Dragons out-pace Piner on homecoming
Sonoma wins 47-26 SCL grid-track meet, at Healdsburg this Friday
Sonoma’s Dustin Sloane catches a touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Dan Deely during the Dragons’ homecoming victory over SCL foe Piner Friday night at Arnold Field.
A packed Arnold Field was rocking with homecoming enthusiasm and festivities Friday night, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity football team was putting on a first-half show with dominating defense and an offense that controlled the ball and put it into the endzone three times for a 21-0 halftime lead over Piner.
Then came the second-half and the Dragons’ party cruise suddenly turned into a scoring race after Sonoma County League foe Piner finally unleashed its touted passing attack by striking for a 64-yard touchdown on the first play of the third-quarter, and found paydirt three more times.
But, with junior quarterback Dan Deely masterfully directing the offense, senior wide-receiver Dustin Sloane making clutch catches, and senior running back Justin McDonald fueling the ground-game Sonoma answered each of the Prospectors’ touchdowns and outraced them to the finish for a 47-26 victory.
While their defense did give up four second-half touchdowns after pitching a first-half shutout, which included yielding only one first-down on a penalty, the Dragons stepped up midway through the fourth-quarter behind the relentless pursuit of senior defensive end Jonny Amandoli and didn’t allow another score.
In the first-half, Sonoma took the opening possession and put together a nine-play drive that culiminated with Deely and Sloane hooking up for a 28-yard touchdown-pass-play, followed by McDonald’s first of three touchdown runs, this one covering eight yards.
McDonald – who ended up carrying the ball a career-high 23 times for 151 yards rushing – followed up with a three-yard touchdown burst to finish the half and added a six-yard bolt late in the third-quarter.
After Piner’s quick-strike score to open the second-half, the Dragons countered with a 10-play, 80-yard march that was capped by junior running back Cordell Kenniston’s seven-yard touchdown run.
Deely – who finished with 10 completions on only 13 pass attempts for 148 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while rushing for 73 yards – then extended Sonoma’s lead with a perfectly executed quarterback-option keeper which he took 49 yards to the house for six.
Senior running back Hosea Reyes then broke free for an electrifying 23-yard touchdown dash to end the scoring binge, with Sloane making four pass receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown, and senior Brennan Cole kicking five extra-points.
With the win, the Dragons evened their overall and SCL records to 3-3 and 1-1, respectively, and will hit the league road for a battle in Healdsburg this Friday, Oct. 12.
Sonoma’s junior varsity football team held a slim 7-6 lead for a long time, until visitng Piner scored late and escaped town with a 12-7 win on Friday.
Dragons of the Week
The Dragons of the Week in Sonoma’s 47-26 homecoming victory over SCL foe Piner Friday at Arnold Field were Justin McDonald, Skylar Marciel, John Engebreth and Vince Bruton. Engebreth and Bruton were joined by fellow offensive linemen Trevor Severson, Trevor Welch and Matthew Robinson, and tight ends Jonny Amandoli and Brennan Cole, in paving the way for more than 300 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Engebreth is a 6-4, 260-pound senior, and Bruton is a 6-2, 270-pound senior.
McDonald, a 5-foot, 11 inch, 180-pound senior running back, had the best game of his high-school career with 153 yards rushing on 23 carries for three touchdowns.
Marciel, a 6-0, 190-pound senior linebacker, made seven tackles and caused a goal-line fumble.
The Dragons of the Week are sponsored by Eraldi’s Men’s Wear and Shoes, and Broadway Market.