Dragons deliver for Mick and Mike
Deely leads Sonoma past Petaluma 17-14 in coaches 29-year finale; NCS 14th-seed at Newman Friday
Sonoma’s swarming defenders (from left) Skyler Marciel (on ground, No. 34), Sean Forney (in air, No. 82), Vince Bruton (No. 77) and Matthew Robinson (No. 74) during the Dragons’ regular-season-ending victory over longtime SCL rival Petaluma Friday night at Arnold Field.
On a night marking their final regular-season and home game after 29 years of directing the Sonoma Valley High School varsity football boys, head coach Mick O’Meara and defensive coordinator Mike Mulas were honored by the school and the city of Sonoma in a emotional pregame ceremony Friday night at Arnold Field.
Sonoma also honored, prior to O’Meara and Mulas, its football and cheerelading seniors and their parents.
Then a football showdown between two of the longest-tenured Sonoma County League and Redwood Empire schools took place.
With second-place in the SCL on the line, the Dragons, led by junior quarterback Dan Deely, battled longtime rival Petaluma for four gritty quarters before delivering a hard-fought 17-14 victory, and their fifth straight win, for their departing coaches.
But O’Meara and Mulas’ coaching careers at Sonoma aren’t over, because the Dragons (7-3 record) were seeded 14th by the North Coast Section and will travel to Santa Rosa this Friday, Nov. 9, for a 7 p.m. NCS Division-3 opening-round game against third-seeded perennial power Cardinal Newman.
Tickets for Friday’s NCS game can be purchased at the SVHS student activities window during school hours.
After Petaluma’s ball-control, running game took most of the first-quarter to take a 6-0 lead, and then continued to eat up the clock into the second-quarter for a 14-0 advantage before the Dragons, on only their sixth play of the game following a punt and lost fumble, dented the scoreboard.
With Deely taking over, he broke off a 17-yard touchdown run, then snuck into the end zone for a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 14-8.
Then, with 51 seconds remaining in the first half and the defense having finally slowed down the running Trojans, Deely punched in a quarterback-keeper for a 1-yard tying touchdown and the game stayed at 14-14 until senior placekicker Brennan Cole booted a 20-yard fourth-quarter field goal to give Sonoma a 17-14 edge.
But the SCL second-place clash wasn’t decided until Deely, this time as a defensive back, broke-up a possible touchdown pass in the end zone to end one Petaluma drive, followed by the Dragons’ defense, sparked by seniors Skyler Marciel and Jonny Amandoli, thwarting the Trojans and preserving Sonoma’s victory.
Leading the Dragons were Deely’s 93 yards rushing, including 17- and 1-yard touchdown runs and a 1-yard two-point conversion run, while completing four of 12 passes for 145 yards, and, defensively, making a clutch deflection of an end-zone pass attempt.
Sonoma was also led by senior wide receiver Dustin Sloane’s two pass-receptions for 77 yards; and senior Brennan Cole’s two pass-catches for 68 yards and a kicked 20-yard field goal.
The Dragon football seniors honored with their parents before the game included Amandoli, Cole, Marciel, Sloane, Danny Banales, Jacob Bollman, Vincent Bruton, John Buckley, Joseph Cotter, Justin Crockett, Sam Denning, John Engebreth, Sean Forney, Jose Heredia, Brian Hurley, Chris Lopez, Justin McDonald, Steven McVeigh, Richie Nunez, Alex Ohan, Hosea Reyes, Trevor Severson, Mike Stovall and Keenan Tuohy.
Sonoma’s cheerleading seniors are captains Shelby Gray and Veronyka Martinez, along with Madison Anuskewicz, Elizabeth Biersch, Siena Byrd, Tre Coles, Keaton Davis, Marisa Dawson, Taryn Mak, JJ Murphy, Emily Sanfillipo, Selena Vargas and Hannah Weber.
Rounding out the NCS Division-3 field and first-round matchups, with the highest-seeded team hosting, are top-seed El Cerrito (10-0) and 16th-seed John F. Kennedy (4-6); second-seed Marin Catholic (9-1) and 15th-seed Hercules (7-2); fourth-seed Campolindo (9-1) and 13th-seed Terra Linda (6-4); fifth-seed Analy (10-0) and 12th-seed Tamalpais (6-4); sixth-seed Novato (7-3) and 11th-seed Encinal (6-5); seventh-seed Miramonte (6-4) and 10th-seed Tennyson (9-1); and eighth-seed Acalanes (7-3) and ninth-seed Bishop O’Dowd (6-4).
Dragons of the Week
The Dragons of the Week in Sonoma’s regular-season ending 17-14 SCL victory over Petaluma at Arnold Field were Skyler Marciel, Dan Deely and Vince Bruton.
Marciel, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior linebacker, turned in a second straight stellar performance, which included another pass interception to go with an astronomical 23 tackles.
Deely, a 6-foot, 185-pound junior quarterback and defensive back, rushed for 93 yards, including 17- and 1-yard touchdown runs and a 1-yard two-point conversion run, while completing four of 12 passes for 145 yards, and, defensively, making a clutch deflection of a pass attempt in the end zone.
Bruton, a 6-foot 2-inch, 270-pound senior lineman and punter, played his best all-around game at offensive tackle, had a booming 57-yard punt to pin Petaluma back into its red zone, and made a big pass deflection on fourth down of Petaluma’s last possession to preserve the win.
The Dragons of the Week are sponsored by Eraldi’s Men’s Wear and Shoes, and Broadway Market.