FULLERTON — In what could prove to be the pivotal game in determining the Freeway League champion, Sonora Coach Mark Takkinen proved himself a prophet on nearly every account.
For his Raiders to beat defending champion Troy--which they did, 17-15, in front of a Troy homecoming crowd of about 800 at Fullerton High--Takkinen expected the Warriors to run well but not pass well, but his team to do both. He also expected turnovers to have a huge impact.
Absolutely right. The Warriors rushed (6-2, 2-1) for 314 yards--209 by Larry Montgomery. He scored every Troy point--two touchdowns (setting a school record with 16 on the year) and a two-point conversion, giving Troy a short-lived 15-14 lead with 2:47 left to play. But Warrior quarterback Kevin Gray completed only one pass in five attempts, and even that 15-yarder worked against him and his team; receiver Jim Wise fumbled at the goal line, the ball bounced through the end zone and the Raiders got the ball on a touchback.
Meanwhile Sonora (5-3, 3-0) had 235 yards rushing--137 by Sam Escobar. They could also throw; quarterback Kevin Rodriguez, despite two interceptions, passed for 125 yards and two first-half touchdowns, both to Mark Gonzalez.