talked the game down. Our kids get so excited for Poly, it’s almost like they get over-hyped. I tried to really let it lay low this week and still, we get out there and its a rivalry, we just get very excited and kinda play without our minds.”

Poly coach Dennis Brown:
“We’re still trying to learn how to win games, obviously. We gotta learn to execute, to stop giving up the big play on defense, and if we can do that we’ll be better going forward. I think it was a huge game for both teams. They were ready to compete. We were coming off a loss and thinking we should’ve won — we made too many mistakes — we were out to show we’re a better team than we showed last week. We have to be an offense that can run 10 plays and sustain drives, and we didn’t do that in the first game.”

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