It was an electric atmosphere at Bronco Stadium for the 2022 home opener versus longtime rival the Ballinger Bearcats (3A-D2). These two rivals have played 45 times since 1923. The teams have won 22 and lost 22 times with one tie.

Sonora captains for the game were seniors Imanol Gaytan, Tanner Flanagan, Hunter O’Banon, and junior quarterback Jaime Buitron.

Ballinger won the toss and elected to defer. The Broncos were not able to take advantage of receiving the ball first. Buitron ran with the ball through heavy traffic and a Bearcat stripped the ball out of his hands. Ballinger recovered.
The Bearcats got on the scoreboard first at 6:08 remaining in the first quarter. Ballinger QB Martin Quiroga hit a wide open Nathan Rivera-McDuffee for an 18 yard TD. Their PAT was good and they took the lead at 7 to 0.

The Broncos responded late in the first (1:06 left) when O’Banon scored his first of three touchdowns. Junior place kicker Dailen Luna, who was perfect on the night (four for four) added the extra point to knot the game up at seven.
Sonora defenders led by Gaytan, Edgar DeLuna, Darian Reyes (interception), Gage Owen (two consecutive sacks) and Dylan Ford (fumble recovery) stepped it up a notch and kept applying withering pressure on the Ballinger offense. Sonora held Ballinger to only 79 yards of total offense.

The Broncos scored three more touchdowns (one in each of the remaining quarters). Buitron scored on an 11-yard run and O’Banon scored from one and four yards out. The Broncos also added a twist after one of the touchdowns and used the swinging gate. Buitron took the snap and completed a pass to Jonah Galvan in the right corner of the endzone. The final score was 29 to 7 in favor of Sonora.

The Broncos ran 65 plays (almost double that of the Bearcats) and completely dominated the time of possession. Sonora’s total offense was 316 yards. Buitron completed 10 of 16 passes for 69 yards. O’Banon was the leading rusher gaining 122 yards for 6.4 average yards per carry.

This Friday, Sonora travels to Coahoma to face the 0-1 Bulldogs. Last week, the Bulldogs lost to Forsan (one of our new district opponents) 21–13. Let’s make it two in a row victories for the Big Red Broncos.