After going through the County/Metro Athletic Conference gauntlet, the Madera South Stallions are now riding with confidence heading into quarterfinal match-up with Chowchilla on Friday.
The 11th seeded Stallions have gained more than 500 yards in their past two games and three of their last four, including last week’s 63-27 victory over the sixth-seeded Liberty Hawks in the Div. IV first round Thursday.
Now, the Stallions face a stiff test Friday against the second seeded Redskins, who have just one loss this season.
In its four wins, the Stallions scored 40 or more points. However, they gave up 40 or more points in all seven of their losses. They were outscored by 100 points in five CMAC games, however, the Stallions have outscored their opponents by six points in six non-league games.
The Stallions just aren’t going to roll over against the Redkins. Madera South heads into Friday night battle tested after facing Div. II top seed Sanger and Div. III fifth seed San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno, who defeated North 70-37 in a first-round match up. The Stallions also faced Div. I Edison-Fresno and No. 10 Bullard.
Madera South is led by all-everything quarterback Jonah Johnson, who leads the team in rushing and passing. However, it hasn’t all been Johnson the past couple of weeks.
Yes, Johnson has accounted for more than 300 yards of total offense in the wins over Madera and Liberty, but it was his supporting cast that did more damage.
Running back Maurice McClain rushed for 177 yards on just nine carries against the Hawks. He scored three touchdowns while averaging almost 20 a carry. He also rushed for 90 yards on just five carries and scored a touchdown. In two games, McClain is averaging 19 yards per carry.
Running back/receiver Jacob Kirkpatrick has also been a force on the ground and in the air. Against the Coyotes, Kirkpatrick totaled 189 yards and scored four touchdowns. Against the Hawks he had only 10 yards rushing, but also had 106 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns.
Not to be outdone is running back Mathew Manoz, who gained 134 rushing and receiving yards against the Coyotes and had 65 against the Hawks while scoring three touchdowns.
Don’t forget about receiver Jaylan Neal, who caught a school record 11 passes for 171 yards in a loss to Bullard a few weeks ago.
The Stallions defense is improving and is led by Juan Valasquez.
However, the road to the semifinals and a covetedThanksgiving morning practice, won’t be easy.
The Redskins are the No. 2 seed for good reason. They have outscored their opponents by almost 250 points this season and, on average, score 39 points per game while allowing just 11.
Chowchilla has scored more than 40 points in six of its eight wins and are also coming into Friday’s game following a win over the Hawks.
Although the team is different than last year’s team that lost in the State Championship, this Redskins team is still reliant on the running game and stingy on defense.
Quarterback Cody Woolsey leads the Redskins, who will be playing its last games under the nickname before becoming the Tribe after the fall sports seasons end.
Woolsey has plenty of options with Asa Shields, Ronnie Reyes and Carlos Iniquez. What makes Woolsey even more dangerous is the passing game, which is hard to find out of a double-tight end, double-wing formation.
Bernardo Bustillos caught five passes for 118 yards and a touchdown against Liberty and many were wide open.
Reyes leads the defensive charge from the multi-positional blitzing defense of the Redskins. They came at offenses from different positions on different plays.
Reyes’ forced fumble on Liberty’s first offensive play set the tone for the rest of the game and led to a fumble recovery touchdown.
The Div. IV quarterfinal game will be a match-up of run-powered offense against a solid defense that might go down to whoever possesses the ball last.
Find out on Friday night in Chowchilla. Kick off is set for 7 p.m.