Dragons run, pass over American Canyon
Deely, Morgan, Swanson, Clyde, ‘D’ deliver 42-28 win; JVs edged, frosh win
Sophomore Dan Deely, who had a dynamic evening as a versatile offensive and defensive back, stretches for one of his two touchdowns during the Dragons’ rousing nonleague victory over American Canyon Friday night at Arnold Field.
It’s been a few years since the offense has clicked as it did for Sonoma Valley High School’s varsity football boys during Friday night’s shootout at Arnold Field with newly formed, but quick, fast and unbeaten nonleague neighbor, American Canyon.
After taking a two-point lead on the first play of the game when American Canyon committed a penalty in the end zone which resulted in a safety, sophomore Dan Deely began what would be a dynamic evening for the versatile offensive and defensive back, as well as a major stride forward for the steadily improving Dragons.
Deely took the kick following the safety and returned it 30 yards to the 33-yard line, from where Sonoma reached pay-dirt in seven plays, which sparked an offensive show by both teams that produced 10 total touchdowns.
But, down the stretch, it was defense that made the difference for the Dragons, who dominated American Canyon in the fourth-quarter, forcing and recovering a fumble, intercepting two passes and registering four quarterback sacks in securing an exciting, and exhilarating, 42-28 victory.
“We played well, with a lot of guys contributing, though we still had some lapses one defense, giving up two long touchdown passes. But, overall, I was pleased, and especially with how physical our team played,” said Sonoma head coach Mick O’Meara.
With two points on the board just seconds into the game, the Dragons built a lead they would never relinquish as senior quarterback Sam Morgan connected with Deely on a 31-yard-pass play before scoring on a one-yard keeper.
Following senior place-kicker and wide receiver Chris Swanson booting the first of four extra-points, American Canyon scored its first of four touchdowns.
But Sonoma answered every score against them with a touchdown before pulling away in the fourth quarter for its 14-point win.
Besides running for a score, Morgan completed touchdown passes of 17 and nine yards to Swanson; senior running back Collin Clyde powered and sprinted 28 yards for a touchdown; and Deely, who ended up rushing for an eye-opening 166 yards, tallied touchdown runs of 15 and 23 yards.
Defensively for the Dragons, senior linebacker Eric Clouse was all over the field making tackles and also had an interception; junior defensive end Jonny Amandoli provided constant pressure and rang up more quarterback sacks; junior defensive back Dustin Sloane recovered a fumble and had an interception; and junior Sam Denning recovered a fumble.
Leading Sonoma’s offense were Deely’s 22 carries for 166 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and six pass receptions for 65 yards; Morgan’s 11 completions out of 21 pass attempts for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown; Swanson’s five catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns, and four extra-point kicks; and Clyde’s eight carries for 74 yards rushing and one touchdown.
The Dragons travel to Santa Rosa this Friday evening, Sept. 30, to play Elsie Allen in their final nonleague game, with the junior varsity starting at 5 and the varsity kicking off at 7:30 p.m.
For the second week in a row, Sonoma’s jayvee football team had a win escape its grasp in the game’s final minutes.
The jayvee Dragons held a tense 13-12 lead with under a minute to play in Friday’s nonleague battle at Arnold Field when American Canyon managed to tally a toucdown and escape town with an 18-13 win.
Pacing the Sonoma jayvees were Austin Baily’s 60-yard touchdown run; Cordell Kenniston’s three-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Mitch Hood; Adrian Romano’s extra-point kick; Ed Pomeroy’s 60-yard pass reception; and the defense of Seth August, Mike Milkassin and J.J. Bollman.
Despite the enthusiasm, hard-work and team improvement, it had been two years since the last time Sonoma’s frosh football team, and head coach Andy Gibson and assistant coach Dave Kohnhorst, had won a game.
But that all changed last Thursday when the frosh Dragons played at Petaluma and finally broke through and captured the elusive victory by a 13-0 shutout margin.
Leading Sonoma were Damien Sanchez’s and Graham Herder’s 10- and five-yard touchdown runs, respectively, and the defensive play of Alex Gustafson, Gabe Bernstein and Andre Alcantar.
Dragons of the Week
The Dragons of the Week in Sonoma’s exciting 42-28 nonleague win over American Canyon were David Ake, John Engebreth, Dustin Sloane and Collin Clyde.
Ake, a 5-foot, 7-inch, 215-pound senior offensive lineman dominated the line of scrimmage with his blocking from his right-guard position, where the Dragons ran for three touchdowns.
Engebreth, a 6-3, 255-pound junior defensive lineman, was a force up front in helping Sonoma’s front-seven stop the run.
Sloane, a 5-10, 150-pound junior defensive back, recovered a fumble, had a pass interception and key pass-breakup and made a touchdown-saving tackle.
Clyde, a 5-8, 145-pound senior running back, had eight carries for 74 yards rushing, which included a 28-yard touchdown run.
The Dragons of the Week are sponsored by Eraldi’s Men’s Wear and Shoes, and Broadway Market.