Madera South quarterback Jonah Johnson reaches over the goal line for an apparent touchdown during Friday’s loss to Kerman. (Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune)
After winning its game of the season, the Madera South Stallions football team is still recovering from a hard loss against the Kerman Lions last week.
“I don’t think we played our best football,” said Madera South coach Dane Cook after Friday’s 42-14 loss to the Lions. “They were a good team, but I don’t feel like that was our best performance.”
The game started off on a bad note for the Stallions at the kickoff when Kerman’s Mario Hernandez returned the game’s opening kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown.
The first drive for the Stallions saw quarterback Jonah Johnson throw a 12-yard pass to Mathew Manoz, but no score would come from this set of downs. Instead, the Lions would score another touchdown with a 14-yard pass from quarterback Sean Chambers to Charlie Gonzalez for a 13-0 lead.
The next Madera South drive resulted in a punt and ended in another touchdown pass to Gonzalez for the Lions.
The Stallions, however, were able to pick up their game at the start of the second quarter when the Lions attempted a field goal. The kick was good, but the Stallions had a penalty on the play. The Lions decided to use this opportunity to attempt a touchdown, as the penalty moved them to the one. In a moment of irony, the ensuing play resulted in a Lions fumble in the end zone and it was recovered by Madera South’s Maurice McClain.
In the resulting drive, Johnson led the Stallions 80-yards for a score. This included a 10-yard quarterback keeper, a 13-yard pass to McClain, and an 11-yard pass to Jacob Kirkpatrick. Johnson finished off the drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Mora to cut Kerman’s lead to 20-7.
The Lions were quick to reply with another touchdown of their own. They drove 80 yards themselves and scored with a quarterback keep by Chambers. Scoring a two-point conversion, the Lions extended their lead to 28-7.
Desperate to score in the last seconds of the first half, Johnson led the Stallions from their own 38-yard line to Kerman’s 32. Madera South failed to score, however, when a 49-yard field goal attempt by Danny Joya fell short.
The Stallions got the ball at the start of the third quarter at their own 35-yard line. Johnson threw a 13-yard pass to Jaylan Neal at the start of the drive, followed by a seven-yard run by McClain. Despite a pair of penalties against Madera South, Johnson was able to get the ball to Kerman’s 11-yard line, but the drive ended in a turnover on downs.
The Stallions held the Lions on the next drive, thanks to a sack by Martin Almarez and Esteban Rodriquez. Following the Lions’ punt, Madera South then got its first and only score of the second half when Johnson scored on a 12-yard run.
Kerman responded with another touchdown on the next drive, and Madera South tried to keep pace.
The Stallions drove it to the 47-yard line on the next drive, but a fumble by Johnson resulted in a turnover, and another touchdown by Kerman.
In Madera South’s final drive, McClain ran for a 60-yard touchdown, only for it to be brought back by a Stallions’ holding penalty, which resulted in the touchdown being taken off the board.
“We were crippled by penalties,” said Cook. “It seemed like every big play we had, we got called back.”
Madera South finished the drive, and the game, with another turnover on downs, resulting in a 42-14 victory for the Lions.
The Madera South Stallions will play on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Hoover-Fresno Patriots at McLane Stadium in Fresno. It will be Madera South’s first road game of the season.