FORT OGLETHORPE — On a night of big plays, the biggest ones went the way of the visiting Sonoraville Phoenix.
Sonoraville scored three touchdowns on plays of 50 yards or more and spoiled Homecoming for the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe Warriors with a 38-10 victory on Friday night, improving to 3-1 on the season.
The Phoenix struck for the first big play on the game’s first play as quarterback Patrick Moore hit Casey Brooks down the sideline on a 67-yard touchdown pass. The first of five Dawson Holbrook extra points gave the Red-and-Black a 7-0 lead just 19 seconds into the contest.
LFO (1-2) would respond by driving from their own 46 to the Sonoraville 6, aided by a 15-yard, fourth-down face mask penalty. However, Sonoraville’s defense would bow its back and the Warriors would have to settle for a 23-yard Bailey Goins field goal.
Sonoraville would strike quickly on its ensuing possession, needing less than three minutes to cover 72 yards. Tristan Key went 45 yards on a run to move the ball to the LFO 16 and Moore covered the rest of the distance on a keeper.
After forcing an LFO punt, the Phoenix offense went back to work. A 36-yard catch by Tyler Lyles set up Sonoraville at the LFO 21. Three plays later, Trenton Daniel scampered 13 yards to give his team a 21-3 lead with 10:09 left to play in the half.
To the Warriors’ credit, they refused to throw in the towel. LFO would get a defensive stop at its own 40 and marched 60 yards to the endzone, overcoming a holding penalty and nearly losing a fumble inside the redzone.
Quarterback Zach Vaughn hit Gabe Smith from 14 yards out as Smith made an incredible leaping catch over a Sonoraville defender. Goins’ PAT would trim the gap to 21-10 with 3:18 left in the half.
But the Phoenix methodically drove from its own 33 to the LFO 8 as Holbrook booted a 24-yard field goal as time expired in the half. Sonoraville got a big 21-yard catch by Daniel early in the drive to make up for a 15-yard penalty and a sack, which started the possession.
After the two teams exchanged punts to begin the second half, Sonoraville made two big back-to-back plays in a span of just 10 seconds. First, the defense snuffed out a fake punt attempt at midfield with 4:05 left in the period and on the very next play, Key found a hole and raced 50 yards up the middle to open up a 21-point lead.
LFO’s next drive fizzled out at the Sonoraville 44 and the Phoenix would start at their own 20 after the punt went into the endzone. Two plays later, Sonoraville delivered the back-breaking blow as Moore faked a handoff and raced 77 yards down the sidelines for what would turn out to be the final points of the night just three plays into the fourth quarter.
Moore had a huge night, completing 11-of-16 passes for 194 yards and rushing nine times for 95 yards while accounting for three touchdowns. He went 10-of-15 in the air for 186 yards in the opening half.
Key ran seven times for 103 yards, while Case Collins picked up 80 yards on 10 attempts. Brooks led all receivers with 107 yards on just four catches.
Joe Lambert and Colton McReynolds had sacks for the Phoenix, while defensive back Blade Bryant had a key pass break-up in the first half, thwarting a potential TD pass.
Vaughn threw for 115 yards on 9-of-18 passing to seven different receivers and added 55 yards on 16 carries. Nathan Williams had 106 yards on 12 tough carries, while James Beddington had two sacks for the LFO defense. Braxton Jones and Jonathan Cutcher also teamed up for a sack for the Warriors.
Sonoraville will host Ringgold next Friday night, while LFO will travel to Haralson County.