The Grape Creek Eagles came to Sonora last Friday, tied for second place with Brady. The Broncos were picked to win by all media outlets. Sonora is now in a three-way tie for the District 2 lead with Grape Creek and Brady after the Eagles upset the Broncos 7-6.

Coach Blake Weston and Grape Creek Coach Tanner Thiel spent last week preparing for each other’s team. The Broncos possessed a fierce defense and a three headed rushing attack of Jaime Buitron, Hunter O’Banon, and Sean Mungia. These three players had shown that they could fight for the tough yardage and could use their speed to break the long runs. The Broncos also could complete passes to Jackson Carroll and Fernando Gonzalez for first downs and touchdowns. The Broncos spent much of their prep time learning to handle the cut block with the objective to get the Eagle offense off the field.

Coach Thiel’s Eagles run the single wing offense. The Broncos ran the single wing from 1960 until Coach Jerry Hopkins came to Sonora. The single wing offense doesn’t really have a person designated as quarterback. The objective of the offense is to gain three to five yards a carry, making first down after first down, and controlling the clock. In order to make the small gains, they use “cut blocks” where the blocker blocks the defender at the knees or lower. The fallen defensive linemen and linebackers are prevented from getting to the running back quickly. This block is legal.

The Eagles won the toss and elected to receive. By the second play of the game, it was obvious that clock management was a large part of Coach Thiel’s plan. For the entire game, Grape Creek would not snap the ball with more than ten seconds left on the 40 second clock. When the game was over, Grape Creek’s time of possession was 37:40 which is 78.4% of the game. Sonora had the ball for 10:20 which is 21.6%.

Sonora turned the ball over to Grape Creek four times: one time on downs and three times on fumbles. The Eagles also recovered their opening second half onsides kickoff. The Bronco defense stopped the Eagles from scoring on all but one of these turnovers.

Grape Creek scored its only touchdown on a nine yard jump pass to a 6’4” receiver in the back of the end zone with 1:23 left in the game. Their PAT kick was good.

The Bronco offense, that worried Coach Thiel the most, responded. Grape Creek pooched the kickoff and gave the Broncos a short field at the Bronco 49 yard line. O’Banon broke through the Eagles and ran for 28 yards. He followed up with a seven yard run. Mungia made it first and goal at the five yard line. Buitron scored the touchdown on the next play with key blocking by Ivan Fuentes. Grape Creek saved its victory when two Eagle defenders defeated the Broncos’ blocks and stopped O’Banon one yard short of the goal line.
Sonora(5-4,3-1) travels on Friday night to Ballinger(5-3,2-2) for a 7 PM game. Both Brady and Grape Creek have already beaten Ballinger earlier in district play.

All Sonora subvarsity teams defeated their Grape Creek counterparts last Thursday. The 7th grade Colts won 30-18. The 8th grade Colts won 18-14. The JV Broncos won 36-8. This week both Colts’ teams are on the road to Ballinger. The JV Broncos finish up the season in Bronco Stadium against the Bearcats’ JV team. Go Big Red!