Stallions commit costly mistakes in loss
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Angelo Moreno dives for extra yardage in Friday’s loss to the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers.
The Madera South Stallions football team found a glimpse of success in the first quarter of their game against San Joaquin Memorial.
That short-lived glory happened when the Stallions forced a fumble with five minutes left in the first quarter Friday night and set themselves up in prime scoring position.
But the home team settled for a field goal and struggled to slow down the Panthers for the rest of the game, losing 47-3 on Homecoming.
“That’s a very good football team,” Madera South head coach Matt Johnson said. “We put up a fight, but you can’t give great championship-level football teams the ball in your own 5-yard line.”
San Joaquin Memorial repeatedly took advantage of short field position and continued to pound the Stallions.
The Panthers took a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter when Mikey Bell connected with Joe Dalena. Brandon Ramirez converted a short run at the goal line on the Panthers’ next possession to expand the gap.
Madera mishandled a snap while attempting a punt later in the quarter and gave the visitors another golden opportunity.
After the Panthers took over at the 15-yard line, TJ Hall came up with a touchdown catch to make the score 20-3 going into halftime.
“We can’t continue to shoot ourselves in the foot,” Johnson said. “We can’t continue to hand-deliver, ‘here you go field position, take it from us.’ We gotta play cleaner football.”
Madera South came up with a sack to start the second half and forced San Joaquin Memorial to turn the ball over on downs. But the Panthers spoiled the Stallions’ drive and responded with another touchdown strike minutes later as Bell found Jacob Rangel.
Bell stayed hot, finding Justin Rangel early in the fourth quarter for another Panthers touchdown. On San Joaquin Memorial’s next possession, Aidan Fortenberry capped off the drive with a short touchdown run. Logan Dasilva punched in the final touchdown of the game to send the visitors home with a victory.
Johnson, however, remains confident in his team.
“This group is special,” he said. “This group is going to realize its full potential, hopefully starting next week.”