Sonora shuts down Bulldog attack, 34-0

Defending state champion Sonora displayed last Friday night that it still has some talent by whipping the Brady Bulldogs in a non-district football game, 34-0. The Broncos went 15-0 last season, copping the Class 2A, Division I title in the process. However, the previous week the Ballinger Bearcats broke Sonora’s winning streak at 18 with a 26-7 victory. To say the Broncos vented their anger on the Bulldogs may be an understatement. Sonora racked up 428 yards in total offense, compared to Brady’s 98 yards. “We ran into a buzz saw,” Brady coach Davy DuBose observed. “It was their first home game, and they were frustrated after being beaten by Ballinger.” He said that his team played with Sonora for the first quarter and a half. “When we had the opportunity to score during those first 18 minutes of play, we committed two turnovers. That hurt us. Then when Sonora scored with 15 seconds left in the first half, that gave them the momentum,” DuBose added. The Broncos scored on their first possession, moving 66 yards in only five plays. Big tailback William Renfro did most of the damage to the Brady defense as he rushed for 27 yards on four carries. Swift halfback Sean Fields contributed a 24-yard scamper on that initial drive. Late in the first quarter, the Bulldogs recovered a fumble at the Bronco 21, but Chris Airheart fumbled on the second play and Sonora fell on it, and the red-clad team marched from there to their next touchdown. The late score in the first half was a hard one to swallow for the Dogs as the Broncos took a 21-0 lead into the dressing room at intermission. “We didn’t play well in the second half,” DuBose said. “We couldn’t block or tackle. We just didn’t step up, and since Sonora is a quality team with loads of experience, they took control.” “Sonora is a very strong defensive team. Their offense got all the press last season, but it was their defense that carried them,” he said. The second half continued to be dominated by the Broncos. Renfro led the ball carriers with 167 yards on 26 attempts. Brady’s leading rusher was reserve quarterback Colby Dodds, who scrambled for 12 yards on the next to the last play of the game. The Bulldogs managed only three first downs in the first half and had only seven for the entire game with the other four first downs coming in the latter part of the fourth period. “They were giving us the short route passes, and Clifton Tally had some success completing passes in that range,” DuBose pointed out. “Overall, we did not execute. One must use the correct technique in order to move the ball, and if you don’t execute you won’t be able to move the ball against anyone. We also had too many blown assignments,” he said. The Brady coach said he welcomed the open date this week. “We will go back to fundamentals. We may even take out some of our offensive plays to simplify our game plan,” he said. Next on Brady’s schedule is 3-0 Ballinger who will probably be 4-0 when they meet the Bulldogs. The Bearcats host Colorado City this Friday. “Ballinger is having a fine season so far with wins over Breckenridge, Sonora and Llano. Although I expect a tough game against them, I expect our kids to play better. If we execute, we’ll be able to compete,” he said. H Taking the opening kickoff on a perfect night for high school football, the Bulldogs could manage only four yards in three plays. Jody Jones punted 34 yards to the Sonora 42, and Sean Fields returned it 12 to the Brady 46, but an illegal blocking penalty moved the ball back to the Sonora 44. Following a five-yard offside penalty against the Dogs (Brady only had 40 yards of penalties in the game after being flagged for 123 yards in their game against Mason the previous week), Sonora began its march to the Brady goal line. With Renfro toting the ball four of five times on the drive, the Broncos scored the game’s first points on a three-yard run by Renfro. Stetson Hall’s extra point attempt sailed wide to the right, and it was 6-0 with 8:30 left in the first period. Taking over at the Brady 26 after the kickoff, two Airheart carries netted only a yard each and an incomplete pass by Tally on third down forced another Jones punt. This time the senior kicker boomed a 44-yarder that died at the Sonora 29. The second Bronco possession belonged to the Bulldog defense. Sonora only got two yards in three plays, thanks to a pair of incomplete passes by sophomore QB Scottie Moore. On fourth down Moore punted 37 yards to the Brady 32, and Johnny Menefield returned it nine to the Bulldog 41. On first down Tally connected with Blake Raybion on a 14-yard pass play and the first down at the Sonora 45. A three-yard run by Airheart and another short pass play, a seven-yarder from Tally to Lance Owens, got the first down. The drive fizzled at that point and Jones’ excellent 35-yard punt was killed at the Sonora 1. Renfro got the first down out to the 15 on three running plays, but on first down at that point, Fields was stripped of the ball and fumbled it away to Brady’s John Mata, who recovered at the Sonora 21. Airheart got three on first down, but he fumbled on the next play, and Beau Hughes recovered for the Broncos at the Sonora 21. Moore directed the Big Red attack and as the second quarter began he, Renfro and Fields ran the ball down field. On the 14th play of the drive with the ball at the Brady 11, Mario Solis hit Moore. He fumbled and Zach Brown picked it up at the 15 and rambled 23 yards before being tackled at the 38. On first down, however, Tally fumbled and Thomas Bloodworth recovered for the Broncos at the Brady 39. Fields ripped off 30 yards on first down, and Renfro capped the two-play, 39-yard march with a nine-yard run on the toss sweep around left end. Renfro then ran for the two-point conversion, making it 14-0 with 7:40 left in the second quarter. The Bulldogs got 11 yards on a pass from Tally to Hunter Wilkinson after an illegal procedure penalty and Gabriel Bernal got the first down two plays later, but again the drive bogged down and Jones’ 25-yard punt went out of bounds at the Sonora 30. Fighting the clock, the Broncos went to the air and Moore completed four of six including a 38-yarder to James Elliott to the Bulldog 16. After spiking the ball with 29 seconds left on the clock, Moore completed a 10-yard screen pass to Renfro that put the ball on the six. On the next play, Moore found Hall on a crossing pattern in the end zone for the touchdown. Hall added the PAT, and it was 21-0 Sonora with 15 seconds left in the second period. The Broncos took the second half kickoff and methodically marched down the field, taking the sap out of the Bulldogs and going 79 yards in 18 plays for their fourth TD. Renfro capped the lengthy drive with a four-yard run. Hall kicked the point, making it 28-0 with 4:46 left in the third quarter. The Dogs couldn’t make a first down on their possession, and Jones punted 43 yards to the Sonora 36. With reserve QB Douglas Yocham taking over at the Sonora helm, the Broncos got a first down before being forced to punt. A roughing penalty by about three Brady Bulldogs gave the Broncos new life, and Yocham took advantage of the mistake, moving his team 33 yards in eight plays for the game’s final points. Renfro’s replacement, Brandon Adkins scored the TD from a yard out, and Juan Rodriquez missed the point after from placement. The 34-0 score came with 7:30 left in the game. The Doggies got three first downs in a row on their possession: an 18-yard pass from Tally to Blake Andrews, a 10-yard pass from Tally to Raybion and an 11-yard run by Tally. On the next play, Tally went deep with a pass and Justin Sims intercepted at the Sonora 7. The Broncos ran out most of the clock with another long drive. Brady finally held when Wilkinson tipped away Yocham’s fourth down aerial. Dodds ripped off his 12-yard run after the exchange on the next to the last play of the game that the Bulldogs would like to put behind them and aim for better nights.

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