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No longer undefeated: Sierra still winless at famed Dunlavy Field
SONORA—The curse of Dunlavy Field still remains.

A week after the Sierra Timberwolves watched their star running back Jarrod Daniels tie the school rushing record and score five touchdowns, they simply couldn’t find the momentum needed in a 17-7 loss to Sonora that ended their undefeated season.

Sonora, which celebrated Homecoming in front of over 4,000 fans, remains undefeated against Sierra on its field.

The usually well-mannered Timberwolves were hampered by a handful of penalties. One infraction nullified a touchdown, and another handed the Wildcats a first down on a drive that scored the go-ahead touchdown.

“They were just more physical than us out there tonight, and at their line just played much more physical than we did,” Sierra head coach Jeff Harbison said. “We broke down mentally and that can’t happen when you’re playing against a good football team.”

The Wildcats (3-1 Valley Oak League, 6-1 overall) struck first at the end of the first quarter when Irl Barajas took a pitch around the right corner and cut back to dash 56 yards into the end zone.

While the Timberwolves managed to contain the smash-mouth running style of Sonora tailback Dan Link, they didn’t get anything going offensively until late in the second quarter when backup quarterback Adrian Valencia put together a three-play passing strike that ended with an 18-yard touchdown to Anthony Hall.

“We thought that the momentum that we had right there would be enough going in at halftime,” Harbison said. “We made a few adjustments and thought that they were going to play a part in the second half, but they didn’t seem to work.”

The Wildcats used an offensive combination of option plays and up-the-middle runs that put the bulk of the workload on the back of Link, who finished the game with 103 yards on 26 carries.

Ever since Sierra opened its doors in 1995, the Timberwolves have never been able to win a road game at Dunlavy Field – famed for being featured at one-time in a USA Today article naming it one of the best places in the country to watch a high school football game.

For Daniels, it was just another field he was hoping to dominate and continue to ride the momentum of his epic performance from the week before.

The senior team leader was disappointed with the penalties, the turnovers, and the overall inability to overcome the adversity that the Wildcats had thrown Sierra’s way.

He finished the game with 66 yards on 15 carries and was held out of the end zone.

“We just didn’t play our game tonight – penalties, jumping offside – that’s not how we normally play football,” Daniels said. “We just wanted to ride out last week’s momentum but we didn’t play how we wanted to and that’s ultimately what cost us the game.”