Stallions out-physical Orosi to open season
The Madera South Stallions used a dominating run game to jump out to a big lead and cruise to a 41-13 victory over the Orosi Cardinals.
The Stallions amassed more than 400 yards of total offense, including rushing for 354 yards on the ground, averaging 11 yards per carry. Madera South had three rushes of 20 or more yards and four of their five touchdowns came from more than 19 yards.
“I was very impressed out of the box early,” head coach Matt Johnson said. “Our blocking up front was great. We always know what we’re going to get with our backs. We did see a little life with a run by Angel (Moreno). We made a commitment to be physical and it showed at the beginning.”
Johnson’s two backs — Thunder Angelo Moreno and Lighting Erik Cervantes — gained more than 90 yards each and scored three touchdowns.
Quarterback Ahmed Sharhan, in his first varsity start, threw for a long touchdown and rushed for 63 yards, including a pair of 19-yard carries.
“It would be an understatement to say I was satisfied with our young quarterback,” Johnson said. “It was a good first start for him. He has a playmaking ability for him. He hit some good passes. He put the ball in the right spots.”
The defense had a bend, but not break philosophy. Although Orosi gained more than 300 yards of total offense, they averaged five yards per play while Madera South averaged close to 12.
“We got an opportunity early based on kids who earned it,” Johnson said. Everyone got a chance to play. At times, they would get some stuff on us. We would buckle in. We got an opportunity to play young kids.”
Jacob Edwards picked off a pass and Juan Zavala returned an interception for Madera South’s final touchdown on the night.
“Any time you can get turnovers on defense, it’s a good thing to get turnovers,” Johnson said.
Madera South marched down the field to open the game. Moreno gained 13 and Cervantes gained 17. After two runs by Moreno, he scored on a 39-yard run, but a penalty nullified the score. Enter Angel Moreno, who broke off a 44-yard touchdown run, helped by a downfield block by Cervantes for the first score of the season.
Two plays into its next possession, Madera South connected on a long pass. Sharhan lofted a beautifully thrown ball that landed into the arms of Isaiah Ford for a 59-yard touchdown pass.
Madera South forced Orosi to turn the ball over on downs in Stallions’ territory. A 20-yard run by Cervantes moved the ball into Orosi territory. After a pair of penalties, Cervantes weaved his way through the Orosi defense for a 39-yard touchdown run and a 21-0 second quarter lead.
The Stallions added to their lead near the end of the first half. Sharhan opened the drive with a 12-yard run and added a 19-yard run. Moreno gained 16 up the middle and the Stallions were inside the 30-yard line. Moreno went for eight, Juan Garcia went for seven and Cervantes closed the drive with a 12-yard touchdown for a 28-0 halftime lead.
Madera South had, basically, one possession in the second half, and made it count. After forcing Orosi to punt to open the half, the Stallions went on a 69-yard drive.
Sharhan scrambled for nine. Moreno gained 10 and Cervantes gained nine into Orosi territory. Two plays later, and after a holding penalty, Jacob Edwards got the ball on a fly sweep and gained 38-yards. Moreno closed the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run up the middle.
On Orosi’s next possession, Madera South forced a fumble, but Orosi recovered. However, three plays later, off a tipped pass, Juan Zavala picked up the ball and ran it the other way for a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Julian Castellanos hit the extra point for a 41-0 lead.
Orosi scored its first touchdown of the season after a 11-play drive. Then, the Cardinals recovered an onside kick and scored on the next play with a long pass.
Orosi, again, tried an onside kick, and they recovered. However, they recovered before the ball went 10 yards and Madera South regained possession. On the next play, the center snap hit the motion back and Orosi recovered.
The Cardinals moved the ball inside Madera South’s 20, but Edwards closed the game with an interception.
The Stallions ran out the clock to secure a 41-13 victory.