Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South receiver Jaylan Neal escapes a San Joaquin Memorial defender to score a touchdown during Friday’s loss.
The Madera South Stallions suffered their second straight loss when they were beaten by the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers in Fresno.
The game, which was Memorial’s homecoming, saw the Madera South defense put up a struggle in the second half. Its improvements however, were not enough to seize a win from the Panthers in a 48-20 loss.
“It was a rough game. We didn’t play well at all in the first half,” said Madera South head coach Dane Cook. “But to our kids’ credit, we came back and played pretty well in the second half.”
The game started off with Madera South in possession of the ball on its own 26-yard line. After two incomplete passes, Jonah Johnson threw a six-yard pass to Mathew Manoz, but it was not enough for a first down, and the Stallions were forced to punt.
In the ensuing drive, the Panthers started on their own 43-yard line, but moved to Madera South’s 46-yard line in an 11-yard pass. A 5-yard run finished the drive with a Memorial touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion.
After Madera South’s second drive resulted in another punt, Memorial capitalized with a 52-yard touchdown run.
On Madera South’s next possession of the ball, Johnson gained 30-yards to the Panthers’ 22-yard line. But the Stallions were stopped on fourth down.
Memorial then scored its third touchdown of the night, with a 22-yard pass to Matt Coyle from Mikey Alvarez.
Trailing 21-0, the Stallions then scored in their next drive. Starting at the Panthers’ 47-yard line, with the help of a return by Maurice McClain (whose return touchdown was brought back by a flag), Madera South scored by a 20-yard carry by McClain, who finally got his touchdown. The drive was keyed by an 11-yard run on fourth down by Johnson.
San Joaquin Memorial, however, scored on the next drive, while Madera South made a turnover on downs with its next possession, and Coyle scored again for the Panthers on the next drive, but failed on the two-point conversion.
Later, another touchdown for Memorial was stopped by an interception by Isaiah Williams, when the Panthers were at the 36-yard line. The interception, however, produced no points for the Stallions.
After another two Memorial touchdowns, the Stallions intercepted the ball again, this time, the catch made deep in Stallions territory by Jaylan Neal, who ran the ball back for a touchdown.
The Stallions scored the last points of the evening when Johnson threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Neal, but it was not enough to turn the tide.