Prep Impressions: Week 11

Rubidoux defeated Riverside Ramona twice in 2015. / Photo by MILKA SOKO for The Press-Enterprise.

Rubidoux defeated Riverside Ramona twice in 2015. / Photo by MILKA SOKO for The Press-Enterprise.

I covered the Rubidoux-Riverside Ramona CIF-Southern Section Eastern Division First Round game on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, for The Press-Enterprise, & @PEcom_preps, and came away thinking this budding rivalry is still more than a little one-sided.

Rubidoux now has more wins vs. Ramona (five) than any opponent since 2004, and have won the last three in the series by a 76-to-34 point differential.

So yeah, not much of a rivalry at this point, but at the frequency with which they’ve played (three games in two seasons) there is already a sense of odd familiarity between the two.

They know each other well, like Ramona knows that Rubidoux’s most extreme offensive play the Falcons run is an I-form pitch. The Falcons might have run a sweep, once, and they beat you up while doing it.

At their best, Rubidoux’s lineman control the pace of play. In the first half it was more ground-and-pound as the Falcons took a 14-0 lead into break, then all but put the game away with a punishing 8-minute drive to start the third quarter.

Ramona played without senior RB/DB Paul Garcia for the first time this season. In fact, Garcia hasn’t missed much time in four varsity seasons but head coach Vinny Fazio reported “(Garcia) didn’t make grades,” and was ruled ineligible for the game.

Garcia’s absence is Reason No 1 to underwrite what the Rams accomplished in 2015, and makes for a down footnote to Fazio’s second season.

Rubidoux head coach Patrick Thompson:

“It was good, it was good. There are so many things we didn’t execute and can improve upon. It was solid. It was a gritty performance from our offensive and defensive lines. I told my boys, ‘It’s hard to beat a good team twice,’ and we were very conscious of that. We didn’t want to come in over-confident at all. Ramona is a solid football team. Our offensive is really starting to click. I got a lot of my running backs back from eligibility, so there’s a lot of things. Those guys had a lot of rust in the first half, and we have to knock the rust off. Brandon Carroll and his brother, Roosevelt, are studs. It’s all coming together nicely. Brandon Carroll’s my inside dude. He gets after it and the tough ones (yards). Roosevelt is Roosevelt. He’s a superstar. He’s electric, he’s lightning-fast, he’s good. He’s a good football player.”

Riverside Ramona head coach Vinny Fazio:
“We’ve played those guys three times in 15 months and they beat us three times. They’re just a little better than we are. The truth is they’re just a little bit better of a football team than we are, and anybody we got in the first round was going to be hard. All those team were good. We just didn’t have enough, and we didn’t have Paul (Garcia). Not having Paul affected us. This was the first week we didn’t have him so not having him affected us, but it’s not reason to make excuses. It’s hard to get ready for (Rubidoux’s) offense on the short week, which again is an excuse, but the truth is it’s a challenge. Take nothing away from Rubidoux. They’re just a little better than us right now. They’re very physical. They’re so physical in the front seven, on defense, that you have to be able to make plays in the pass game, and we had some open guys, we just didn’t make the throws and catches. To beat them you got to look at the teams that have beat them (and) it’s been teams that have been able to throw it over their head a little bit. We just weren’t able to make those plays. Proud of our kids. Our kids had a great year. What an amazing run for this senior class to win eight games and get a home playoff game. Nothing bad to say about these kids. We battled and we tried all the way down to the very end. We went down and scored on our last possession of the season. Really proud of kids but the reality is the reality. We’ve seen that that now three times in the lst 15 months. I thought we were in the game, and they did some things and they’re good. They have a lot of guys. They have a lot of good players. We watched the film (of Week 0). You can watch them and you know they’re very physical n the front seven. They bomb those safeties into the game, and if you’re going to win you’re going to have to throw the ball over their head, or you have to make the safety miss, and we haven’t been able to make him miss. We’ve had open receivers in both games and haven’t been able to make the plays. To go to the second round of the playoffs you have to be able to make those plays, and we weren’t able to make them. Their physicality in the running game, and they have 3-or-4 running backs they kind of rotate through and it makes it tough. It’s a challenge. I thought our defense did a much better job in the second half. I thought we figured out what’s going on a little bit in the second half, made a couple of adjustments. We put (our defense) in a bad position with the interception at the end. I thought defensively, in the second half we played a lot better. You adjust and they adjust. they’ve been doing it a long time but in the end offenses are offenses. They’re just football plays. they rns plays and we run plays and the kids that make more plays win the game. Their kids made more bocks, and more catches and more runs and plays, and more tackles and we didn’t make as many and that’s just life. Somebody has to go our in the first round. Half the teams go out in the first round, and it happened that tonight wasn’t out night. We didn’t have enough and I could sit here and make 50 excuses as to why but that would be a disservice to Rubidoux. They did a really good job. They’re a really good team. I wish them luck going forward.”

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