Oak Creek Behind a little trickery and stout defense, the Soroco High School football team ended a five-game losing streak Saturday, downing Eagle Valley's junior varsity team 14-7.
While the Rams defense was the story, causing five turnovers on the day, a play that had been in the playbook all year - but never seemed to work - provided the fireworks.
With Soroco driving the ball in the first quarter, Rams sophomore quarterback Cody Miles found Robert Anderson on a hook play. As an Eagle Valley player moved in for a tackle, Anderson took one step away and pitched the pigskin to a sprinting Levi Gonzales for a hook-and-lateral play.
Gonzales took the ball 18 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
"We've been practicing that all week," said Gonzales, who finished with 103 yards rushing and receiving and sealed the game with an interception with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. "The wide receiver wasn't catching it right at first, but I was impressed with him. We ran it a couple of times during the first game and it didn't really work. (Saturday) it did."
After the Rams took the lead with some flashy offense, the team's defense did the rest.
Facing a double-wing attack, the Rams limited the Devils to 186 rushing yards on 37 carries. One of those carries was a 57 yard-touchdown run by Cody Coulter in the third quarter that cut Soroco's lead to 14-7.
After Miles scored from 8 yards out on the first drive of the second half for Soroco, the Rams defense forced three Devils turnovers - including two fumbles - and made the Eagle Valley defense turn the ball over three times on downs.
"I've coached against double wing before, the key is reading the guards," Soroco coach David Bruner said. "Overall our defensive line did a pretty good job. I talked to the kids, and the key to the game was if we could get some turnovers."
Soroco next plays a 7 p.m. on Friday at home against the top team in the league, Grand Valley.
Bruner knows Soroco will have to get some breaks to compete with Grand Valley, but said at this point in the year, he's been pleased with the way the Rams have played.
"This is good. It's good to get back in the win column," Bruner said. "We won two last year and two this year, after losing 11 seniors, so I feel pretty good."
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org