Coyotes fall to 1-2 after loss to Kerman Lions

Every time the Madera Coyotes football team looks to take a few steps forward, they do something to go a couple of steps backwards.


That was prevalent in Friday’s 21-14 loss to the Kerman Lions in which the Coyotes gained more than 300 yards of total offense.


“We are doing well, but could be so much better,” head coach Kenny Paolinelli said. “We are so inconsistent, right now. We have beat ourselves in the two games we lost. We had 10-plus penalties and multiple turnovers. When we played a cleaner game, we won.”


On the positive side, the Coyotes gained almost 250 yards rushing, led by Daniel Mendez, who carried 25 times for 130 yards. Quarterback Ty Davis electrified the visiting crowd with a 43-yard touchdown run.


“We averaged five yards per carry,” Paolinelli said. “That’s ideal. Anyone that touched the ball for us did a good job. We ran the ball well despite missing a lot of assignments. When we get everyone doing their jobs, it will be good.”


The Coyotes were victimized by a double pass trick play that went for a 64-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. Kerman also picked off Davis and returned it 58 yards for another touchdown.


However, the Coyotes’ defense held tough and surrendered just seven points.


Three times, the Coyotes got the ball inside the Kerman 30 yards line and didn’t come away with a score. They had three turnovers and numerous penalties.


“It was penalty after penalty,” Paolinelli said. “It was undisciplined plays. It was bad decision making. That becomes a real issue.


“We’re playing a lot of guys both ways. We looked sluggish in the fourth quarter. It wan’t a crisp performance.”


Kerman’s first score came just 12 seconds into the game and the Lions took the early 7-0 lead.


After the Coyotes went three-and-out, the Lions drove deep inside Madera territory. However, a sack by Aiden Owens helped keep the LIons out of the end zone, who turned over the ball on downs at the nine-yard line.


However, six plays later, an overthrown pass resulted in an interception that was returned 58-yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.


The Coyotes sustained a drive on their next possession, getting a couple of third down conversions. However, a high snap led to a fumble from the Kerman 26-yard line.


The Lions moved the ball into Madera territory, but faced a fourth down. After three straight penalties, Kerman threw incomplete with Seth Pierson batting a ball away.


The Coyotes were forced to punt on their next possession and the punt went off the side of the punter’s foot and resulted in a two-yard loss.


The Madera defense held tough with a tackle for loss by Andrew Galvan. After a holding penalty, Kerman threw incomplete on fourth-and-27.


Davis hit Mendez for a 16-yard pass play on the first play of the drive. He scrambled for 13 on third-and-10. On fourth-and-10, Davis scrambled for 10 and a first down to the Kerman 18-yard line.


Davis threw off his back foot to the end zone and J’Sean Gonzalez went over the defender’s head to bring in the reception in the end zone for the touchdown to cut the lead to 14-7 with nine seconds left in the half.


Coming out of halftime, the Coyotes ran the ball five straight times and moved the ball to the Kerman 40-yard line. After Mendez gained four on fourth-and-one, Davis kept the ball on a read-option. He split the Kerman defense and scampered untouched to the end zone for a 43-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 14.


Kerman responded with a seven-play, 54-yard drive to take a 21-14 third quarter lead.


The Coyotes dropped a snap and Kerman recovered, but the Madera defnse stepped up. The Lions drove inside the Madera 20-yard line, but a tackle by Isaiah Beas, on fourth-and-two, led to a one-yard gain and the Lions turned the ball over on downs.


Madera looked to have gained the momentum. Mendez gained 21 and 11 yards on back-to-back plays to get the ball to the Kerman 32. He gained 11 to the Kerman 21.


Then, the penalty bug hit the Coyotes. Two holding penalties forced the Coyotes to punt on fourth-and-36. Gonzalez pinned the Lions deep in their own territory with the ball downed at the two.


On the first play of the drive, Jesus Avalos jumped offsides and the Lions were given five yards. On the next play, Kerman mishandled the hand-off and Avalos was right there for the fumble recovery on the three.


The Coyotes had four chances to score from the three and were held out of the end zone. A fourth down penalty while Davis took a quarterback sneak in to score nullified the points. On fourth down, the Coyotes were tackled for a loss.


Kerman moved the ball out of their own end zone with a 31-yard run, but was forced to punt.


A dropped pass and a bad fourth down throw by the Coyotes gave the ball back to Kerman.


Two plays later, Owens stuck the Kerman ball carrier and stripped the ball loose. Galvan jumped on it for the Coyotes.


Madera had one last chance to tie the score, but another penalty moved them back on fourth down. Davis tried to scramble, but gained 14 yards on fourth-and-16 and the Lions took over and ran out the clock.

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