Manuel Guillen/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Joseph Saldivar tries to find running room during Friday’s 54-20 loss to the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers. Salvidar scored two of the Coyotes’ three touchdowns.
The San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno Panthers scored three special teams touchdowns to turn a close game into a 54-20 victory over the Madera Coyotes in a County/Metro Athletic Conference battle.
“It wasn’t the team from the past eight weeks,” head coach Yosef Fares said. “We weren’t ourselves. I don’t think it was that Memorial outplayed us.”
The Panthers scored on two kick returns and a punt return. They also scored on two over-the-top balls and a screen pass.
“We didn’t make them play football,” Fares said. “We didn’t play our game so it was disappointing. It was kind of a step back.”
Joseph Saldivar led the Coyotes with a pair of touchdowns.
The Coyotes will regroup to play their brand of football with last year’s Div. II Valley Champions, the Sanger Apaches, heading to Memorial Stadium on Friday.
“It is a winnable game,” Fares said. “Sanger is still Sanger. They are still a tough football game. We have to play our football, can’t be intimidated and can’t be physical. We have to work on our triple-option defense. We have to make them play a good football game.”