Sonoraville kickoff team

Members of the Sonoraville kickoff team approach the ball during last Friday’s game against Bremen. (Larry Greeson, For the Calhoun Times)

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The Sonoraville Phoenix have had two straight back-and-forth battles that did not go their way on their home field. This week they are looking to bounce back by going on the road and making sure it isn’t a good night for Haralson County on their home field.

The Phoenix (3-3, 0-1 Region 6-AAA South) will make their longest trip of the regular season this week when they travel to Tallapoosa to take on a winless Rebels team as they try to even their subregion record.

Sonoraville lost the last two Fridays at The Furnace to Ringgold and Bremen with both games being decided by one possession. Against the Blue Devils last week, the Phoenix fell behind by two touchdowns after the game was tied at the half, but kept fighting to get within a score before Bremen salted the game away.

Sonoraville coach Denver Pate said you are never satisfied with a loss, but he was pleased with the way his team kept battling despite being down and dealing with multiple injuries.

“We are proud of our players for the battle they put up,” said Pate. “We had several key guys go down with injuries, and I thought we did the best we could do replacing them and trying to keep plugging away. I just hate it for Will Pritchett and Matthew Vincent. They are two key contributors on our team, and they have done a great job of being true team players.”

Vincent and Pritchett were two of the several Sonoraville players injured in the physical contest to add to an already depleted roster that has been affected by multiple early-season injuries.

One of the high notes from the contest was the continued strong play from quarterback Patrick Moore who threw for two touchdowns and ran for a 72-yard touchdown.

Sonoraville has a chance to change the momentum of their season on Friday when they visit a Haralson County team that hasn’t had a lot go their way under first-year head coach Scott Peavey. All but one of their five losses have been by 30 points or more. Still, Pate said his team can’t take anything for granted and have to prepare well this week.

“(Haralson County) will run a lot of one back on offense,” said Pate. “Their backs do a good job of running hard. On defense, they will work from a three-man front and will try to bring an assortment of blitzes.”

Another added variable for the team on Friday is the road trip. The Phoenix have already traveled to Model, Dalton and LFO this season, but the trip to Haralson County is longer than any of those at right around an hour and a half.

The players will also be out of school on Friday to begin Fall Break, which runs through next Friday. Pate said they will try to make things as normal as possible to not let the road trip make too much of a difference in their approach.

“I think not having school for the next two Fridays is bigger than the drive because it takes our players out of the routines they are accustomed to,” said Pate. “Our guys do a good job of using the bus trips as a time to relax and get ready for the challenge they will face. The trip will have no bearing on how we play.”

Pate added that his team will have a list of several keys they want to accomplish in order to have a successful night at Haralson County on Friday.

“We have to win up front first and foremost on both lines of scrimmage,” said Pate. “We have to do a better job of getting the ball in our playmakers’ hands offensively and be able to get off the field on third downs on defense.”