Coyotes see positives in loss
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s J.J. Espinoza tries to break away from an Edison tackle during Friday’s County/Metro Athletic Conference loss.
FRESNO — The Madera Coyotes football team saw their four-game win streak come to an end after they were Bested by a stout Edison Tigers football team, 43-14, in the County/Metro Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
“We came out and played well in the first half,” head coach Yosef Fares said. “We weren’t intimidated, I don’t think. We just made mistakes and this is a very good football team. They shut out a Tri-River Athletic Conference school, so it’s not like we are playing some chump here. We’re not like some of these other schools in our division playing weak schedules, we’re actually playing guys that are higher division than us. That’s not an excuse for us, that’s an opportunity to grow.”
After dropping their first contest of the year against Los Banos, Madera went on a four-game win streak. They scored more than 30 points in all of their wins this season but Friday night was a different story at Sunnyside High School’s stadium.
The Coyotes allowed 15 points in the opening quarter and couldn’t seem to catch their breath. The visitors were forced to look down the field for their offense, allowing the Tiger pass rush to wreak havoc on the Coyote offensive line.
Coyote quarterback Colt Nelson and his teammates took the hits, some illegal, and pushed on adding two scores of their own.
Nelson, who threw for more than 100 yards and a touchdown, along with Jerry Hernandez, who had a rushing touchdown got Madera on the scoreboard. The Coyotes’ offense showed glimpses of promise throughout the game, but the Tiger defense held strong.
Offensively, the Tigers were led by McKinley Lee. He turned the game upside down after his breakaway speed proved too much for the Coyotes. Lee carried the ball 15 times for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns.
The Tigers’ speed and athleticism are a challenge for any team, however the Coyotes showed their grit and toughness throughout the game.
The Coyotes made some noise in the second quarter after Jerry Hernandez took a handoff at the one-yard line for the score.
The Coyotes took over on their own half- yard line and used eight plays to march down the field. Nelson and Joseph Saldivar combined on a big play of 24 yards to keep the drive alive, setting up Hernandez’s run.
That wouldn’t be all for the Coyotes after Nelson tossed his only score of the night.
With three minutes remaining in the third quarter, after consecutive runs by Saldivar, Fares dialed up a deep pass and K’Veon Jones was the beneficiary.
Nelson dropped back and fired a strike over the middle of the field to his receiver.
Although the Tigers kept the Coyotes to only 14 points, the visitors never gave up.
In the fourth quarter, when the Coyotes chances were slim, the team still fought for every yard. Jayson Regua still ran with intent, Nelson took the hits in the pocket and the Coyote defense still flew to the ball.
Tigers quarterback Jameson Silva tossed his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, which put the game out of reach. Silva used both his legs and arm to put his team in position win.
Although the Coyotes win streak was snapped, confidence is still high in Madera.
After losing all of their games last year, the Coyotes are on pace to have a winning record by the end of the season and be major players in the postseason.
“We got to stay focused and get in the film room as coaches and players,” Fares said. “We’ve just got to grow and not make the same mistakes we made tonight.”