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PREP EXTRA: SATURDAY FOOTBALL PULLOUT : Sonora Loses, but Still Wins Share of Title

November 05, 1994|DAN ARRITT | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

FULLERTON — While Fullerton celebrated its 12-7 homecoming victory over Sonora on Friday, the Raiders unknowingly backed into a share of their first league championship in 21 years by virtue of Buena Park's upset of second-place Troy.

Sonora (5-4, 3-1) can win the Freeway League title outright with a victory over Sunny Hills Thursday, but that's one of the few things for certain in the league race.

Fullerton (5-4, 2-2) can get a piece of the league title if it beats Troy (2-2) and Sonora loses.

Sonora was six yards away from victory, but the Indians sacked quarterback Kevin Rodriguez three consecutive times with less than a minute to play to keep their title chances alive.

Sonora had started its final drive on its 44 with 4:44 remaining when a short run followed by a facemask penalty put the ball at Fullerton's 39.

Rodriguez hit Shawn Brass with a 13-yard pass on third and eight, then completed an 11-yard pass to Mark Gonzalez on fourth and eight. Fullerton's Mario Ramirez was called for spearing on the play, giving Sonora a first down at the eight.

After Albert Lopez ran the ball to the six, Tyler Brickell sacked Rodriguez for a seven-yard loss and Ramirez then had consecutive sacks, ending the Raider drive at the 38.

"They played great defensively," Sonora Coach Mark Takkinen said. "They stopped everything, it's the best defense a team has played against us this season."

Fullerton took a 6-0 lead with 2 minutes 40 seconds left in the first quarter when Christopher Young, who rushed for 130 yards in 24 carries, scored on a six-yard touchdown run.

The Raiders answered when Angel Cueva intercepted a pass and returned it eight yards to the Fullerton 18. Three plays later, Rodriguez rolled right and threw across the field to Lopez for a 16-yard scoring pass.

The Indians went ahead in the third quarter when a short punt and a facemask call gave Fullerton the ball at the Raider 16. Young then followed with a three-yard touchdown run with 2:44 left in the quarter.

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