Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Mathew Manoz tries to run around the corner during the Stallion’s loss to the Golden West Trailblazers.
Despite the best efforts of quarterback Jonah Johnson and running back Maurice McClain , the Madera South Stallions football team suffered a hard loss to the Golden West-Visalia Trailblazers.
“We have guys that aren’t reading their keys, and doing their own thing,” said Madera South coach Dane Cook said of Friday’s 52-35 home loss. “If you’re not executing your keys, nothing’s going to work for you.”
The game started off badly for Madera South, when Golden West scored a touchdown after the kickoff on a 59-yard drive. The final yard was cleared by Trailblazers’ Gonzalo Rodriguez for his first touchdown. Rodriguez then ran in for a two-point conversion.
Madera South failed to convert a first down on its first drive. A punt by Danny Joya was blocked, resulting in Golden West beginning its drive at Madera South’s 10-yard line. It took two plays for the Trailblazers to score a second touchdown.
A kickoff return by Dionisio Rodriguez started the Stallions at their own 38. McClain went for two first downs in a row and 21 yards, while Jonah Johnson went for a 13-yard run. In the fifth play of the drive, Madera South scored its first touchdown with a 10-yard run by Jacob Kirkpatrick.
Golden West wasted no time in scoring on the next drive. Starting with the ball on their own 23-yard line, the Trailblazers drove 77 yards in 10 plays. Gonzalo Rodriguez finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.
The Stallions started on their 38-yard line on the next drive, but went back 16 yards, forcing a punt. Madera South held Golden West at the goal line, when a touchdown run was stopped by McClain.
However, the Trailblazers scored on the next drive with a 54-yard touchdown pass.
Madera South started at its own 19-yard line on its ensuing possesion. With the help of a 36-yard pass to Jaylan Neal from Johnson, the Stallions scored a touchdown with a 16-yard run by McClain.
In Golden West’s next possession, the Trailblazers were poised for a touchdown, but an interception by Matt Manoz near Madera South’s 15-yard line stopped the drive. Madera South eventually scored on a 10-yard pass to Kirkpatrick from Johnson.
Rodriguez ran nine yards for his third touchdown the next drive, ending the first half 36-21 Trailblazers’ lead.
The kickoff seemed to show a turnaround for the Stallions.
Starting off on their own 36-yard line, in 12 plays, Madera South moved the ball down the field. The biggest plays qwew a nine-yard run by Kirkpatrick and a 13-yard keeper by Johnson. McClain ran the final two yards for a Madera South touchdown. The Stallions, however, saw Jaylan Neal injured in the drive and out for the remainder of the game. According to Cook, Neal should be back for the next game.
The Stallions were unable to stop the Trailblazers on the next drive, as Rodriguez ran for a 21-yard touchdown. He then ran in for the two-point conversion.
The next drive for Madera South showed potential. McClain, on the opening play of the drive, ran 30 yards to enter Golden West’s territory. The Stallions drove to the 26-yard line, but Johnson threw an interception.
Rodriguez then ran in his fourth touchdown of the game, this one from 33 yards.
Madera South had the last possession of the game. Backup quarterback Steven Alaniz scored on a keeper on fourth-and-goal to end the scoring in a 52-35 Golden West win.
The Stallions’ next game will be against the Fresno Warriors at McLane Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m.