With two turnovers leading to a pair of first-half touchdowns, then yielding a scoring drive midway through the third quarter of Saturday afternoon’s Sonoma County League showdown in Santa Rosa, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity football boys were facing a 21-7 deficit to Piner.
But, back in action after missing two weeks, including one game after sustaining a concussion, Sonoma’s standout senior quarterback Dan Deely shook off being harassed and sacked numerous times in the first half – one sack led to his fumble on the first possession – and took charge of the game.
Taking the adjustments made in the offensive passing game by head coach Bob Midgley and the coaching staff, Deely produced four touchdowns, running for two scores and then hooking up with junior wide receiver Tristan Mertens for the second and third touchdown pass-plays together on the same pattern.
With junior place-kicker Noe Baron’s pair of extra points on their first two touchdowns turning out to be the difference, the Dragons earned a hard-fought, but thrilling 32-30 SCL win over Piner.
While Deely completed 12 passes to five different receivers, junior running back Gabe Bernstein, who got most of the carries as leading rusher senior Austin Bailey was unable to play because of a concussion, packed the ball 16 times for the Dragons and gained 105 yards and had one touchdown run negated with a holding call.