Hard Hitting Action On The Gridiron
Sonora, CA — Two teams continue putting up W’s sitting at 4-0 in the fourth week of the high school football season
Summerville faced their biggest challenge thus far in 2017, as the Bears had to play the role of the villain on a very emotional homecoming night in Hughson. The Bears trailed 6-0 in the first quarter after Michael Litzler tossed an interception, but on the next drive the bears struck back with a Dominic Esquivel touchdown run. Leading 7-6, the Bears faced a 4th and two from the Husky’s 23 yard line. As Litzler took the snap he tossed it to his right over to Fulkerson who stepped back and threw a beautiful ball to a wide open Gabe Walker for a touchdown giving the Bears a 14-6 lead at the half.
After the halftime ceremonies concluded and the queens had been crowned, the Bears were ready to jump back into the action. On the opening kick to start the second half, Esquivel returned it 90 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 21-6. It wouldn’t last for long though.
With the Huskies faithful’s in full throat, the home squad pulled out all the stops and ended up taking advantage on two poorly snapped balls that traveled over punter Jiovanni AmayaWood’s head and ended up giving the Huskies great field position. On both of those occasions, Josh MeGee found his targets for a 37 yard passing touchdown and a 4 yard rushing touchdown to bring the game within a point at 20-21.
The Bears knew they needed some insurance to win the ball game, head coach Sean Leveroos and his coaching staff dialed in the perfect play calls to lead the Bears down the field to extend the lead. A 3:47 second drive capped off by a Luke Fulkerson touchdown gave the Bears the 28-20 lead that ultimately would end up being the final score and giving them their first 4-0 start under Leveroos.
Summerville has a well-deserved bye next week and then the Bears hope to take the roar out of the Linden Lions Friday, September 29th.
The Wildcats continued their winning ways Friday night beating the Hilmar Yellowjackets 20-13 in a slugfest at Dunleavy Field. Sonora opened the scoring with Jack Camara pushing defenders, as he did all night, from one yard out to put the Wildcats on the board 7-0.
Hilmar scored 14 unanswered points against a tough Sonora defense, but after the second score the Yellowjackets kick sailed wide and the score was Hilmar 13, Wildcats 7. Shortly before the end of the first quarter, Camara slipped a few Hilmar defenders and showed his moves on a nice scoring run from 42 yards out. Bryan Wynne converted on the extra point and the first quarter came to an end with the score Wildcats 14, Hilmar 13.
The Wildcats put up another six points early in the second quarter when Jacob Gookin kept the ball on the option and went 50 yards down the field for a Wildcat score. Sonora’s extra point failed and the Wildcats were up 20-13. Defenses took over for both teams as drives fizzled or stingy defenders caused the ball to go back and forth. Hilmar attempted a 38 yard field goal that failed late in the second quarter. The Wildcats had two turn overs in the first half. An interception by Kane Rodgers in the first quarter and a pick by Rico Sanchez on a ball tipped by Otutoa Afu in the second quarter that shifted momentum to the Wildcats.
In the second half, both teams made adjustments and drives were put together but neither team could reach the end zone. There were major defensive stands by both teams and into the end of the fourth quarter the score was unchanged, 20-13 Wildcats. With about two minutes left in the ball game Hilmar had a first down and goal. The Wildcats held the Yellowjackets for the first three downs and a Hilmar penalty pushed the Yellowjackets back to the 12 yard line.
This football game came down to one play with the Wildcats needing a huge defensive stop. At the snap of the ball, the Hilmar quarterback dropped back to pass and it appeared he had a receiver open on a fade route to the pylon on the far side of the field. As the ball was coming down, Sonora’s Bryan Wynne torqued his body 180 degrees to knock the ball away from the Hilmar wide receivers outstretched arms saving a touchdown and causing a turn over on downs. A couple of first downs later and the Wildcats were able to kneel on the ball to run out the clock.
Next week the Sonora will try to continue their winning ways at Dunleavy Field, taking on Calaveras High (4-0) whose winning streak continues, after beating Union Mine at home 40-12. The Bret Harte Bull Frogs were defeated by Highland at home in a close one, 28-21.
*Mark Ferreira and Brandon Steele contributed to this report.