Bulldogs notch second win at Sonora

The Brady Bulldogs gave up a quick Sonora touchdown then piled on five consecutive TDs to ease to a 35-18 non-district football victory at Sonora last Friday night. The Dogs up their season record to 2-1 while the Broncos drop to 0-3. ‘It was not a very pretty win because we made so many mistakes, but we are pleased with the victory,’ Brady coach Todd Bandy admitted after the game. In actuality, it was a rather sloppy contest on the part of both squads. Sonora had seven turnovers while Brady had three. The Broncos took the opening kickoff and marched straight down field, going 79 yards in eight plays to notch their first touchdown. Scottie Moore ripped off a 42-yard run on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and it appeared that the Bulldogs might be in for a long night. ‘I was getting worried a bit after they ran right down the field to score, especially after we ran three plays and had to punt. But we forced a fumble on their second possession, and we drove for our initial TD,’ Bandy said. The Bulldogs then scored twice in the second period, and another two times in the third before reserves began to filter into the Brady lineup. ‘In order for us to be a good football team, we must cut out our turnovers. After that first surge by Sonora we seemed to settle down and play well. It’s the coaches responsibility to have the team ready to play, and we thought we did,’ the coach observed. After Brady was ahead 35-6 with 5:31 left in the third quarter, Sonora sent in a sophomore running back, Brett McDaniel, who sparked the Broncos to two quick TDs, and it seemed that Bandy had sent the starters to the bench too soon. ‘We didn’t do that,’ he said later. ‘We had every defensive starter in the game with the exception of one player in the secondary. I’m just glad they didn’t send #44 (McDaniel, 6-2, 195 lb. sophomore running back) into the game any sooner.’ The young man was the game’s leader rusher with an incredible 112 yards on only four carries. Bandy said he felt both of his lines did a good job on the evening. ‘With the exception of the first drive and those two runs by McDaniel, we played pretty sound defense,’ he said. The Brady coach also had praise for sophomore Jeffrey Bierman, who made three hits while on special teams that caused three Sonora fumbles. Chris Airheart also did some fine running with the ball, according to Bandy. ‘When we get to the point that we eliminate our turnover mistakes, I believe we’ll be a pretty good team. We’re improving,’ he said. Only Bulldog offensive tackle Robert Hudnall came out of the game with an injury, according to the coach. He suffered a bruised knee cap, but he’s expected to be ready for Comfort here Friday night. H The game’s summary: Sonora won the coin flip and elected to receive to open the game. Hilton Bloodworth returned Jeremy Shields’ kick four yards to the Sonora 21. Scottie Moore broke off tackle on the game’s first play and rambled 42 yards to the Brady 37 before being dragged down. Four plays later Moore sprinted for 16 yards to the Brady 8 then on third down from the Brady 1, Chris Martin scored Sonora’s first touchdown. Zedekiah Snodgrass’ kick was wide, and it was Sonora 6, Brady 0 with 9:51 left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs ran one play for a yard and had two incomplete passes before Shields’ 31-yard punt hit teammate Channing Booker at the Bronco 39. On third down Moore ran for 16 yards and a first down at the Bulldog 42, but Sonora bogged down and on third down Martin fumbled and Brady linebacker Carter McBee recovered at the Bulldog 37. From that spot, the Dogs came alive, moving the ball steadily on the ground with Booker getting a 12-yard gain on an inside reverse. Two plays later Paden Behrens passed 13 yards to Shields that placed the ball at the Sonora 4. Airheart got a yard on the next play then Behrens scrambled three yards for the touchdown. Shields tacked on the extra point, the first of five straight for the Bulldogs. The score was 7-6 with 2:51 left in the first period. Following the kickoff, the Broncos took possession at their own 26. Three running plays netted eight yards, and Moore’s punt, his only one of the night, went out of bounds at the Brady 42. Airheart ripped off 11 on the first down then two plays later Booker got 11 on the first play of the second period. On the next play, Behrens found C.J. Villegas on a 30-yard fade pass but the senior receiver stepped out of bounds at the Sonora 4. The Dogs had trouble getting into the end zone. On fourth down from the one, Airheart burst over for the touchdown. The extra point made it 14-6 with 9:47 left in the