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Coyotes hold off Bulldogs for home win

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera’s Daniel Mendez races down the sideline for a long gain during Friday’s victory. He rushed for more than 150 yards in a 34-24 win over the Golden Valley Bulldogs.


The Madera Coyotes football team wore down the Golden Valley-Bakersfield Bulldogs for a 34-24 victory in its final non-league game of the year.

The Coyotes dominated the line of scrimmage, rushing 53 times for 323 yards. They had 396 yards of total offense in the game with four different players scoring touchdowns.

“If that’s what’s working. We kind of went with what was working,” head coach Kenny Paolinelli said. “We were getting favorable boxes to run against so we kept running it.”

Daniel Mendez is becoming the team’s workhorse. He carried 27 times for 153 yards and a touchdown. Aide Owens also rushed for more than 100 yards with a touchdown. Quarterback Ty Davis had 10 carries for 68 yards.

“Daniel is over 100 carries for the preseason,” Paolinelli said. “We’ve been wanting to give Aiden more carries. Aiden can take a breather on defense because we got someone back on defense. He’s able to help us out on offense. We have guys able to make plays.”

Julius Torres scored two touchdowns for the Coyotes. The first was a conventional 29-yard pass completion. The other was a strip runback off an onsides kick.

Both teams used the onsides kick strategy with some of with working for them and against them.

J’Sean Gonzalez caught the opening onsides kick from Golden Valley, and the Coyotes marched 47-yards on seven plays for the first touchdown of the game.

On fourth-and-six from the 29-yard line, Joel Arellano hit Torres on a crossing route. Torres took the ball into the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Diego Gutierrez hit the first of his four extra points on the night.

After a trade in possessions, Golden Valley scored on a quick hitter up the middle on third-and-9 for a 30-yard touchdown. The point after was missed and Madera still led, 7-6.

The two teams exchanged punts and turnovers with Paul Childers coming up with a fumble recovery for the Coyotes.

Golden Valley took its only lead of the game after taking over at its own

32-yard line. Four plays later, Golden Valley completed a third-and-one pass for a 43-yard touchdown catch-and-run. The point after pass fell incomplete, but the Bulldogs led 12-7.

The Coyotes scored before the end of the first half when Mendez took a flat pass for a 67-yard touchdown, but a penalty called it back. Madera got inside Golden Valley territory as the half ended.

The Coyotes began the second half with a 16-play, 82-yard drive to take the lead for good. Paolinelli called 12 straight run plays with Mendez and Owens carrying the load.

Mendez gained 10 on third-and-one and then seven on third-and-seven. On fourth-and-one from the 15, Owens carried for three. Two plays later, Davis took it himself for a five-yard touchdown run and a 14-12 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Golden Valley recovered the ball, but as the ball carrier was being tackled, Torres took the ball out of his hands and ran it the other way for a 43-yard fumble return touchdown. The point after snap was bad, but Madera led 20-12.

The Bulldgos answered with a three-play, 65-yard drive with their main running back carrying for all of the yards, including an 18-yard touchdown run. The run conversion failed and Madera led 20-18.

After a trade in possessions, Madera started to pull away. The key play in the drive came on second-and-five from the 40 when Davis faked a pass in the flat to Mendez. He pulled the ball down and ran to the left side and was finally tackled at the five for a 35-yard gain.

Mendez finished the drive off on the next play for a 27-18 lead.

Golden Valley took advantage of a high bounce on the onsides kick and ran it back 50-yards for a touchdown. The pass failed on the conversion for a 27-24 Madera lead.

After a Madera punt, Golden Valley had a chance to take the lead. However, after a pair of penalties and a pass for a loss, the Bulldogs punted on fourth-and-36.

“We don’t see a lot of the single wing,” Paolinelli said. “It’s an adjustment to see a new defense. Seth (Pierson’s) job on their receiver was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. He did a great job.”

The Coyotes came back to make it a two-score game. Mendez opened the drive with a 49-yard touchdown run, but a penalty called it back. Owens took advantage of a huge hole for a 27-yard to the 31-yard line.

Two plays later, Owens scored behind right tackle for a 34-yard touchdown run and a 34-24 lead.

Golden Valley tried to come back, but a penalty pushed them back. They got a 19-yard pass on third-and-15. However, on fourth-and-10, Golden Valley tried a pass down the field, but Pierson came up with the interception to secure the 10-point victory.

Madera will enjoy its bye week before starting County/Metro Athletic Conference play.



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