Coyotes hurt selves in loss to Miners
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Adam Landero rolls over after making an onsides kick recovery in the fourth quarter of Friday’s loss to El Diamante. Matthew Arrezola (1) celebrates the recovery while J’Sean Gonzalez (5) and Ramon Ruiz (10) get up from the pile.
The Madera Coyotes football team had their chances to either take the lead or get closer to the El Diamante-Visalia Miners, but had self-inflicted wounds to turn the tide back to the Miners.
The Coyotes recovered not one, but two onsides kicks. However, a punt and an interception were the result. Also, Madera committed 16 penalties for 135 yards. They had six holding penalties which accounted for 83 yards because they occurred in the backfield.
“That’s kind of been the theme of the last two weeks,” head coach Kenny Paolinelli said. “We have film on the sideline and some of these calls, I don’t agree with them, but we have to live with it. We will coach them harder and try to correct the mistakes. The ones that bug me the most are offsides because that’s a discipline issue.”
While the Coyotes had three offsides penalties, the defense had a hard time containing Bryson Donelson. He rushed for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Donelson accounted for 71 percent of his team’s offense. Without him, the Miners only had 109 yards of total offense.
“That kid is good and has been doing that all year,” Paolinelli said. “We targeted him as the one to stop, but he was good tonight.”
The Coyotes managed 273 yards of offense and averaged four yards per play. The Coyotes relied on sophomore quarterbacks Ty Davis and Carson Brunolli to lead the offense. The duo passed for 155 yards, 49 to the dynamic Logan Wattenbarger.
“They were bracketing Logan all night,” Paolinelli said. “It’s a testament to him to get 50 yards while being double-teamed all night. Teams know we’re going to go to him. There are a few opportunities we missed downfield. We have young quarterbacks so those things come with time and learning. They are getting reps and we’re learning as we’re going.”
Standout quarterback Beau Green has been nursing a knee injury and Paolinelli hopes to get him back by Homecoming against Edison-Fresno in a couple of weeks.
Both teams couldn’t get anything going on their first two drives. The Coyotes turned the ball over on downs on their second drive after getting the ball to the 21-yard line. However, a holding penalty stopped the drive.
El Diamante drove 71 yards on just four plays with Donelson gaining 58 yards on the drive for the first score.
Three plays later, Brunolli was intercepted. However, tackles by Julian Hernandez and Chris Gonzalez force the Miners into a punt.
The Miners went on a five-play, 76-yard drive for a touchdown late in the first half. The key play was a 30-yard run by Donelson to move the ball to the 24-yard line. Two plays later, the Miners found the end zone for a 12-0 lead with 3:18 left in the first half.
After halftime, the Coyotes maintain a drive. They went on a nine-play, 64-yard drive to get into the end zone. Davis rushed for seven for a first down. After the Miners were hit with a spearing penalty, Jason Escobar gained 11 to the 35-yard line.
Wattenbarger gained nine for a first down and Ramon Ruiz caught a nine-yard pass for a first down to the two-yard line. Two plays later, Escobar scored to cut the lead to 12-7 after a Richard Lozano extra point.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Coyotes tried an onsides and Lozano hit the ball perfectly. J’Sean Gonzalez caught the ball down the left sideline for the recovery. However, Brunolli threw an interception in the end zone on the next play.
The Miners took the pick and drove 80 yards on five plays to add to their lead. Nick Nelson gained 30 yards to the Coyotes’ 40-yard line. Donelson swept to the right and went the rest of the way for a touchdown and a 20-7 lead with 4:47 left in the third.
After the Coyotes were forced to punt, Wattenbarger came up with an interception and momentum changed sides.
A defensive pass interference penalty and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, both against the Miners, moved the ball to the 10-yard line. Escobar gained nine and Brunolli scored from a yard out for the touchdown.
Lozano executed another onsides kick with Adam Landero recovering.
“Special teams made some plays to keep us in the game,” Paolinelli said. “We just have to finish drives. It’s super tough when we’re getting penalized and getting pushed back. That has to stop if we want to win football games.”
However, the Coyotes moved back at the hands of two holding penalties and had to punt on fourth-and-32.
Donelson put the game out of reach on the next drive. He gained 71 yards on the first two plays and finished the drive a few plays later for a 26-14 lead with 5:29 left in the game.
Brunolli was sacked on third-and-2 and forced out of the pocket on fourth down and was tackled short of the first down to give the ball back to El Diamante, who ran out the clock for the win.