Troy runs away in second half, downs Sonora

sonoraby Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora Raiders football team couldn’t stop the Troy Warriors in the second half of their Freeway League Opener, falling 41-6 last night, at La Habra High School.

The Raiders kept the game close for the first half, but fell apart in the second.

The game did not start off well for the Raiders. Troy (6-0, 1-0) scored just 48 seconds into the game on a 34-yard pass from Kyle Blumer to Gavyn Alexander.

After the touchdown, the Raiders settled in defensively and began to make plays offensively. The Raiders drove down the field right after the touchdown, and Eric Oliva connected on a 40-yard field goal to cut the Troy lead to 7-3.

After a stop on the Warriors next drive, Sonora had a golden opportunity. On a fourth-and-four from the 24-yard line, the Raiders decided against kicking the field goal. Cole McDonald dropped back and threw a pass intended for Tristin Johnson, but he could not hold onto the ball and Troy took over.

“There were a couple times in the first half where we should have punched the ball in,” head coach Paul Chiotti said. “When you play great teams, you need touchdowns, not field goals.”

Sonora’s next drive took almost six minutes. It looked like the Warriors had the drive stopped, but McDonald was hit after he threw on a third down and roughing the passer call kept the drive alive.

The Raiders (1-5, 0-1) drove down to give Oliva a 32-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-6. Blumer ran in a 5-yard score to make it 13-6. Oliva had another chance as time expired in the half, from 45 yards, but the kick was blocked.

“I was proud of the way we fought in the first half,” Chiotti said. “We held a great offense down and threw some things at them that I thought worked.”

The second half was a different story. The Troy offense opened up and the Raiders struggled trying to contain it.

The Warriors scored two touchdowns in the third quarter. Blumer ran in his second touchdown of the game on a 3-yard score. He threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, while running for two more.

The Raiders’ defense picked it back up in the fourth quarter and held Troy down for most of the quarter. The Warriors led 27-6 with less than four minutes left.

The Raiders allowed touchdowns to Troy’s back up running back Draytwoine Shaw, from 15 and 37 yards, in the last 3:15 and the Warriors outscored Sonora 28-0 in the second half.

“I don’t think the scoreboard shows how hard we fought,” Chiotti said. “We gave them the two touchdowns late. We just can’t do that.”

The Raiders will host the Fullerton Indians next Friday.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.