Downey sophomore quarterback/safety Joseph Ramirez rushes for a touchdown during a 76-8 win on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, at Don Lanphear Stadium. (Diego Hernandez)

'On top of our game': Unbeaten No. 2 Downey ready to take trip to Turlock

Independent Contributor

On opening night of the Central California Athletic League, large-school No. 2 Downey pummeled Modesto with an outstanding offensive performance, 76-8.

The Knights relied primarily on the “Air Raid” offense. Senior quarterback Conner Stoddard threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another. He connected twice with sophomore Joseph Ramirez, who accounted for five touchdowns and earned the player of the game honors. Ramirez, who also doubles as Downey's backup quarterback, also rushed for three touchdowns in place of Stoddard and finished with more than 300 all-purpose yards.

“I’m still learning … and I just want to listen to my coaches and perfect anything I can,” Ramirez said.

Late in the first quarter, Panthers receiver Jayden Puaauli hauled in a 15-yard receiving touchdown from quarterback Eli McCabe. Along with a successful two-point conversion, Modesto (2-4, 0-1) would keep a five-point deficit until the Knights offense began to fire on all cylinders.

Everyone got into the mix for the Knights, now 6-0.

Senior running back Kimoni Ragland had two rushing touchdowns, while seniors Gabe Hernandez and Gavin Garcia each had one TD reception. Senior cornerback Andres Tamayo picked off two passes, returning one for a pick-six.

“We need to stay on top of our game going into league,” Tamayo said. “If we can defend the deep pass going into (Turlock) next week, we let our front six do their job."

The most anticipated game of the CCAL season awaits the surging Knights (6-0, 1-0). Downey travels to Joe Debely Stadium next Friday to face the Bulldogs, who routed crosstown rival Pitman in the annual Harvest Bowl on Friday.

Diego Hernandez is a freshman at Modesto Junior College. A talented photojournalist, Hernandez is a first-year intern with