Benny Munoz/The Madera Tribune
Madera South running back Maurice McClain looks for running room against Pacheco Friday night. McClain rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown in the win.
After seesawing back and forth for the lead, the Madera South Stallions football team was able to beat the Pacheco-Los Banos Panthers, 42-29, after scoring two touchdowns in the last minute of its home opener.
“I’m happy we won, obviously, and I think we made a lot of progress since the scrimmage,” said
Madera South coach Dane Cook. “I think our kids played hard, and I think our kids have been resilient.”
Despite giving up 29 points in the game, the Stallions’ defense was able to hold on in the end, and scored seven points off Pacheco. The momentum of the game was arguably shifted by Mathew Manoz’s second half safety. Manoz also made a key fourth quarter interception, which started the game-winning drive.
Madera South’s offense also saw success. Johnson, who did almost as much leg work as he did throwing, completing 10-of-17 passes for 159 yards. He also led the team with 91 yards rushing.
“I trained really hard over the summer, and I worked on legs and everything just to get faster,” Johnson said.
Johnson was not alone, however, as Maurice McClain ran 73 yards.
The Panthers, however, were not easily beaten, and kept the Stallions on guard throughout the game. On Madera South’s first drive, when quarterback Jonah Johnson threw an interception.
Johnson made up for it in the next drive, however, by throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaylan Neal for the first score of the game.
Pacheco responded with a touchdown of its own, followed by another by Madera South with a one-yard run by Brandon Mora.
The Panthers then scored another touchdown with seconds left in the second quarter, and ran in a two-point conversion for a 15-14 halftime lead.
The Stallions quickly reclaimed the lead in the second half when they scored a safety on the Panthers’ first drive, courtesy of a sack by Manoz.
The Stallions then added six more points when Johnson ran in for an 11-yard touchdown on the drive proceeding the safety punt.
Pacheco responded with its first touchdown of the half with 1:44 left in the third quarter, tying the game at 22.
The Stallions then ended the quarter with a 31-yard pass by Johnson to Isaiah Williams for a touchdown and a 29-22 lead.
The Panthers tied the game again with a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown.
The Pathers drove the ball to the Stallions’ nine-yard line. Manoz, stopped the Panthers from scoring with an interception at the five- yard line. He returned it to the 35-yard line to set the Stallions for the game-winning drive.
The Stallions drove down the field to score the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute left in the game with a Maurice McClain two-yard touchdown run.
The Panthers tried to take the game into overtime, but were intercepted by Jacob Kirkpatrick, who ran the ball in for a Madera South touchdown for a 42-29 victory.
Madera South’s next game will be Friday, when they host the Kerman Lions.