Tyler Takeda/Madera Tribune file photo
Liberty’s Richie Brandt uses a stiff arm on a Corcoran defender to gain extra yardage in a 43-14 victory. He rushed for 129 yards and scored three touchdowns in 2014.
CORCORAN — Midway through the first quarter, the Liberty Hawks coaching staff and players were perplexed. It seemed like anything positive they did drew a flag. Unfortunately for the Corcoran Panthers, those flags woke the sleeping dog.
By the time the first quarter ended, the Hawks had six penalties for 80 yards and faced a 7-7 tie with the Corcoran Panthers the rubber game of a nine-game series. The Hawks exerted their firepower and scored five straight touchdowns for a 43-14 victory in Corcoran.
“The penalties in the first quarter did wake us up,” head coach Mike Nolte said. “It let our kids know they still have to play hard. They were a little angry with the things that were going on.”
Liberty rushed for 433 yards and five touchdowns to dominate the Corcoran defense. Running backs Wade Wallace and Richie Brandt had their most productive games of the season. Wallace rushed for a season-high 169 yards with a touchdown. Brandt rushed for a personal season-high with 129 yards and three touchdowns, including his first receiving touchdown of the year.
Coyotes remain undefeated
The Madera Coyotes and the Tulare Western Mustangs both entered Friday’s game at Madera undefeated, but by the end of the night it was the Coyotes balanced offensive attack that guided them to victory.
Ahead 45-21, the passing game for the Coyotes continued to light up the Mustangs’ defense, as Nelson connected with Bueno for a 31-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 52-21 with 7:07 to go in the fourth quarter. Nelson finished with a season-high three touchdown passes and 194 yards passing.
Portillo connected with receiver Rudy Vasquez on a busted play for a 42-yard touchdown, but it was far too late, as the loss dropped the Mustangs to 3-1. The Division III victory moves the Coyotes to 5-0 for the season.
Warriors outlast Stallions in battle
FRESNO — It’s probably the most overlooked aspect in the game of football — special teams.
While explosive offenses and hard-hitting defenses create excitement for the fans, the kickoffs often take a back seat when it comes to pleasing the crowd.
However, most coaches know that special teams’ play can be the deciding factor in a game and it was certainly the case when Madera South’s football team faced Fresno.
Right after the Stallions (1-4) came storming back to the tie game at 21 on a beautiful 55-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jonah Johnson to fellow sophomore Jacob Kirkpatrick with 8:42 left in the game, the Warriors — aided by a 15-yard excessive celebration penalty — returned the ensuing kickoff to the Madera South 20-yard line.
Another 10-yard penalty was assessed on the return and two snaps later, the Warriors (3-1) regained the lead on the way to a 28-21 victory at McLane Stadium.
Full course of racing at the speedway
If people had a huge appetite for racing, then the LoanMart Madera Speedway was the place to be to satisfy that hunger.
Seven racing classes put on memorable shows on Saturday night that certainly left the crowd gratified in Race No. 7 of the Open Late Model Series featuring a 100-lap adventure in the Open Late Models race while the Open Hobby Stocks Series, the Legends of the Pacific, the Toyota Sedans, MST’s, 4-Bangers and Mini Cup championship race were also on the menu.
Prior to the start of the main, Open Late Model drivers did a well-deserved tribute lap to the late Ron Strmiska, a former legendary short track racer who passed away earlier in the month.
The main course of the night was clearly the Open Late Model Series, won by Matt Erickson.
For the sixth time this season, Erickson claimed the 100-lap main but fellow competitors Eric Holmes, Garland Tyler and Jason Aguirre didn’t make it easy for him.
Herrera wins Nike Portland XC
While the city of Madera has seen its fair share of quality cross country runners over the years, Madera South senior Eduardo Herrera continues to cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats.
The Stallions’ No. 1 runner pulled off another big feat when the boys and girls team traveled to Portland, Oregon to compete in the Nike Portland XC (formerly the Nike Pre Nationals).
With a time of 15:06.64, Herrera won the 5,000 Meters Danner Championship race and helped the section’s top-ranked Stallions placed fourth overall in the fastest race of the day with 204 points.
Coyotes stay perfect with comeback win
For the third time this season, the Madera football team found itself trailing at halftime.
Just like it did in comeback wins over Los Banos and Hoover-Fresno, the Coyotes refused to throw in the towel and clawed back into the game.
Against Tulare Western, Madera overcame a 24-point first-half deficit and found a way to win on the road.
Madera outscored the Mustangs, 45-0, in the second half of Friday night’s game to improve to 4-0 on the season.
“One thing that is nice is this team doesn’t tank when their backs are against the wall,” Madera head coach Bonner Cunnings said of the 45-24 victory — the Coyotes’ third come-from-behind win in four games. “They’ve proven that they’ll fight and not give up. The positive is that in the second half, they responded and decided that they wanted to play football.”
Hawks keep streak
For all intents and purposes, Liberty’s game against Corcoran was over by halftime when the Hawks jumped out to a 21-0 lead and dominated the line of scrimmage.
At halftime, Liberty had more than 200 yards of total offense while Corcoran was held to just 29 yards, including -7 yards rushing.
The Hawks scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and cruised to a 42-18 victory in their home opener to improve their state-best winning streak to 22 games.
Liberty leading rusher Chad Wallace rushed for 146 yards and two more touchdowns. With second-leading rusher Jackson Watts out with an injury, Kaleb Roth filled in admirably. He gained 103 yards on 11 carries and also scored two touchdowns. He also led the team with seven tackles on defense.
With Markie Brandt’s first 100-yard passing day (115), Liberty gained 480 yards of total offense with 341 coming on the ground. Meanwhile, the defense held Corcoran in check for most of the game until the Panthers cored two meaningless touchdowns late in the game. Before that, Corcoran had just 42 yards of total offense.
Stallions win big on Homecoming
It wasn’t the best start for the Madera South football team when it faced an athletic and high-scoring Fresno squad that had opened the season with three straight victories.
At the end of the first quarter, the Warriors had a 14-0 lead while the Stallions’ offense ran just five plays and turned the ball over twice.
While Fresno owned the first twelve minutes of the game, Madera South (3-1) refused to let the Warriors spoil its Homecoming night and exploded for eight touchdowns in a 61-40 win in Memorial Stadium.
Madera South’s offense totaled 457 yards, scored seven touchdowns and converted six two-point conversion attempts.
Coyotes roll past Sanger
The Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team is the odds-on favorite to win the County/Metro Athletic Conference and started the run with a four-set victory over the Sanger Apaches.
“We haven’t been in this position where we’re favored to win the league,” head coach Meghan Haas said. “We’re not going to have to change what we do to defend other teams. They are going to have to try to stop us.”
Led by outside hitter Katelyn Siegl and middle blocker Hallie Page, the Coyotes outscored Sanger 75-38 in the three sets they won
(25-15, 25-10, 25-13). However, the Coyotes stumbled in the third set, losing 25-19.