The Sonora High Wildcats traveled to Summerville on Friday, winning the matchup by a score of 37-27 and snapping the Bears’ five game winning streak.
Summerville opened the game strong, scoring their first touchdown within the first 2:30 of the first quarter. The Bears then forced a Sonora turnover, recovering a fumble with 9:45 left in the period and subsequently driving to the Wildcats’ 15-yard line. After losing yardage on the drive, the Bears attempted and missed a field goal.
The Wildcats then proceeded to earn four first downs on the way to score. Junior quarterback Jake Gookin ran a touchdown in from 22 yards out, and a successful two point conversion moved Sonora up 8-7 with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Bears then punted after a critical third down sack by senior defensive lineman Anthony Roque.
Sonora and Summerville then traded punts, with the Wildcat defense forcing great field position and giving the ball to their offense at the Bears’ 35 yard line. Overcoming two holding penalties, Gookin threw a 25-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Karson Clifton. With 5:55 left in the half, and a successful point after kick, the Wildcats led 15-7.
The Bears swiftly struck back when senior running back Luke Fulkerson returned the kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, but a blocked point after kick left Sonora up 15-13.
Senior Wildcat back Rico Sanchez rushed for an 11-yard touchdown on the following drive. A successful two point conversion kept Sonora ahead 23-13 with 1:09 left in the first half, and the Bears were unable to add to their score before halftime.
Summerville received the second half kickoff, but three plays later the Wildcats forced and recovered a fumble at the Bears’ 24 yard line. The Bears’ defense managed to push Sonora backward and force a punt. The teams traded punts again, and the Bears put together a four play, 54-yard drive culminating in senior Summerville running back Dominic Esquivel carrying half of the Sonora defense on his back into the endzone from 16 yards out. The point after kick took the score to 23-20 with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.
Sonora quickly kept their distance when on the following drive senior fullback Jack Camara ran for 59 yards and a touchdown to put the Wildcats up 30-20.
On the ensuing drive Summerville managed to work their way to the Sonora nine yard line, and a pass interference call in the endzone gave the Bears another shot from four and a half yards out. Two plays later, junior Bears quarterback Mike Litzler rushed in for a one-yard touchdown cutting the Wildcats’ lead to 30-27 with 9:43 left in the game.
On the following Wildcats drive, Camara converted a crucial fourth down and four to keep the drive alive, then rushed in a six-yard touchdown with 4:23 left in the game. The point after put Sonora up 37-27. The Wildcats then sacked the Bears’ quarterback on fourth down. After turning the ball over on downs, Sonora ran out the clock and won the game.
“It was a hard fought battle,” Sonora’s head coach Bryan Craig said after the game. “They gave us everything they had. Fulkerson and Esquivel were a handful. They played really well. Now it’s time for homecoming and all those wonderful festivities.”
“We didn’t have the boys play the best when the best was needed,” said Summerville coach Sean Leveroos. “We’ll be in at film tomorrow at 8 a.m. We’ll correct our mistakes and go from there. Our work week starts Monday, and we’re traveling, so we’ll do the same routine. Our meat and potatoes will be Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Summerville moves to an overall record of 5-1, and 1-1 in league play. Sonora improved to 5-2 on the season and 3-0 in the league. The Bears travel to play Argonaut High School on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The Wildcats host Linden High School on the same day at 7 p.m.