Matilda Torres outmatched In loss to Immanuel
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Matilda Torres’ Josiah Salinas runs back a kick-off 60 to give his team good field position in the third quarter of Friday’s loss to the Immanuel Eagles in Memorial Stadium.
In a 40-0 loss against the Immanuel-Reedley Eagles, the Matilda Torres Toros football team didn’t have much reason to celebrate.
The rare bright spot for the Toros came in the third quarter when Josiah Salinas returned a kick for 60 yards and gave his team excellent field position.
‘It was a new little wrinkle that we put in and it worked out great for us,” Matilda Torres head coach Joseph Marquez said about the return.
Despite the electrifying return, Immanuel blocked a field goal attempt and spoiled the home’s team golden opportunity.
Throughout the rest of the game, Matilda Torres struggled to come up with first downs and move the ball down the field. As Matilda Torres constantly gave up the ball in their own half, the visitors started with a short field on several occasions and capitalized on their opportunities.
Taking advantage of the excellent field position chances, Immanuel led 27-0 at the half.
“We have to execute better on both sides of the ball, but probably more importantly offensively,” Marquez said. “We have some young players that are still learning blocking schemes and how to play football and we tend to shoot ourselves in the foot, sometimes. When you’re playing against a good football team, one missed block is multiplied and it puts us in a bad spot.”
The home team, still struggling to move the ball, gave away another possession after a three-and-out to start the second half. Immanuel then added to its lead with an 11-yard touchdown pass.
After the Toros failed to capitalize on the excellent kick return, Immanuel came up with a short touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to score the game’s final points.
The Eagles still refused to give an inch on defense and methodically killed the remaining time to secure the road win.
Marquez said it was a valuable experience for his team.
“That’s what these kids need more than anything,” he said. “They’re very young football players and they’re very young experience wise, so the more time they get on the field, the better it’s gonna for us in the long run.”
The coach adds that he’s focused on helping the players understand the process.
“I want them to focus on what they can control, which is the effort they put in games more than anything else and the effort they’re putting in school and becoming better young men,” Marquez said.