Prep Impressions: Aug. 19, 2022

RIVERSIDE – The J.W. North-Riverside Ramona varsity football game on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2022, was a reminder, a glimpse, of how great an all-Riverside league could be.

For J.W. North, failing to score on its first drive – a 16-play beast that lasted more than 10 minutes – doomed the team in its season opener. Then the Huskies fell behind 14-0, but the bottom seemed to drop out a little bit when sophomore RB Anthony Zavala fumbled near the 10-yard line on the opening drive. Junior QB Cameron Shannon did lead the team back to within striking distance, but mistakes were made and penalties were accrued.

J.W. North head coach Opalani Vaipulu: “We have a young team in some spots, and inexperienced, but it was great to get a cross-town opponent that’s returning a lot of guys (and) they’re similar to us last year. The return a lot of guys and so it’s good to get this first loss. We have a lot of improving to do and there were a lot of mistakes out there tonight. Shout out to Ramona – they played a great game – but I’m also proud of our guys. We worked extremely hard and we never quit. There were some coaching mistakes on my part and that’s stuff we can clean up. We came out a little flat. We have some guys who haven’t played varsity or played in an atmosphere like this and to come out in the second quarter and get going. We’re still trying to find where we’re at. We have some things to work on a build on, and I think we learned. Some guys got their first varsity reps against a good opponent. I think as the games go on – and we know this – but we’re going to get better and better.”

For Riverside Ramona, they didn’t have to tell senior RB Beau Bruins what to do. The Rams’ leading man returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, breaking through the first group of would-be tacklers before cutting left and outrunning everyone up the near sideline as the home crowd lost their collective mind. Bruins didn’t get much in the run game – just 20 yards in the first half – but the Rams went to the double wing in the fourth and he busted a long one to elevate his final numbers.

Riverside Ramona head coach Ken Mushinskie: “Just the electricity of it being a Riverside school versus a Riverside school. Both teams were evenly matched. We know how good North is and they know we have some talent, so I think it’s just a win-win for Riverside when Riverside schools play each other with a Week 0 game where we’re able to dedicate the field and honor the (RUSD) Board and Mayor Lock-Dawson. It just made it more special. It’s great to come out with a win but both teams were giving each other the ball back. You could tell it was a first game. We don’t know who’s on PAT or punt, things like that, so personnel changes were difficult for both teams. The kids played hard. North is a very talented and fast team, and they play super physical, so for us to come out with a victory is a great thing (and) a great start for Ramona.”

JW North – 0 – 13 – 6 – 6 — 25
Ramona – 14 – 7 – 7 – 7 — 35
First quarter

R – Bruins 90 kickoff return (Villa kick), 11:45
R – Villa pass from Johnson (Villa kick), 1:10
Second quarter
N – Wilson 2 pass from Shannon (kick failed), 9:45
R – Daniels 15 pass from Johnson (Villa kick), 4:51
N – Eastin 17 run (#84 kick), 1:45
Third quarter
R – Bruins 5 run (Villa kick), 5:33
N – Branch 70 pass from Shannon (kick blocked), 5:12
Fourth quarter
R – Ridgley-Young 9 run (kick failed), 9:51
N – Bruins 73 run (Villa kick), 3:26
Team statistics
Total plays
– JW North 74; Ramona 45.
First downs
– JW North 19; Ramona 8.
Penalties – JW North 10-87; Ramona 3-45.
Turnovers – JW North 1; Ramona 2.
Individual statistics
Rushing
– JW North: Eastin 18-106, Shannon 11-81, Ridgley-Young 11-51, Zavala 4-8; Ramona: Bruins 11-120, Daniels 1-(minus-6), Johnson 2-(minus-8).
Passing – JW North: Shannon 12-24-0-229; Ramona: Johnson 11-21-0-235.
Receiving – JW North: Branch 2-86, Allala 4-46, Boucher 1-35, Zavala 1-32, Eastin 2-13, Ridgley-Young 1-5, Wilson 1-2; Ramona: Mendoza 4-102, Villa 3-69, Valenzuela 2-34, Daniels 2-25, Bruins 1-15.
Interceptions – None.

Photo by The Press-Enterprise

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