first half. Jeffrey Bierman separated Stetson Perez from the football on the kickoff return and Mackey Crawford recovered for the Dogs at the Sonora 21. Brady reached the Sonora 15 where Behrens fumbled and McDaniel recovered and rambled to the Brady 44, completing a 46-yard return. Bulldog linebacker Jesse Saiz sacked Sonora passer Clint Cearley for a nine-yard loss on first down. Then on fourth down, the center snapped the ball high over the punter Moore’s head and he recovered at the Sonora 18, a 30-yard loss. Taking over at the 18, the Dogs couldn’t move and on fourth down Behrens was sacked for a 10-yard loss as the Dogs turned it over on downs. Sonora started from the 25, but after making one first down, Cearley fired a pass toward the Bronco bench, and Booker picked it out of the air and tight-roped the sideline 53 yards for a Bulldog TD. It was Booker’s second interception of the young season. The point after made it 21-6 with 2:28 left in the first half. After the onside kick by Shields, Sonora got the ball at their own 47, but another bad snap from the center caused Moore to lose 13 yards. On the next play Martin fumbled and Casey Long recovered for the Dogs at the Sonora 36. An eight-yard run and a Behrens-to- Crawford pass netted 12 yards to the Bronco 16, but as the Dogs fought the clock, Behrens threw three incompletions and on fourth down Behrens’ aerial was intercepted by Bloodworth as the half ended. Matthew Watson returned the second half kickoff 13 yards to the Brady 49, and on first down Behrens connected with wideout Cole Whisenhunt for 15 yards to the Bronco 36. Three plays later Behrens and Villegas duplicated their 30-yard pass play and the receiver reached the Sonora 3. Two plays later Behrens fired a pass to Lance Owens, who made a fine grab for the five-yard TD. The point after was true, and it was 28-6. Shields’ kickoff to open the third quarter was a deja vu for Perez as again Bierman blasted him, he fumbled and this time Matthew Watson recovered for the Dogs at the Sonora 12. Airheart got seven on first down. After the Broncos were penalized to the two, Behrens was sacked back to the 11. A play later Shields’ 28-yard field goal was wide right, and Sonora took over at the 20, but on first down Martin fumbled and Whisenhunt recovered at the Sonora 10. On fourth and goal from the seven, Behrens found Zane Hanna in the end zone for the touchdown. The extra point made it 35-6, and it looked like a rout. After the ensuing kickoff to the 11, Sonora held the ball for 10 plays, reaching the Brady 42 before losing the ball on downs. The Dogs made a first down as the fourth quarter began, then a penalty stalled the drive and Shields’ punt of 39 yards was returned to the Bronco 13. On first down Cearley speared Martin with a pass for a 37-yard gain to midfield then McDaniel blasted through the Bulldog line and raced 42 yards before being stopped. After an incomplete pass, McDaniel bolted eight yards for the TD. The run failed, and it was 35-12 with 8:21 left in the game. Shields recovered Snodgrass’ onside kick and Flemmon Hightower darted 11 yards on first down to the Sonora 40 as Brady reserves dotted the Bulldog lineup. On fourth down Levi Bandy’s pass fell incomplete, and the Broncos took possession at their own 42. On first down McDaniel again blasted through the line of scrimmage and outran the Brady secondary for a 58-yard TD jaunt. The pass failed, and it was 35-18 with 6:04 left as Brady fans began to get a little itchy. Again Shields recovered Snodgrass’ onside kick, this time at the Brady 48. On second down Hightower fumbled and Bloodworth recovered at the Sonora 48. This time the Brady supporters began to squirm a bit more. Curiously, McDaniel did not touch the ball during Sonora’s possession and Cearley had a rough time passing although the Bulldogs helped the Broncos with an unsportsmanlike penalty to the Brady 46. But three plays later Sonora absorbed a holding violation, and the Broncos were back into their own territory. On four down from that Sonora 46, Luke Conrad picked off Cearley’s pass and returned it 15 yards to the Bronco 45. Hightower sped 19 yards on first down to the Bronco 26, but things fell apart for the Bulldogs and Shields’ 35-yard punt on fourth down with only 23 seconds left in the game put Sonora at their own nine. McDaniel ended the game with a four-yard run. The Bulldogs now must turn their attention to the state-ranked Comfort Bobcats who have been averaging over 50 points and 500 yards rushing per game. The Comfort team will be here Friday for a 7:30 p.m. contest.with 9:17 left in the third period.

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