The Sonora Wildcats snapped Calaveras High School’s four game winning streak on Friday, winning a shootout by a score of 59-50.
Sonora started scoring early when junior quarterback Jake Gookin rushed for a 53-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats up 7-0 with 10:40 remaining in the first half. Calaveras answered quickly with a 55-yard reverse pass caught by senior wide receiver Logan Arledge, who scored less than a minute later to tie the game at seven.
Senior Wildcat fullback Jack Camara rushed for a two yard touchdown to put Sonora up 14-7 with 4:14 left in the first quarter. Sonora’s defense managed to hold Calaveras to a field goal on their next drive, and the score stood at 14-10 with 7:40 remaining in the second quarter.
Calaveras then forced a Sonora punt, and senior running back Triston Madsen outran three Wildcat defenders down the left sideline to score an 80-yard touchdown and put his team up 17-14 with 3:12 left in the half. Less than a minute later, senior running back Rico Sanchez scored from 23 yards out, but a blocked point after attempt left Sonora up 20-17.
Sonora then forced a Calaveras punt, and Camara rushed for a 13-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left in the half. Junior running back CJ Castleman scored an extra two points and Sonora led 28-17 at halftime.
Senior Calaveras running back Tanner Joses ran in a two yard touchdown three minutes into the third quarter, but a failed two point attempt left his team trailing 28-23. On the ensuing Sonora possession, Camara caught a short pass and ran for a 43-yard touchdown with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter. Camara then added two extra points himself to put Sonora up 36-23. Madsen then scored another touchdown of his own with 16 seconds left, and a successful point after kick left the score at 36-30.
Castleman then ran in a touchdown from 52 yards out, and Camara added a two point conversion to put Sonora up 44-30. Junior Calaveras cornerback Kade Overley then ran back the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to put the score at 44-37. Calaveras then recovered a costly Sonora fumble on the Wildcats’ next drive, and Madsen scored again from 52 yards out to tie the game at 44.
Castleman scored again on a Wildcat fourth down, rushing in a 27-yard touchdown with 6:16 left in the game to put the Wildcats ahead. Camara added another two points and Sonora led 52-44.
Calaveras then lost a critical fumble, which was recovered by junior Wildcat defensive back Aki Loh. Camara then rushed for another touchdown from the six yard line to put Sonora up 59-44 with 2:04 left in the game. With the game seemingly in hand, Sonora let Calaveras return their kickoff all the way to midfield. Arledge then caught a 50-yard pass to score and get his team to within nine points. The Wildcat defense blocked the extra point attempt, then ran the remaining time off the clock to keep the score at 59-50.
“We lost a lot of guys to injuries,” Sonora coach Bryan Craig said after the game. “I’m extremely proud of the guys who stepped up in their place. I don’t think we’ve ever given up 50 points and won.”
Calaveras coach Jason Weatherby was less pleased after suffering his first loss of the season.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Weatherby said. “We just couldn’t stop them. We scored 50 points, so we’ve got to be proud of that.”
The Wildcats next travel to play Amador High School on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. Calaveras next hosts Argonaut High at home on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.