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San Marin slaps 1st loss on Dragons

SONOMA SENIOR DEFENDERS Cordell Kenniston (left, No. 5), Austin Bailey (middle) and Dan Deely (right) bring down a San Marin runner during the Dragons' nonleague loss to San Marin Saturday in Novato. (John Holden/Special to the Index-Tribune)

SONOMA SENIOR DEFENDERS Cordell Kenniston (left, No. 5), Austin Bailey (middle) and Dan Deely (right) bring down a San Marin runner during the Dragons' nonleague loss to San Marin Saturday in Novato. (John Holden/Special to the Index-Tribune)

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After back-to-back wins to open head coach Bob Midgley’s inaugural season, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity football boys played their third straight, and definitely toughest, nonleague Marin County team on a warm and windy Saturday afternoon in Novato.

Facing a strong San Marin squad directed by its star senior quarterback Manny Wilkins – considered a Division-1 college prospect as one of the top-four quarterbacks in the North Bay – the Dragons struck first behind their standout all-league senior quarterback and defensive back Dan Deely.

When the Mustangs fumbled on their first possession, Deely came up with the recovery and then led the offense on an eight-play drive that he culminated with his nine-yard touchdown run to give Sonoma a 6-0 first-quarter lead.

But the Dragons weren’t as sharp as they were in their prior two wins, especially in the tackling department, despite Deely running for another touchdown and passing for 186 yards – including a 63-yard touchdown pass-play with senior Cordell Kenniston – he was constantly harassed and sacked.

With Wilkins throwing three touchdown passes and running for two scores – accounting for 15 Mustang touchdowns in three games – San Marin dominated from the second quarter on and rolled to a 47-19 victory.

“After a good first quarter, we had a few let downs and missed assignments and wrong alignments defensively; and on offense we had some issues with defensive adjustments San Marin made. Basically, we lost our confidence to execute properly,” said Midgley. “I was happy with our team play in the second half after we made some adjustments and were able to compete and battle and not roll over and throw in the towel. We still did not play with full confidence, but we did play better.”

Deely paced the Dragons with 14 pass completions on 26 attempts for 186 yards, one touchdown, one interception and he ran for nine- and three-yard touchdowns. While on defense, he had the fumble recovery to go with an interception, his third pick in three games.

Also pacing Sonoma were Kenniston’s three pass receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown; senior Mitch Hood’s five receptions for 68 yards; junior Kyle Dunevent’s four receptions for 38 yards; senior Austin Bailey’s 10 carries for 35 yards rushing; and junior Noe Baron’s extra-point kick.

The Dragon gridders have a bye this weekend and will then host longtime Sonoma County League rival and defending champion Analy in their SCL opener on Friday, Sept. 27, at Arnold Field, with the jayvees starting at 5, and the varsity kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

 

Dragons of the Week

The Dragons of the Week in Sonoma’s 47-19 nonleague loss to San Marin Saturday in Novato are senior Cordell Kenniston and junior Noe Baron, with junior Gregorio Alvarez as the Dragon practice player of the week.

Kenniston, a 5-foot, 10-inch, 185-pound senior running back and linebacker, had three pass receptions for 70 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown, and made numerous tackles on defense.

Baron, a 6-1-foot, 235-pound junior lineman and placekicker, turned in a strong performance on both the offensive and defensive lines, had solid kickoffs and punts, and booted an extra point.

The Dragons of the Week are sponsored by Eraldi’s Men’s Wear and Shoes, and Broadway Market.