Missed chances down Stallions
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Angelo Moreno bursts through a hole for positive yardage during Friday’s loss to the Golden Valley Cougars. Moreno led the Stallions with 117 yards rushing.
Madera South Stallions head football coach Matt Johnson knew what his team was up against in the home opener against Golden Valley-Merced.
He knew they had to be clean with tackling and score when they had the chance. Unfortunately, the Stallions had trouble doing both in a 35-7 loss Friday night to the Cougars.
“Football is a series of who makes the play and the momentum plays,” Johnson said. “We got the ball after halftime and stalled out. It was devastating.”
The Stallions couldn’t finish off a 91-yard drive in the first quarter and couldn’t score to open the second half to keep the game close.
Golden Valley’s Jahkylle Smith rushed for 200 yards on 21 carries and quarterback Eleazer Garza rushed for 98 yards.
“When you don’t finish drives, this can happen,” Johnson said. “We knew they were explosive. If you don’t get them down to the ground, it was going to be trouble.”
The Stallions scored first and had some momemtum with the long drive, but stalled. Then, Golden Valley turned that momentum around by scoring on the next drive from 96 yards out.
“I don’t think Golden Valley would have cracked, but we were getting to them pretty good. You could see their body language,” Johnson said.
Angelo Moreno was the bright spot for the Stallions’ offense. He rushed for 117 yards on 18 carries to lead the team. Erik Cervantes added 46 yards and quarterback Ahmed Sharhan rushed for 43 yards.
“We got an opportunity to see good things so we got them on film,” Johnson said.
The Stallions’ defense forced a punt after a tackle for loss by Moreno and a sack by Alejandro Ramirez to open the game.
Madera South then went on an eight-play, 39-yar drive to score its only touchdown of the game.
Sharhan started the drive with a 10-yad run. Cervantes gained 10 on fourth-and-7 to keep the drive alive. Moreno gained 13 yards to the one yard line for a first down. Sharhan kept it himself for a touchdown with 6:43 left in the first quarter. Julian Castellanos kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Golden Valley scored with a 40-yard touchdown pass, but the two-point conversion pass went incomplete.
Madera South had trouble with the ensuing kickoff and had to start its drive on the five-yard line. The Stallions drove right down the field with a 12-play drive.
Cervantes got the Stallions out of their own end zone with a 13-yard run on the first play. Sharhan gained 27 yards to the 47-yard line. Sharhan completed a nine-yard pass to Jacob Edwards for a first down.
Moreno gained 18 yards up the middle to the eight-yard line. Unfortunately, four straight run plays got the Stallions to the four and had to turn over the ball on downs.
The Cougars took advantage and drove the other way with Garza scoring on a 57-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one. The two point conversion was good and Golden Valley led 14-7.
Both teams exchanged punts and the Stallions had a chance before halftime. Moreno and Cervantes had first down runs to the Cougars’ 31-yard line, but an interception stalled the drive into halftime.
Madera South got the first possession of the second half and looked to score. Moreno gained nine yards for a first down. Sharhan completed a 53-yard pass to Ford, but a block in the back penalty brought it back and seemed to stall the drive.
Madera couth got a first down two plays later, but turned the ball over on fourth-and-two.
From there, the Cougars scored on three straight possessions. The dagger was a 52-yard touchdown for Golden Valley’s final score.
After Madera South’s 34-yard drive to open the second half was stalled, the Stallions gained just 21 yards on their next four drives.