In front of a loud Friday night homecoming crowd packed into Arnold Field, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity football boys took early control of their Sonoma County League second-place showdown with longtime rival Healdsburg and knocked on the end-zone door twice in the first quarter.
But the Dragons came away empty in the scoring column, before breaking through to paydirt twice in the opening five minutes of the second quarter, then, with their defense setting an early dominance at the line of scrimmage and keeping Healdsburg at bay, tallied another touchdown and registered a 21-14 triumph.
Anchoring a Sonoma defense determined to shut down the Greyhounds’ productive run game were junior linebacker Alex Gustafson; senior and junior defensive ends Brandon Santana and Trevor Welch, respectively; sophomore linebacker Sam Cordano; and senior defensive back Dan Deely, who also was an offensive standout and big special teams contributer.
Along with making a series of key tackles and passes defended, while returning a punt 51 yards with an array of dazzling moves, quarterback Deely hooked up senior wide receiver Ed Pomeroy for 25- and 30-yard touchdown pass plays, respectively, for Sonoma’s 14-0 second quarter advantage.
But Sonoma’s offense lost a fumble on the handoff exchange from Deely to junior running back Gabe Bernstein on its 18-yard line just before halftime, which yielded the visiting Greyhounds a touchdown and just a 14-7 deficit at the break.