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Wildcats Score Early and Often

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Written by Zeb Drivdahl

The Sonora Wildcats won their league contest Friday night in convincing fashion, racking up nine touchdowns on their way to a 63-14 victory over the host Calaveras Red Hawks.

Sonora wasted no time getting points on the scoreboard. After the opening kickoff went out of bounds, the Wildcats took the first play from scrimmage to the house on a 65-yard option pitch to Bryce Nicolson. A quick three-and-out by the Red Hawks followed, and a few plays later, Sonora struck again on the very same play, a 67-yard TD pitch to Nicolson. The Wildcat defense remained dominant in the next series, forcing another quick punt by Calaveras. This time Sonora did not wait for the offense to score, as return man Cash Byington took the kick all the way to pay dirt, a 65-yard TD return. Meanwhile, the Wildcat defense continued to harry the Red Hawks, with Derrick Kroeze and Ryan Gibbs among the many players recording tackles for a loss. After another Sonora scoring drive capped by a touchdown run from Adam Curnow, Byington notched his second TD of the night when he returned an interception of Calaveras quarterback Josh Manzo 35 yards into the end zone. The Red Hawks received a small lift on the next series when a big kickoff return put the ball at the Wildcat 9-yard line, leading to a Red Hawks touchdown three plays later. The boost was short-lived, however, as a 44-yard touchdown run from Nicolson four plays later put the game firmly out of reach.

Sonora had four different players find the endzone for the evening: Bryce Nicolson (3), Adam Curnow (1), Audie Peeples (2), and Cash Byington (3). Derrick Kroeze won Chicken Ranch Casino Player of the Game for his punishing and disrupting play on defense. Sonora improves to 7-1 on the year and 3-0 in league play (totals include a forfeit victory over Brett Harte last week). The Wildcats return home next week to take on the Amador Buffaloes.

In the early game, the Sonora JV took their first loss of the season, 33-14. The Wildcat JV squad’s record now sits at 5-1-1.