Let's just say Hastings is a happy man today.
The 2018 Pointer team scored both early and late en route to a 41-27 win against the favored Bulldogs as both teams evened their records at 1-1.
"This was a huge game," Hastings said. "The kids came out and played with passion. I was happy to see them bounce back after that bitter pill at El Camino."
The Bulldog offense is guided by QB Derek Diamond, a baseball pitcher, who recently played in the All-American Classic at Petco Park, making him one of the elite prep players in the country. Diamond threw two costly strikes during the football game, however, that were caught by Pointer defenders and returned for touchdowns.
The first one had to hurt badly, coming on the first play of the game for Ramona. Diamond set up to throw a gem over the middle when Dogs defender Tristan Shafer stepped in front of the intended receiver, swiping the ball and dashing to the score. Before the game was one minute old, the hosts jumped out to a 7-0 lead.
"That was amazing, a pretty good way to get started," Hastings noted.
Then, with the Pointers clinging to a slim 34-27 lead with just over three minutes left in the game and the Bulldogs threatening, Diamond tossed another jewel to the Pointers. Kaden Gill stepped in front of an out-route ball and his "pick six," covering 42 yards untouched, gave Hastings and Pointer fans an opportunity to take a deep breath and savor the moment.
Gill also scored twice from his running back position to lead the Pointer charge.
Another game highlight for a sizable Pete Ross Stadium crowd was a highlight reel catch and run by 6 foot 4 inches tall receiver JL Skinner. After catching a slant route pass and shaking off one defender and brushing off another tackle attempt, Skinner raced 62 yards for a third period score that gave the Pointers a 28-21 lead. The Dogs added one more score before Gill's pick ended scoring.
"It was great to get the win and get the school spirit going before the start of school," Hastings said.
El Camino 17, Pointers 16
A Wildcat field goal with 3.1 seconds left in the game devastated a Pointer team that had outplayed their opponents throughout most of the game.
They took an early lead when Andy Medina's field goal put three points on the board.
The Wildcats broke an 82-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead that stood for some time. In the third quarter, Pointer Zac Makis picked off a Wildcat pass and returned it to just outside the hosts' 20-yard line.
On the next play, QB Trey Cobb lofted a pass into the end zone where Skinner used his height advantage to leap and catch the ball as the Pointers took a 10-7 lead.
Scores by both the Pointers and Wildcats left the Dogs with a slim 16-14 lead after missing one PAT. While trying to run the clock out in the fourth quarter, the Pointers finally had to give up the ball, the Wildcats only having 32 seconds left and about 65 yards to cover.
Unfortunately, they covered most of it before kicking the game-winner.
Next up: at Otay Ranch (1-1) Aug. 31, 7 p.m. The Mustangs have defeated Valley Center and lost by three to San Marcos. Last year, they were 8-4 and undefeated in the Metro-Mesa League. They went to the Div. II semifinals before losing to Ramona.
Admission prices for Pointer home games are set by the City Conference (San Diego Unified School District). Changes this year mean adults (13 and older) and students without an ASB card pay $7. Children 5-12 and seniors 65 and older pay $2. Kids under 5 years of age are free. Playoff game prices are set by CIF.
All three Pointer teams now have 1-1 records. The freshman team defeated El Camino before losing to Ramona while the JV team defeated Ramona after a loss to El Camino.
Hastings doesn't expect his team to enter the top 10 because El Camino, which was a top 10 team the Pointers played evenly, was blown out 56-7 by Cathedral Catholic at home last Friday.