Madera comes up short in regular season finale
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Izaak Lopez sprints down the sideline into the end zone to score Madera’s lone touchdown in Friday’s loss.
It was a night that started on a positive note for the Madera Coyotes football team, but the game ended with a 20-6 loss against Justin Garza-Fresno.
The Coyotes, who were hoping to close out the regular season with a win in front of their home crowd, found momentum early when junior Michael Pedro came up with an interception.
But the home team didn’t find much else to celebrate for the rest of the night. Garza took the first lead of the game when Caleb Matthews connected with Francisco Gama for a 30-yard touchdown with 8:24 left in the second quarter.
The Coyotes scored their only touchdown when Ty Davis scrambled to his right and found Izaak Lopez on a 35-yard connection. Madera, however, missed the extra point and still trailed 7-6.
Madera’s Daniel Mendez broke free for a 30-yard run early in the third quarter, but the Coyotes’ drive came to an end with a turnover on downs inside the 10-yard line.
The score remained the same until late in the third quarter when London Alexander’s touchdown catch made it 13-6 for Garza.
The Coyotes appeared to find some success early in the fourth quarter when they marched into the red zone. The drive, however, ended when the center’s snap went over Davis’ head and resulted in a fumble recovery for Garza.
The Coyotes, once again, drove inside the 20-yard-line on their next possession, but they ended the possession with a turnover on downs after the Garza defense broke up a pass in the end zone.
Matthews put the final touches on the win when he rushed for a 35-yard touchdown inside the final minute.
“We had a key turnover in the end, a couple dropped balls, a couple penalties and some missed assignments on defense,” Madera Coyotes football coach Kenny Paolinelli said.
Looking back at the regular season, Paolinelli said there were many ups and downs, but the team fought through everything and they are now looking towards the playoffs.
“We have been dealing with quite a few injuries, so we’re just trying to get healthy and I think we’re very close to that,” Paolinelli said. “It’s now a week-to-week deal and we’re 0-0 again.”