Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South football coach Matt Johnson talks to his team that gave him his first Stallions victory after a 20-7 win over the Hoover Patriots in Memorial Stadium.
The Madera South Stallions football team capitalized on two first-half touchdowns to beat the Hoover-Fresno Patriots 20-7 in its home opener in Memorial Stadium.
“Clearly it feels great,” Matt Johnson said after his first win as the Stallions’ head coach. “What do they say — a win’s a win and we’ll take it any way we can get it. It was ugly at times. Our offense hasn’t found that rhythm, not for two quarters, let alone a full game. If we don’t find some rhythm on offense it’s just going to be a proverbial long year for us.”
Despite struggling at times, quarterback Steven Alaniz threw for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns to give the Stallions the victory.
The matchup between the Stallions and the Patriots got off to a slow start after an unlucky first quarter for both teams.
The action picked up with seven minutes left in the second quarter when Alaniz escaped the pocket and found Dallas Hansen sitting in the middle of the field.
Hansen caught the pass and turned upfield, where he broke two tackles in route to a 40-yard score.
The Stallions took a 7-0 lead and, after back-to-back punts, they extended it.
Alaniz, once again dropped back and found his receiver, Eddie Ramirez, who ran to the end zone for the touchdown catch.
After coming into the game for Joel Galvan, Alaniz settled the Stallions offense with those two touchdown passes and Madera South led 13-0 after a missed extra point heading into the half.
The third quarter opened similar to the first quarter after both sides were kept out of the end zone. The Stallions started a drive, but failed to convert a crucial fourth down.
Both teams traded possession throughout the second half, but neither could find the answer until the fourth quarter.
The Patriots’ chance came in the fourth quarter on a field goal but the kick was blocked by the Stallions defense, which sent Memorial Stadium into hysteria.
The Stallions took over, but once again, failed to put points on the board.
Just as the game looked out of reach, the Patriots forced a quick punt and, on the ensuing drive, punched the ball in for six after Jordan Daniels’ touchdown scramble of 30 yards.
The game however was put to bed after Brandon Mora broke free and scored on a 70-yard run. His longest run of the season came at an opportune time after the score sealed the win.
The game ended after the Stallions recovered an onside kick ran out the clock.