Courtesy of Christopher Cross
Madera South’s Junior Segura outruns the Kerman defense during a long touchdown run in Friday’s 27-14 loss to the Lions.
Just hours before the Kerman Lions took the field against the Madera South Stallions last week, the Lions found out their head coach Anthony Taylor passed away after a long illness.
Already emotional with their first home game, the Lions outlasted the Stallions for a 27-14 victory Friday.
“I knew coach Taylor pretty well,” Madera South head coach Matt Johnson said. “His brother coached with me at Edison. I just knew when I would see him in the offseason, I wanted to say something to him. He looked good to me the last time I saw him.”
Despite the loss, Johnson was impressed with the improvement he saw in his team while facing Rutgers recruit, Kerman quarterback Sean Chambers.
“They have one thing that you can’t have on a day-to-day basis,” Johnson said. “They have a quarterback. He is just so good with his feet. I knew we had to stop their run game. We didn’t have enough bodies for them. He’s the straw that stirs the drink. We got after him pretty good. We controlled him.
“We had a lot of things, besides the emotions, going against us,” Johnson said. “Our offense and defense is making strides from the week before. That’s what I am looking for, improvement all season.”
While the Stallions worked to contain Chambers, Madera South scored early, but couldn’t battle back in the fourth quarter.
“We were in the game for 3 1/2 quarters and that’s a good Kerman football team because of the quarterback,” Johnson said.
The Stallions scored first when Julio Mora picked off a Chambers pass to set up good field position. Matthew Posas finished the drive with a 30-yard run to open the scoring.
Trailing 20-7 in the third quarter, Junior Segura highlighted the Stallions’ offense with a 68-yard run that featured a run across the grain and numerous missed tackles.
“He’s arguably one of the fastest guys and he just ran away from them,” Johnson said. “We came out bang, bang, just like last week.”
However, the Lions closed out the scoring with an 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter for the 13-point victory.
“That drive just sucked us out of the game. We ran out of bodies. Our team made great strides. We gave them everything they could deal with. We’re not good enough to finish it, yet. We had some gutty little stops. Offensively, we couldn’t do enough to keep them off the field.”
The Stallions open their home season Friday night in Memorial Bowl against the equally 0-2 Hoover-Fresno Patriots.