Sonora football stopped by Vista del Lago’s tough defense in Division 9 quarterfinals – Orange County Register

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LA HABRA — The normally high-scoring Sonora football team was held to its lowest point total of the season in a CIF-SS Division 9 quarterfinal against Vista del Lago on Thursday at La Habra High School.

Sonora also had a hard time contending with Vista del Lago’s multiple offensive weapons.

The Raiders kept it close for a half but were shut out in the second half while the Ravens scored two third-quarter touchdowns en route to a 21-7 victory.

The Ravens (9-3) will play the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal between Orange and Rio Hondo Prep in a semifinal next week.

“I think the difference was their speed and you know kudos to them,” Sonora coach Kevin Oberlander said. “If you have a fast football team, you still have to know how to use it. They were coached pretty well within what they do.”

The Raiders (9-3) punted on the game’s first possession and turned the ball over on downs on their second possession.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Ravens got on the board on their first possession of the second when quarterback Larry Joyce hit Jayson Hicks for a 14-yard touchdown, capping a 75-yard, eight-play drive.

Sonora took over on its 35 with 8:37 left in the second quarter and ran 12 consecutive running plays before quarterback Landon Martin threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Olin Morales Hyder to tie the score with 50 seconds left in the half.

But the Raiders couldn’t put together a consistent drive in the second half, turning the ball over on downs on all three second-half possessions.

Vista del Lago scored on its first two second-half possessions.

The first score came on a 1-yard touchdown run from Fabian Bolanos.

The big play on that 90-yard scoring drive was Joyce’s 70-yard pass to Hicks, which came on a third-and-5 from the Ravens15.

On their next possession, the Ravens drove the ball 78 yards for a touchdown, with Joyce finding Cameron Sims for a 19-yard touchdown.

“They’re a really tough team,” Ravens coach Michael Tuohy said of the Raiders. “We had a nightmare preparing for them on defense all week, but I could not be prouder of the defense and the job they did. Those guys averaged 31 points a game. We held them to seven points tonight. It’s an unbelievable job on the defense and offense. They did a great job closing the game out at the end with a long drive.”

Running back Anthony Abad was a workhorse for Sonora, carrying the ball 31 times for 91 hard-earned yards.

Abad had 10 carries on the Raiders’ 12-play scoring drive.

“We get him back, thankfully, as a senior,” Oberlander said. “He’s a really tough kid. He’s taken zero plays off this entire year. He hasn’t been hurt. He hasn’t been banged up. Just a tough kid.”

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