Madera prevails in Showdown
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The Madera Coyotes football team celebrates with the Bandsaw Trophy after winning its ninth Stadium Road Showdown on Friday. The Coyotes scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for a 28-7 victory in Memorial Stadium.
The Madera Coyotes football team continued its dominance against crosstown rival Madera South, clinching its ninth win out of 12 meetings between the two school.
In the latest matchup in the Stadium Road Showdown on Friday, Madera pulled away in the second half for a 28-7 victory.
As part of the Stadium Road Showdown tradition, the Coyotes took the Bandsaw Trophy, which symbolizes the work ethic of Madera residents.
“It’s very exciting for these boys. These boys have worked very hard for this,” Madera head coach Kenny Paolinelli said. “People were doubting our boys coming into this game, so there was a lot of extra motivation for them to get this win. I’m super excited with the way they battled. They proved that they are a team to be reckoned with.”
The Coyotes started the game with a 50-yard touchdown run from Jonathan Ramirez. But the Stallions responded on their first possession, starting the drive with a 20-yard run by quarterback Isaiah Tyler and finishing with a 35-yard run by Marvin Brewer.
The Stallions quickly retained possession when Tayte Grantham recovered a fumble by quarterback Isaiah Martinez. Madera South failed to score on the drive and punted back to the Coyotes.
Madera’s Marcus Valdez started the Coyotes’ drive with a 23-yard run. Raul Medrano then scored on a 23-yard pass from Martinez, helping the Coyotes regain the lead.
“This is one of the best atmospheres that you can find at a high school football game,” Paolinelli said. “We knew they’re gonna come out fired up. It’s really the team that can settle down first in a game like this that can get the win.”
The second quarter opened with Vincent Martinez recovering a fumble to set up the Coyotes at their own 37-yard line With a 24-yard run by Martinez, the Coyotes drove to the 25-yard line. The drive, however, ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down.
With both offenses struggling to score for the rest of the half, the teams went to the break with a 14-7 Coyotes lead.
Grantham opened the third quarter with an interception, helping the Stallions start the drive at their own 40-yard line. Grantham then ripped off a 15-yard run to give the Stallions momentum on offense. That momentum, however, resulted in another drive ending with a punt.
After both teams went scoreless in the third quarter, the Coyotes put together a long drive early in the fourth quarter. That drive ended when Martinez came up short on a fourth down run. The Stallions then gave the ball right back with a punt.
Zachary Roque’s 28-yard run gave the Coyotes a much needed boost in the fourth quarter. David Zavala, replacing Martinez at quarterback, kept the drive going when he connected with Logan Wattenbarger for a 30-yard pass. Marco Lopez punched it in from one-yard out to give the Coyotes a 21-7 lead.
“We jumped out early and in the second half, our conditioning showed up,” Paolinelli said. “Our execution also picked up.”
With five minutes left, the Coyotes recovered a fumble and scored their final touchdown on a 29-yard pass from Zavala to Lopez.
That was all the Coyotes need to seal the win.
“We wanted to be physical in this game,” Paolinelli said. “We imposed our will. Then we took a step back and made a nice adjustment throwing the football.”