City battles county to rare tie
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera helped represent the City during Saturday’s City/County All-Star Football Game, which ended in a tie for the fourth time in the 68-year history of the game. From left are Rudy Valdez (Madera South), Logan Wattenbarger (Madera), Dominic Castaneda (Liberty), Adam Landero (Madera), Manuel Hernandez (Madera) and Diego Talavera (Madera South).
FRESNO — For the first time in a while, the City/County All-Star Football game was played in Fresno and, for just the fourth time in the 68 year history of the game, it ended in a tie.
Madera players helped the City come back to tie the game at the half, but inefficiency in the fourth quarter kept the game tied after a pair of third quarter touchdowns.
Receiver Logan Wattenbarger, safety and Madera Tribune Defensive Player of the Year Adam Landero and center Manuel Hernandez represented Madera. The Madera Tribune’s two-time Most Valuable Player, Liberty’s Dominic Castaneda was the only Hawk. Madera South was represented by defensive lineman Diego Talavera and safety/kicker Rudy Valdez.
Hernandez started at center and Landero started at safety for the City team.
Both teams had a pair of possessions with neither team gaining any ground.
The City connected on a 62-yard touchdown to open the scoring. Valdez made all three of his extra points and handled the kicking duties for the City team.
The County responded by driving down the field to tie the score.
Helped by a 25-yard catch by Wattenbarger and another five-yard reception by Wattenbarger, the City drove inside the 10-yard line, but a fumble turned the ball over.
The County team took advantage of a blocked Valdez punt for good field position. Landero helped make a stop at the one-yard line, but the County scored a second quarter touchdown to give them a 14-7 lead.
Madera took over after Valdez scrambled out of trouble to get a punt away.
County got the ball at their own 38-yard line. Talavera broke through for a quarterback sack to force a third-and-long. On the next play, Landero picked off a pass at the five and returned it to the 32-yard line.
Castaneda had an eight-yard run to keep the drive going. Then, City found Watenbarger in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown catch. Valdez hit the extra point for a 14-14 tie heading into the half.
The City forced a fumble and recovered it to open the second half. They used the short field to drive down the field behind Hernandez at center. A nine-yard run gave the City a 21-14 lead after Valdez’s extra point.
The County fumbled the ensuing kick-off, but the City fumbled the snap and County took over. They drove down the field to complete a 45-yard drive to tie the score at 21.
Both teams punted before the City used almost 10 minutes of the fourth quarter clock to drive inside the City 20-yard line. However, the City turned the ball over on downs with 39 seconds left.
The City defense held tough and forced the tie at the sound of the final buzzer.