By ROSS JOHNSON

For The Union Democrat

Sonora 56

Linden 12

The Sonora High football team easily defeated the visiting Linden Lions on Friday by a score of 56-12.

Senior receiver Rico Sanchez opened the scoring early for the Wildcats, rushing in a nine yard touchdown within the first 30 seconds of the game. Senior fullback Jack Camara added a two-point conversion to give the Wildcats an early 8-0 lead. Junior running back CJ Castleman scored a three yard rushing touchdown with 7:32 remaining in the first quarter, but a missed point after attempt left the score at 14-0.

Junior running back Mike McKernon scored an eight yard rushing touchdown with 4:07 left in the first quarter, and a successful point after kick gave Sonora a 21-0 lead. Castleman scored again from six yards out, and by the end of the first period the Wildcats led 28-0.

Junior quarterback Jake Gookin then ran a touchdown in from 32 yards out with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter to put his team up 35-0. The Lions continued to struggle offensively and punted on every possession of the first half.

Wildcat running back Devin Briscoe scored a 14-yard rushing touchdown, and the point after put the team up 42-0 with 4:30 remaining in the half. Junior fullback Carson Dambacher then rushed for a touchdown from just over 10 yards out, and by halftime Sonora led 49-0.

The Lions received the second half kickoff, but quickly punted. The Lion defense then forced a punt of their own, but a fumble recovered by junior Wildcat defensive back Devun Battle gave the ball right back to Sonora at the Linden 27-yard line. After losing a yard, Dambacher then scored again from 28 yards to put the Wildcats up 56-0 with 2:44 remaining in the third quarter.

Linden showed some life in the fourth quarter when senior Lion running back Rowdy Reed scored a 16-yard rushing touchdown with just under five minutes left. A failed two point conversion left the score at 56-6.

The Lions defense then forced a fumble on the ensuing Wildcat possession, taking the ball back on Sonora’s 22-yard line. Reed scored again from eight yards out, but with 15 seconds left and a running clock, the Lions could not attempt any extra points before the expiration of the game.

“We did what we were supposed to do,” Sonora head coach Bryan Craig said following the game. “We came in and took care of business. Linden played hard.”

“It was a tough loss,” said Linden head coach Andy Sullivan. “Sonora is a good team, and they are sound at every position. They are a class act. They saw what we were going through, and I appreciate their sportsmanship today. Our team played as hard as they could, and this is the last time we’ll play here since we’re going to a new league next year. I have a lot of respect for their team and their coaching staff.”

Sonora improved to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the Mother Lode League, remaining firmly in first place.

The Wildcats next have a bye week, and then travel to play the Argonaut Mustangs on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
Linden fell to 0-7 on the season overall and 0-3 in league play.

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