Penalties plague Raiders in loss to Cardinals.

By Sarah Fenton
La Habra JournalLHJ SHS_WCHS Football 2016

Penalties and turnovers plagued Sonora’s first game of the season against Whittier Friday night at California High School.

Whittier shut out Sonora, 16-0, scoring all of the game points towards the end of the second half.

“At the end of the day you can’t leave it in the refs’ hands,” Sonora’s coach Daniel Morales said. “We need to do our job and take care what we need to do. You can’t leave it in their hands if it’s that close. You have to take it away from them and put it on you to do even better.”

Both teams remained tied at zero going into halftime, but the pace of the game changed in the third quarter.

The Raiders and the Cardinals both had touchdowns called back halfway through the quarter, but Wittier was first to put points on the board with a one-yard run on fourth and goal by Alex Retana.LHJ SHS_WCHS Football 2016

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Sonora had trouble with a snap on a punt attempt allowing Whittier to recover the ball.

The Cardinals capitalized on the turnover and added three more points to the score off of a 27-yard field goal by Jorge Vazquez.

Half way through the fourth quarter, Whittier scored the final points of the game with another one-yard touchdown run by Retana.

“We need to get more polished,” coach Morales said. “We have a new system, a young quarterback, we just have to get to work and fix all the little mistakes we made as a young team. We made some big mistakes in some key situations. If we stop those turnovers, it might be a completely different game. We’re just going to work on getting better and better.”LHJ SHS_WCHS Football 2016

Ethan Cook led the Raiders with 73 yards on 12 carries and Dylan Salcido led the Cardinals completing 12 of 22 passes for 91 yards and rushed 76 yards on 11 carries.

“I’m really proud of our team,” coach Morales said. “I’m really proud of our defense and I cant wait to see the guys come together and keep working to get even better because they are a resilient group and I love coaching them. I can’t wait to see what they can do through this whole season.”

Sonora’s next game will be at home against Brea Olinda on September 2.

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