The first Fallbrook High School football home playoff game since 2003 ended with Granite Hills capturing a 38-7 victory over the Warriors in the Nov. 21 CIF Division III quarterfinal match up.
“Granite Hills is an extremely good football team,” said Fallbrook head coach Kyle Williams. “They executed at a very high level and they beat us in every phase of the game.”
Fallbrook and Granite Hills both entered the CIF playoffs with 7-3 regular-season records, although the Warriors were 4-0 in Valley League play to earn a league championship while the Eagles were third in the Grossmont Valley League final standings with a 2-2 record. The Warriors received the Division III fourth seed and a first-round bye while fifth-seeded Granite Hills had a Nov. 14 home game against 12th-seeded Patrick Henry and won that contest by a 55-28 score.
Seven of those players were on the Valley League first team. The offensive first team included Ramirez, quarterback Landon Benner, center Stephen Branham, and offensive lineman Matthew May. The Fallbrook members of the defensive first team were defensive back Sierra Arteaga, defensive tackle Collin Dowling, and linebacker Alex McCarty.
“When you’re the league champion you usually have pretty good players,” Williams said.
Fallbrook posted a 4-0 record in Valley League competition. The Warriors had a 7-4 overall mark, including a loss to Granite Hills in the CIF Division III quarterfinals. During Fallbrook’s four league games the Warriors outscored their opposition by a cumulative 135-46 margin.
“Those guys did a great job of leading our football team,” Williams said. “Those guys really excelled during the conference, so we’re really proud of them.”
Six Fallbrook players were given second-team distinction. The offensive second team included running backs Enrique Barreto and Bryce Olivo, wide receiver Andy Iniesta, and tight end Isaac Maxwell. Defensive end Nathan Montgomery and defensive back James Nicholas were among the second-team defensive players.
The four Warriors who were given honorable mention recognition were offensive lineman Misha Johnson, defensive backs Matthew Kinzie and Oscar Ruvalcaba, and linebacker Austin Perona.
Ramirez was the coaches’ unanimous choice for the league’s offensive player of the year. “It’s an honor for any player to receive any recognition by the other coaches, but Roberto was recognized as a real playmaker for our team,” Williams said. “If they were going to slow down our offense they were going to have to stop Roberto.”
Williams acknowledged the role of Ramirez’s teammates in the offensive player of the year award. “That’s really a team award,” Williams said. “It takes 11 guys for a team to be successful.”