Wildcats quarterback Nick Crockett took the first play from scrimmage in the second half for a long touchdown romp, tangling with opposing tacklers at one point to break free so quick he left a West High School defender holding Crockett’s black-colored waist towel.
That made it Sonora 28 West 14, with a two-point conversion carried in by Wildcats back Elijah MacDonald, and most of the second half still to go. Wildcats running back Owen Bauer added another score, sweeping left into the south end zone to end a long drive and make it 35-14 with 5:03 left in the third quarter.
Bauer scored in the north end zone in front of the Sonora High Golden Regiment Band with 3:33 remaining in the 4th quarter and the extra point failed, to make it 41-14. The band went nuts.
“I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win!” Sonora band members chanted with just over 2 minutes remaining. It ended 41-14 and moments from the final whistle the band was shouting out and playing their slow version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, reveling in the lines they screamed together, “How can you have any pudding, if you don’t eat yer meat!”
Contributors to Sonora’s first varsity football victory included Aiden Kostlivy, who consistently lined up in a left slot position to motion right and take pitches from Crockett, a play his coaches call toss motion, that went for big yards in the first half and the second half.
Earlier in the 2nd quarter Kostlivy took another right side pitch for 43 yards, twisting and turning to escape tacklers at one point, to score and make it 14-7 for the host Wildcats.
“We been working real hard on fundamentals, since last week and the week before, snap counts, trying to eliminate mistakes, everything,” Kostlivy said as he accepted handshakes and high fives on Dunlavy Field after the game.
Kostlivy praised teammates who blocked for him, sealing down on West High School Wolfpack linemen and linebackers on the right side, blocks that allowed Kostlivy the chance to run free veering into the West secondary and deeper.
Mark Camara, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound senior offensive left guard and defensive nose guard who was one of three Sonora captains Friday night, said a big improvement the Wildcats made against West was getting off the ball fast and low, on offense and defense.
“Our O-line got great momentum tonight, getting off the snaps, firing off low and hard, nailing our blocks,” Camara said. He was one of the lead blockers on both Bauer’s touchdowns that came about on quick-hitting sweeps to the left side. He didn’t take any credit for it, though, instead praising the backs who ran behind he and his teammates on the Sonora line.
“It’s great running and teamwork,” Camara said. “Our backs ran their asses off tonight.”
Sonora head coach Bryan Craig said it felt good for his team to get in the win column. He said the toss motion plays to Kostlivy worked well in part because so many blockers, including Bauer and senior end Gabriel Milbourn stuck to their assignments and hit their blocks right. A lot of the reason Sonora did well against West is because they got the basics right.
“We worked on executing better,” Craig said. “We didn’t really do anything new. We also didn’t eliminate the turnovers. We still had three fumbles.”
Sonora improved to 1-4 overall in non-league play. The Wildcats now get a week off to recover and focus on the beginning of Mother Lode League play, which starts Oct. 4 when they go to Jackson in Amador County to take on Argonaut.
Contact Guy McCarthy at email@example.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.