Brandon Ahrndt | La Habra Journal

Posted on 07 September 2013 by La Habra Journal

By Daniel Hernandezsonora-300x300-4952738
La Habra Journal

BREA – After an improbable comeback late in the football game, down by one and staring at a possible overtime, the Sonora special teams failed a fake extra point attempt and were denied a two-point conversion, losing 28-27 to Brea Olinda High School Friday night.

The fake field goal shovel pass from the holder fooled nobody as the Raiders fell short in a tight matchup at Wildcat Stadium, dropping the team’s record to 0-2.

“It’s tough that we came up a little short. We wanted to try and end it in regulation, so we tried a fake, and it didn’t work,” Raiders head coach Paul Chiotti said.

The Raiders had one last chance, however, after recovering an onside kick with about 30 seconds left on the clock, sparing the desperate team four more passes.

Down by a point with under a minute left in the game, the Raiders backup quarterback lunged one last pass from about the 50-yard-line into the air to a receiver near the opposing 20-yard-line, but fell short when the ball hit the ground to end the game.

After the crowd roared for a pass interference, the referee blew the whistle to end the game while no flag was thrown.

Raiders quarterback Cole McDonald, sophomore, entered the contest after senior starting quarterback Brandon Ahrndt was injured near the end of the game.

“I was nervous, but I pulled through,” McDonald said about throwing the final and what could have been the tying touchdown with less than one minute left on the clock.

Chiotti almost cost the team a comeback drive with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and less than three minutes to play.

On a crucial drive with 2:46 left, Sonora faced a fourth and three on its own 28-yard line after a quarterback scramble for eight yards. Soon after, the referee threw a flag against the Sonora head coach on the sideline after Brandon Ahrndt endured a tough sideline hit from a Wildcat defender, costing the Raiders a 15-yard penalty and forcing them to punt with the clock winding down.

“I was trying to protect our player,” Chiotti said. “He got hit while he’s going out of bounds … we thought it was a little dangerous of a hit.”

The Raiders punted the ball after the penalty but used up all three timeouts to hold the Wildcats to a three-and-out, forcing them to punt the ball with under two minutes to play.

McDonald found wide-open receiver Christian Topete, senior, for a seven-yard touchdown pass in what would amount to the final score of the game after a nine-play drive. However, the two-point conversion attempt failed.

Sonora rushed for 233 total yards while senior running back Jacob Kent carried a bulk of the load with 72 yards rushing, 24 yards receiving and one touchdown reception.

Ahrndt left the game early because of an injury, completing 6-of-12 passes for 57 yards and one rushing touchdown. McDonald replaced the starting quarterback and completed 4-of-12 passes for 39 yards and one touchdown pass.

The Wildcats went into the locker room with a 20-7 halftime lead. Senior Brea Olinda quarterback Richie Main passed for 109 first-half yards, completing 69 percent of his passes and throwing two touchdown passes.

Brea Olinda rushed for 264 total yards, but turnovers kept the Raiders in the game.

Richie Main threw two crucial interceptions that lead to the Raiders 21-20 go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.

“We challenged them, and they challenged themselves at halftime,” Chiotti said about the Raiders comeback after the half.

Coming off a close loss against Whittier last week the Raiders were eager to even out their record.

Sonora travels to Valencia next week to take on a Tigers team that defeated the Wildcats in Week 0.

Check back for photos from this game.

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Habra Sports Journal