Phoenix drop AAA Region 6 opener

Ridge Redd catches a pass for a touchdown in a losing effort for Sonoraville versus Rockmart.

The Sonoraville High School football squad will look to get back on track this week when they play their second AAA Region 6 game on the road at North Murray.

For the first time this year, the Phoenix will get to play on consecutive weeks as they have no open dates remaining and that could help them get into the rhythm they’re looking for. But right now their focus is on the Mountaineers and collecting that crucial first Region win of the campaign.

They began league action last Friday Night with a 50-28 shootout loss to Rockmart, which is off to a 2-0 start in league play and has scored 92 points in those two victories.

Sonoraville made a game of it until the very end, taking leads of 7-0, 14-7, and 21-14 before the Yellow Jackets, who were fast, quick and elusive, scored three times and twice on long runs late in the second half to take the lead for good.

The Phoenix notched a touchdown on an outstanding drive to open the second half to make it a one-score affair at 36-28 before the two-time defending region champ scored twice in the fourth quarter to break it open.

The loss put them at 0-1 in the Region as a couple of things become evident about these nine teams fighting for four playoff berths.

First off, it looks like they’re going to be some wild shootout, back-and-forth type of games. In fact, it looks like there will be a lot of them because they’re already have been quite a few of them.

For example, last week North Murray, Ringgold, and Rockmart all won and scored at least 50 points in doing so. So there’s no surprise that Ringgold and Rockmart are both 2-0 after the first two weeks of Region games.

LaFayette, which is also 2-0 in the league to currently make it a three-way logjam at the top, was the other winner, taking a 28-12 victory over Murray County, which along with Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Coahulla Creek are all 0-2 in the region.

But it seems that all of these teams have guys who can catch it or run it to the house. A good example of that is Sonoraville and Coahulla Creek both scoring four touchdowns, but still losing by three touchdowns.

Coahulla Creek lost to North Murray, the team the Phoenix play Friday, 52-30, but the Creek,produced 415 yards in total offense with 234 passing and another 180 on the ground.

The Mountaineers closed with 506 yards, including 347 passing and 159 rushing so the Phoenix defense has to gear it up Friday night for a team that likes to throw it all over the yard.

Sonoraville, despite losing junior running back Zach Lyles in the second quarter to injury, also moved the ball all night against Rockmart, finishing unofficially with 366 yards. Sophomore quarterback Jaxon Pate threw for 219 and the Phoenix ran for 147 more with Lyles having almost half of that total before he departed.

Ringgold was the third team in the region to get past the 50-point barrier in a 56-0 beating of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, which dropped to 0-2 and has been outscored 93-0 in their first two league games.

Adairsville is the other undefeated Region 6 club, standing 1-0 after they were off last week. But the Tigers opened the important part of their schedule nearly two weeks ago with a 55-13 victory over Murray County.

That means that of the eight games that have been played in this region so far after the first two weeks, four of those games have been one with a team scoring 50 or more points.

The only team that is 1-1 after the first fortnight of Region activity is North Murray, which the Phoenix are hoping to surpass in the standings with a victory Friday night.

So after the first two weeks of the games that determine these teams playoff positions, just about all of them have been wildly entertaining with players racing up and down the field and a lot of people in hot pursuit.

But there’s a long way to go and a lot of football still to be played and it appears that Sonoraville will be one of a few different teams chasing a playoff spot going forward.

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