Soroco stands up to Sanford
Oak Creek — It certainly wasn’t the most important play of the night, not on this night, not for this Soroco High School football team.
In fact, the play in question was a bad one for the Rams. Sanford’s Derick Faucette sprinted through the potential tacklers and up the sideline as he returned a kickoff, untouched and cruising for a late-game score.
It wouldn’t even have mattered, not for anything other than pride and statistics. Soroco was already enroute to what would be a huge win for the team, a 48-12 triumph at home and striking early season evidence that these Rams will be a factor this season.
“A team has to find an identity, to find itself. This team started last week,” said first-year coach Dick Dudus, considering both Friday’s win and last week’s 30-18 loss against No. 1 Caliche.
“We further honed it tonight,” he said. “It’s a process, and we figured out tonight we can play with the dogs if we have to.”
But any time a player breaks free and is streaking down the field alone on a kickoff return, it’s a big play, right?
It would have been, had it not been for the avalanche of big Soroco plays that preceded it.
Sanford bludgeoned Soroco 62-16 when the teams met last year, but the Rams controlled this one from the start, scoring to start the game with a 13 play, 57-yard drive, then building up an insurmountable lead.
Senior running Eric Logan scored two touchdowns and converted four two-point conversions in the game, and freshman Jace Logan, Eric’s younger brother, added two touchdowns of his own. Quarterback Isaac Jonas, meanwhile, threw for one and ran for two more touchdowns.
The defense was just as strong, keeping a stable of elusive Indians running backs contained. That battle started on the line, where the Ram’s interior linemen plugged holes. Sanford didn’t get inside Soroco’s 10-yard line until late in the third quarter, and when it did, a sack backed the Indians up, and Jonas ended the threat with an interception.
That was one of five turnovers that sank Sanford.
Griffen Peterson got the Indians on the board in the fourth quarter with a one-yard run, then scored again as a receiver, but the Rams never relinquished control, and as Faucette cut through the Soroco kickoff defense, as he got to the sideline and found a clear alley to the endzone, it really didn’t affect the overall outcome.
But Jace Logan, already enjoying the game of his young career with those two touchdowns, didn’t let him go.
As Faucette crossed the 20, Logan dove, flying just far enough to catch the back of Faucette’s jersey. He hung on and pulled him to the ground at the 12-yard line.
“He had me beat,” Logan said, “but I really didn’t want to let him score.”
Dudas talked about how the difference in the team so far this season is the identity it’s adopted, one defined by heart and hard work.
Sanford actually scored two plays after Faucette was stopped on that kickoff return, so it even got its points from that long kickoff return. One flamboyant tackle to save face on blown kick return coverage really didn’t matter, but for a Soroco team that’s found its identity, it seemed to say everything.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9
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