MANTECA The long wait is over for Sonora High School's sophomore football players.
After an 0-10 freshman year and an 0-5 first half of this season, the Wildkittens broke through with their first high school victory Friday night, 25-13 over East Union at Dino Cunial Field.
"It took them 16 games, but they finally got one," Sonora coach Nick Parry said after being drenched with cold water during the postgame celebration.
John Canepa scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns as Sonora pulled out of a 13-13 halftime tie. His first came on a 10-yard run and his second on a 30-yarder that clinched the victory late in the game.
Mario Torres scored on a 7-yard run in the first quarter and Morgan Wivell on a 5-yard run in the second quarter for Sonora, which rushed for 238 yards behind offensive linemen Jake Mele, Andrew Blume, Chris Wellhausen, Jed Malone and Kevin Johnson.
On defense, Sonora faced an East Union offense that tried only two running plays the whole game. Safety Freddie Matias and cornerbacks Alex Flud and Torres beat back the aerial assault, with Flud and Torres intercepting passes.
The Wildkittens (1-5, 1-2 Valley Oak League) had been on the verge of breaking through all season, as four of their losses had been by eight points or less.
Their victory came the day after Sonora's freshmen picked up their first win, 13-12 over East Union.
The sophs play Pitman this Friday at 5:15 p.m. at Turlock High School.