Madera outlasts Madera South in rivalry
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera Coyotes football coach Kenny Paolinelli presents the Stadium Road Showdown Saw trophy to his team after a 37-20 victory Friday in Memorial Stadium.
It was Madera South who struck first in the Stadium Road Showdown matchup against Madera . But it was the Coyotes who had the last say, taking down the Stallions 36-20.
“I thought our team responded really well,” Madera Coyotes head coach Kenny Paolinelli said after Friday’s win. “We came out a little slow. We were getting the look that we expected. Then as the game progressed, we started picking apart some of the things they were doing.”
Rudy Valdez fueled the strong start for the Stallions, grabbing an interception early in the first quarter to set up his team’s drive inside the Coyotes’ 15-yard line. Angelo Moreno then scored the first of his three touchdowns on a short rush to give Madera South an early lead.
The Coyotes, however, responded immediately when quarterback Beau Green found Ramon Ruiz for a 65-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
After the Stallions gave the ball right back on turnover on downs, the Coyotes drove down the field to set up a goal line opportunity.
The Stallions initially stood strong at the goal line, landing two huge tackles on Jason Escobar to keep the Coyotes out. But Escobar eventually broke through multiple tackles and walked into the end zone to give his team a 13-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Madera South followed up with a fumble inside its own 10-yard line later in the second quarter to give the Coyotes another golden chance. A penalty, however, drove the Coyotes back. After an incomplete pass on third down, Madera settled for a field goal to take a 16-7 lead into halftime.
Both teams struggled to move the ball for much of the third quarter. But the Coyotes regained their form when Escobar scored his second touchdown with 3:15 left in the third quarter, helping his team earn a 23-7 advantage.
The Stallions found some hope with a fumble recovery late in the third quarter. But their drive ended with another turnover on downs.
On the Coyotes next’ possession, Logan Wattenbarger found himself wide open and appeared to have a clear path to the end zone. But he dropped the ball thrown his way and gave the Stallion supporters a sigh of relief for a second.
After failing to come up with points following the drop, the Coyotes found themselves in another similar situation later in the fourth quarter. This time it was Ruiz who dropped a pass in the end zone. On the next play, however, Madera High converted a touchdown pass to go up 29-7.
Escobar punched the final points of the night for Madera High on a 15-yard-run. With two minutes left in the game, Moreno scored his second touchdown for the Stallions. As they continued to battle despite the score, Madera South recovered a late fumble. Moreno then converted another touchdown run with five seconds left to make the final score a little closer.
The Coyotes, who have proven their dominance against the crosstown rivals through the years, celebrated with the Bandsaw Trophy after taking down the Stallions.
“These guys all grew up together and they wanna beat their buddies and they wanna have the bragging rights,” Paolinelli said. “When we have that opportunity, we take it.”