After Sonoma Valley High School’s varsity football boys didn’t score until the third quarter of their season-opening 18-13 road win at Redwood the week before, they wasted no time putting points on the scoreboard in Bob Midgley’s first home game as Sonoma’s new head coach Friday night at Arnold Field.
Taking possession of the ball at the 35-yard line after visiting Terra Linda’s opening kick went out of bounds, senior quarterback Dan Deely and senior running back Austin Bailey preceded to lead the Dragons to a quick early touchdown and then reached paydirt three more times for a 28-0 halftime lead.
Though the bedazzled Trojans picked up their pace in the second half and scored the only points of the third quarter, they never were able to completely recover from the first-half offensive eruption by the Sonoma gridders, who tacked on two more fourth-quarter touchdowns en route to an impressive 42-14 nonleague win.
“We hit them hard at the start and took the wind out of them and they could never get it back. Our offensive line play was the key and enabled us to rush for 308 total yards,” said Midgley. “We’re a young team when it comes to varsity experience but we improved after the first game and we need to keep getting better every week.”
On Sonoma’s first play from scrimmage, Deely connected with senior Cordell Kenniston on a 16-yard pass-play, followed by Bailey breaking free for a 37-yard run and, on just the third play from scrimmage.
Then Deely hooked up with senior wide receiver Mitch Hood, who made a finger-tip grab in the corner of the end zone and Sonoma was up on the bedazzled Trojans 7-0 in less than a minute.
With their swarming defense getting the ball back quickly, Deely promptly drove the Dragons down the field and scored on a one-yard plunge, and two possessions after junior defensive back Tristan Mertens came up with a pass interception, Bailey broke free on a dynamic 68-yard touchdown run and a 21-0 advantage.
After Deely scored the fourth touchdown of the first half on another one-yard run, Sonoma didn’t find paydirt again until the fourth quarter, when Deely completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Mertens and Hood took over at quarterback and connected with junior Cyle Gusse on a 26-yard touchdown pass-play.
Leading the Dragons were Deely’s five of 12 passing for 85 yards and two touchdowns to go with 35 yards rushing and two touchdowns and he had a pass interception; Bailey had seven carries for 158 yards and a touchdown; junior Gabe Bernstein rushed eight times for 71 yards; senior Joe Decker had five carries for 44 yards; Kenniston made two catches for 46 yards; Mertens had a touchdown reception, a pass interception and kicked one extra point; Hood made a touchdown reception and threw for one touchdown; Gusse caught a touchdown pass; and senior Baron Noe kicked four extra points.
Sonoma’s gridders travel to Novato to face nonleague San Marin at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 14.
Dragons of the Week
The Dragons of the Week in Sonoma’s 42-14 nonleague win over Terra Linda Friday night at Arnold Field were Austin Bailey and JJ Bollman, with the inaugural “Dragon practice player of the week” being 5-foot, 10-inch, 220-pound senior lineman Todd Decendario.
Bailey, a 5-10, 205-pound senior running back, had seven carries for 158 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Bollman, a 5-10, 240-pound offensive lineman helped anchor the offensive line blocking that paved the way for 308 yards total-team rushing.
The Dragons of the Week are sponsored by Eraldi’s Men’s Wear and Shoes, and Broadway Market.