Petaluma rolls over Sonoma on homecoming night

It wasn’t perfect. At times it wasn’t very pretty. But for the chanting, cheering, screaming pink-clad homecoming celebrants, Petaluma’s 37-13 victory over Sonoma Valley Friday night was definitely a lot of fun.

Wearing pink in all forms from t-shirts to tutus in tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Petaluma’s students were in a spirited party mood, and the Trojans gave them plenty of reason to celebrate, driving for a touchdown in their first possession and never trailing against the gritty, but winless Dragons. The win improved Petaluma to 6-1 on the season, while the loss was the seventh without a victory for Sonoma.

Despite a tendency to stagger at times through fumbles, penalties and missed assignments, Petaluma was never in danger of falling,

Sonoma Valley’s offense has been totally reinvented from the first half of the season when the Dragons were a run-dominated ball control team. Friday’s version was primarily a two-man passing show with sophomore Trent Ohman throwing to senior Trent Baker. Ohman passed for 218 yards.

The duo caused some consternation for Petaluma, but the Trojans answered with a blitz of linebackers that led to Ohman continually scrambling in all directions and three pass interceptions in the first half.

At one point in the second quarter, Petaluma had interceptions by Doren Shaw and Kyle Machado on back-to-back Sonoma possessions.

Petaluma used a bevy of running backs to control the football all evening with sophomore Chase Miller and junior fullback Lucas Vanderlind particularly impressive. Miller ran for 73 yards to lead a list of six Trojan ball carriers.

But the real power for Petaluma rushing success came from its front line anchored by center Zach Rinsky and including Jagger Williams, Tyshaun Thames, Juan Garcia and Jed Anezil. They allowed six Trojan backs to rush for 281 yards.

Petaluma pushed 72 yards in its first possession, capping the drive with a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Ed Berncich. Automatic Mackenzie Soper was straight with the conversion kick. On Sonoma’s first possession Asher Levy picked off an Ohman pass. That eventually led to an 8-yard touchdown run by quarterback Henry Ellis and the outcome was pretty much decided.

Sonoma stayed relevant for a while, cutting the Trojan lead to 14-7 on a 15-yard scoring pass from Ohman to Rollo Benstead.

In the third quarter, with Petaluma leading 23-7, the Dragons again created a touch of concern when Baker somehow danced out of several would-be Trojan tackers to complete an 11-yard touchdown play on a pass from Ohman.

But. For the most part, Trojan rooters had reason to cheer.

Petaluma scoring, after its first-quarter start came on a 10-yard run by Vanderlind, a 25-yard field goal by Levy, a 21-yard run by Vanderlind and a 6-yard pass from Ellis to Shaw.

Ellis was 9 of 14 throwing for 131 yards.

Hyrum Smith was particularly tough on Ohman, sacking him twice and chasing the quarterback all around the Sonoma backfield.

Petaluma, its playoff and title-share hopes still intact stays home next Friday to play Napa.

Petaluma made it a happy night all around by winning the junior varsity game 14-6.

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