Posted on 05 October 2013 by La Habra Journal
The Sonora Raiders football team fell to the Estancia Eagles, 19-14, Friday night, at Estancia High School. The Raiders trailed most of the game, but almost battled back to pick up a huge win before they begin league play.
Late in the game, with the Raiders trailing 19-14, the Raiders handed the ball off to Jamaal Anderson from the Estancia 7-yard line. Anderson already had over 200 yards and two touchdowns for the Raiders.
He took the ball straight up the middle on a dive, but coughed up a fumble and the Eagles recovered it at their own 5-yard line. The senior running back finished with 250 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns.
“The kid played a heck of a game,” said Sonora head coach, Paul Chiotti. “I don’t think that we should take the game away from him because of the fumble.”
Sonora got one last chance late, but would have had to drive 95 yards in under a minute. Backup quarterback Cole McDonald threw an interception with only :37 left.
“We got to play better than we did tonight,” Chiotti said. “We made too many mistakes and they just made more plays.”
McDonald was in the game because the starting quarterback Brandon Ahrndt, went down late in the third quarter holding his right knee.
He did not return to the game but the exact extent of the injury is not known.
The Raiders defense came up with some big stops throughout the game. On Estancia’s first drive, the Eagles drove all the way down to the 8-yard line for a first and goal. They ended up with a fourth and goal from the 4-yard line, and decided to go for it instead of taking the early points.
They were stopped short and the Raiders took over from there.
Down 13-0 late in the first half, the Raiders scored to cut the deficit in half on a 36-yard Anderson run with less than two minutes left.
Shortly thereafter, the Eagles’ Christian Laurent gave Estancia a 19-7 lead on a one-yard run with 46 seconds remaining in the half.
The Eagles recovered a squib kick on the ensuing kickoff, giving Estancia a chance for more points from the Sonora 9-yard line.
However, Sonora’s defense stood tall a second time as Estancia was not able to score on fourth and goal from the 2-yard line, and the score remained 19-7 heading into half time.
“I thought our defense played pretty well tonight,” Chiotti said. “They made some big plays when we needed to and really kept us in the game.”
The Raiders got the ball to start the third quarter, and did not take much time to get in the end zone. Anderson took a handoff and went off tackle for a 72-yard touchdown on Sonora’s first play from scrimmage in the second half.
However, that’s as close as the Raiders would get, as Sonora takes a 1-4 record into league play next week.
Ronnie Urquiza added a touchdown run and Eagles quarterback Connor Brown tossed a 53-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
The Raiders will kick off Freeway League play with a home game against the Troy Warriors, Friday, at 7 p.m.
“We have a lot of things that we need to tighten up,” Chiotti said. “We are not quite as far along as I hoped we would be heading into league.”