Dons romp in final regular season game

Dons football

Dons quarterback Shawn Ramos prepares for contact on a run in the second half. (Presidio Sports Photos)

Two first-half defensive touchdowns and two second-half touchdown throws by Shawn Ramos were more than enough for Santa Barbara High’s football team on Friday night as the Dons finished off their regular season with a 35-7 rout of Buena at Peabody Stadium.

Rudy Corrales

Rudy Corrales (33) celebrates his touchdown reception in the second half

The Channel League decision leaves the Dons with a 5-5 record overall and a third-place finish in the Channel League. While the Dons will petition to receive an at-large playoff berth, Buena ends its season with a 2-8 record.

In the first half, Jason Jimenez took an interception return 73 yards for a touchdown and forced a fumble that James Stevens picked up and ran 39 yards for another touchdown. Santa Barbara was up 21-0 at half.

“We needed this win and we got it,” Jimenez said. “We got it for our hometown, we got it for our family, our friends, everyone.

“We needed this win.”

Dons head coach Jaime Melgoza had his team motivated all week with the chance at a playoff spot.

“I’m crossing my fingers. I’m going to do the praying,” Melgoza said. “It would be great; these kids deserve it.”

While Jimenez made an impact in the first half, Ramos came out in the second half and hurt Buena with his arm and legs.

Ramos completed 5-of-6 passes in the second half for 81 yards and two touchdowns. And on the Dons’ first scoring drive of the second half, Ramos picked up three first downs with his feet, including a 16-yard gain that brought the Dons to Buena’s five yard line.

After a 2-yard run from Cheroke Cunningham and a delay of game penalty, Ramos threw a pass that was intended for Emilio Gonzalez but was it was tipped in the air and Corrales came down with it.

Buena’s Kendrick Mathis played quarterback in the first half and tailback in the final two quarters.

On the Dons’ next possession, Ramos found Efren Sanchez down the right sideline for a 42-yard touchdown.

“He’s finally starting to read it,” Melgoza said of his junior QB. “You know like I said, if he continues doing that, he’s going to be a success next year.”

Ramos did throw an interception in the first half but the Dons came up with three turnovers themselves.

“The defense came out and they were smacking people,” Melgoza said. “They made some unbelievable turnovers and that’s what opens the game up when we get those turnovers.”

The five wins is the most for a Dons team since 2008.

“It’s a big win. We needed this I mean, end of the season but you never know,” said senior Bradford Jellison, who ran in Santa Barbara’s first touchdown from eight yards out.

“We still have a chance for playoffs,” he said. “We find out Sunday and this is the way to go out as a team here. Hopefully we get a chance at Golden Tornadoes.”

Kendrick Mathis recorded Buena’s only touchdown in the third quarter. The Bulldogs managed to recover an onsides kick at the start of the second half and scored on that first possession.

Mathis carried the ball six times on the drive for 43 yards, capped by a 10-yard scoring run to close the gap to 21-7.

It was all Dons from there.

“I wish it didn’t end, but I couldn’t think of a better way for it to end right now,” Jellison said.


Buena 0 0 7 0 – 7
Santa Barbara 7 14 7 7 – 35

7:27 – Jellison 8-yard run (PAT good)
8:11 – Jimenez 73-yard interception return (PAT no good)
7:42 – Stevens 49 yard fumble return (M. Gonzales catch)
7:39 – Mathis 10 yard run (PAT good)
2:16 – Corrales 8 yard reception from Ramos (PAT good)
11:49 – Sanchez 42 yard catch from Ramos (PAT good)