Dragons hold off Healdsburg
Sonoma starts fast, wins 28-14, hosts El Mo Friday; JVs
Sonoma’s Dustin Sloane lays out for a diving catch after tipping the ball to keep it alive and setting up his own touchdown pass reception during the Dragons’ SCL road victory over Healdsburg Friday night at Recreation Field.
On the heels of their productive offensive display leading to a high-scoring homecoming win, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity football boys kept the offense in high gear, and, with the defense making its mark, built a 21-7 halftime lead in their Friday night Sonoma County League showdown in Healdsburg.
Hoping to quickly get their offense back on the field in the second-half and pulling away early the Dragons – coming off a ball-hawking 47-26 victory over Piner the week before – could only get their hands on the ball for all of three plays in the third-quarter as Healdsburg ran 21 plays.
But Sonoma’s aggressive defense limited the Greyhounds to only one third-quarter touchdown despite their clock domination, and then made a crucial fourth-down stop after losing an early fourth-quarter fumble.
The Dragons followed with some ball-control offense of their own down the stretch, adding a late-clinching touchdown to seal their 28-14 victory at Recreation Field.
Improving their overall and SCL records to 4-3 and 2-1, respectively, the Sonoma gridders host SCL foe El Molino at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 19, at Arnold Field.
Against Healdsburg, the Dragons took the opening kickoff and put together a 68-yard, nine-play, seven-minute drive, orchestrated by junior quarterback Dan Deely, and concluded with senior running back Justin McDonald’s three-yard touchdown run for a quick 7-0 lead after senior Brennan Cole converted the extra-point kick.
After Deely punched in a one-yard touchdown dive, he connected with his favorite target, senior wide receiver Dustin Sloane, in the left-corner of the end zone for a 24-yard pass-play touchdown, and capping Sonoma’s scoring was McDonald on a two-yard touchdown plunge.
The Dragons were led by Deely’s seven pass completions on 12 attempts, for 124 yards and one touchdown, and his 62 yards rushing and one touchdown; McDonald’s 16 carries for 93 yards rushing and two touchdowns; Sloane’s three pass receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown; senior running back Hosea Reyes’ six carries for 57 yards; Cole’s four points on four-for-four extra-point attempts; and senior defensive end Jonny Amandoli’s relentless pass rush and seven solo tackles.
Preceding the varsity’s victory, Sonoma’s junior varsity football team played their best overall game of the season in posting a Friday night 34-20 win at Healdsburg.
Leading the jayvee Dragons were Gabe Bernstein’s 35- and 44-yard touchdown runs, respectively; Seth August’s 35-yard touchdown run and 47-yard touchdown halfback toss-pass to Kyle Dunevent; Tristan Mertens’ 30-yard touchdown run; Noe Baron and Brian Casillas’ two converted point-after-touchdown kicks each.
Also contributing for Sonoma jayvees was the strong play of the offensive line; the solid blocking and running of fullback Sam Cordano; and the standout individual efforts of Jake Little, Alex Gustafson, Andre Alcantar and Anthony Hamiter.
Dragons of the Week
The Dragons of the Week in Sonoma’s 28-14 SCL road win at Healdsburg Friday night at Recreation Field were Matthew Robinson, Dustin Sloane, Dan Deely and Jonny Amandoli.
Robinson, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 260-pound junior lineman, turned in a strong effort anchoring the offensive line at his center position.
Sloane, a 5-10, 160-pound senior wide receiver, had another productive night catching the ball, with three big receptions for 81 yards, including a juggling 43-yard grab and a 24-yard touchdown snag in the corner of the end zone.
Deely, a 6-0, 185-pound junior quarterback, who continues to make smart plays with his arm and legs, completing seven out of 12 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown, and rushing for 62 yards and one touchdown.
Amandoli, a 6-2, 200-pound defensive end, stepped up with another outstanding performance rushing the passer and registered seven unassisted tackles against the run.
The Dragons of the Week are sponsored by Eraldi’s Men’s Wear and Shoes, and Broadway Market.