Courtesy of Joe Lopez
Madera receiver J.J. Espinoza breaks free in the open field during Friday’s 34-14 victory over Atascadero.
The Madera Coyotes football team is putting the past deep in its rear-view mirror after a 34-14 victory over the Atascadero Greyhounds to win a fourth straight game.
After a season-opening loss to Los Banos, the Coyotes have won four straight games before their bye week and County/Metro Athletic Conference action.
“We’re very confident,” head coach Yosef Fares said. “We’re doing some things on both sides of the ball schematically that is very sound and are on another level than our divisional opponents. We’re confident of what we’re doing on both sides of the ball. We want to make a big run in the playoffs.”
The Coyotes received another stellar game from quarterback Colt Nelson, who threw for 387 yards. The offense did just enough on the ground to keep Atascadero off balance, rushing for 100 yards. They were also 8-of-11 on third down.
“We’re clicking on offense right now,” Fares said. “It feels good to win four in a row. It’s a tough schedule we played. For the kids to buy in, we’re very proud of their approach.”
K’Veon Jones caught two touchdown passes Friday in his first game of the season.
“We’ve been trying to get him to play since last year,” Fares said. “He had to visit his dad in the summer and he wasn’t eligible to play until game 5.”
Meanwhile, Madera’s defense limited Atascadero to just 66 yards through the air.
“Everybody keeps asking about the 0-10,” fares said. “I’ve had a whole offseason with them. They’ve been hitting the weight room like I’ve wanted. We’ve really addressed their football IQ. Now these kids understand football and they are physically strong enough to compete with these teams. Atascadero and Hanford were very strong football teams and we competed with them. Our athletic ability has increased.”
The Coyotes will enjoy a bye week before starting County/Metro Athletic Conference play Oct. 6 against Edison-Fresno.
“We put so much into every week that this bye week will give us a chance to regroup for CMAC. We know it’s a tough week. We’re giving the kids a chance to breathe again.”
The Coyotes head into the bye week with an impressive 5-1 record, including winning the last four games less than a year after going winless in Fares’ first year.
“We have kids that have bought into the process,” Fares said. “Eventually the process is going to take over and the results are going to move in the right direction. You can’t work as hard as we do and not see success.”