Sonora pre-game

In what will probably be the best high school football game in the area, the No. 4 ranked team in Class 2A, Sonora, will be testing the Bulldogs here Friday (tonight) for their next quest. Game time is 7:30 p.m. The Dogs, under second year coach Jay Jones, surprised some folks last week with a strong 20-9 victory at Mason. They would like nothing better than to add the Broncos to their trophy case for 2000. Brady dropped its first game, an upset, to Coleman, but rebounded well against the Punchers. Jones believes that his team is ready for Sonora, a unit that has defeated Reagan County and Ballinger in its first two contests. “We have worked hard this week. The rain interrupted our practice on Tuesday, but we still accomplished a lot in the gym. Monday’s workout was a mental session, studying Sonora, learning plays, etc. The kids are intent and that’s a positive for the coaches,” he said. Brady fell to the Broncos last year in Sonora, 25-14, where they were taken hostage by a trio of players who made big plays for the Ponies’QB Bryce Williams, RB Tom Jacoby and WR James Elliot. All three are back this season with another year under their belts. All are outstanding players, plus another RB Bill Renfro. “Williams likes to scramble and throw on the run. He has a keen ability to find the open receiver while running for his life. He’s a poised player. Our job will be to contain him; to close down the pocket. But believe this’he is dangerous,” Jones said Wednesday morning. Jacoby is a powerful running back at 5-10, 195 while Renfro is more of the speedy-type back. Then there’s Elliot, a 6-3, 185-pound junior, who, according to Jones, “is the best receiver in the area, regardless of classification.” Elliot hurt the Dogs last year with a couple of circus catches. He’s also got sprinter’s speed. Sonora’s offensive line is big, strong and athletic. Brady offensive coordinator Sam Prater said that the Broncos’ interior line are all “Bobby Salinas types,” referring to Brady’s center last year, who had transferred from Sonora in his sophomore year. “They are all veterans and are big, strong and physical,” Jones said. Defensively, the Broncos run a split alignment. “They try to take away some things, but they are vulnerable in others. We hope to exploit those areas that they aren’t covering,” Jones said. Sonora’s weakest link, according to the Brady coach, is in punting. “That’s probably because of his lack of work. They hardly ever go into punt formation,” he smiled. The Broncos were No. 3 in the state until their win last week over Ballinger. But No. 4 isn’t bad. The Big Red team is favored by 14 in the Harris Poll over the Bulldogs, but Mason was an 11-point favorite over Brady the previous week. “I believe the game will come down to mistakes. The one that makes the most will probably be the loser. Time of possession and special team execution are also major factors,” Jones said. He said his Doggies are “pretty healthy except for a couple who have had the stomach virus earlier in the week.”

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