Stallions run past Rough Riders in NYL win

Gaining all of its offense on the ground, the Madera South Stallions football team did just enough to earn another North Yosemite League victory, this time over the Roosevelt-Fresno Rough Riders in Fresno’s McLane Stadium.


The Stallions improved to 3-1 in the North Yosemite League with a 26-17 victory over the Rough Riders. The Stallions remained on pace for an end-of-the year showdown with Matilda Torres with a top two spot on the line.


The Stallions were outgained by the Rough Riders, but did enough on the ground for the victory. The Stallions rushed for 293 yards and and three ball carriers rushed for 49 yards or more.


“We’re not known for our aeriel assault,” head coach Matt Johnson said.


Angelo Moreno looked to be completely healthy with 143 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. Quarterback Ahmad Sharhan rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries and had two touchdowns. Erik Cervantes added 49 yards on nine carries.


“It’s nice to see Angelo Moreno back. He still has a little discomfort. He’s healthy. It’s great to have thunder (Moreno) and lightning (Cervantes) back,” Johnson said.


However, the pesky Rough Riders wouldn’t go away. They had two receivers gain more than 100 yards each, but the Stallions held them off on defense. Isaiah Ford, after dropping a touchdown pass in the first half, recorded two second half interceptions for Madera South. Cervantes also had an interception.


“I give a lot of credit to our coaching staff,” Johnson said. “We started moving some bodies around. We moved Isaiah to their top receiver and it was over. We’ve been able to put some good defenses together in the last couple of games. We had Erik and Isaiah playing our two corners in the second half.”


Both of Roosevelt’s touchdowns came from 20 or more yards away and the second one gave the Rough Riders a 14-13 lead.


“We gave up two big plays that hurt us,” Johnson said. “Are we going to play down to their level or rise up? We gave them those two cheap shots and we had a battle on our hands.”


The Stallions opened the game with a seven-play, 60-yard drive for a touchdown. Sharhan had the big gainer with a 17 yard run on the second play. Moreno converted a four-and-three with a 27 yards run to the six-yard line.


Jacob Edwards finished off the drive with the touchdown. Julian Castellanos hit the extra point and the Stallions led 7-0.


The Rough Riders responded with a six-play, 52-yard drive of their own that ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass. The point after was good and the game was tied.


The Stallions drove into Roosevelt territory but couldn’t convert on fourth-and-five. The Madera South defense forced a punt.


On the next play, Moreno got the pitch and went around the left side. He got the corner and outran the defense for a 48-yard touchdown run to give the Stallions a 13-7 lead.


The two teams traded punts, but the Rough Riders connected on a 36-yard pass play to take a 14-13 second quarter lead.

The Stallions advanced into Roosevelt territory with a 29-yard run by Moreno.


On fourth-and-eight, Sharhan scrambled and ran for the first down. He got into the secondary and received a downfield block from Ford and leapt into the end zone for a touchdown. Madera South led 19-14 after the extra point run was stopped short.


The Rough Riders tried to score before the end of the half. They converted a third-and-15 with a 45-yard pass play to get them to the 10-yard line.


It looked like the Rough Riders scored on third-and-goal from the seven, but the quarterback threw the all beyond the line of scrimmage to wipe away the touchdown. Roosevelt settled for a 30-yard field goal attempt that was wide right.


Roosevelt got a 40-yard pass play to get them deep inside Madera South territory on the first drive of the second half. The Stallions’ defense forced a fourth down and the Rough Riders hit a 27-yard field goal to cut the Stallions’ lead to two.


The Stallions went three-and-out and the Rough Riders had the ball near midfield. Cervantes picked off Roosevelt to give the Stallions’ possession.


Steady running moved the ball into Roosevelt territory. Sharhan gained 10, followed by Cervantes for nine. Angel Moreno gained 12 to the 27-yard line. Sharhan gained six and Angelo Moreno gained nine to the four. Sharhan finished it off with a rushing touchdown. Castellanos hit the extra point and the Stallions led 26-17 early the fourth quarter.


The Stallions’ defense forced a three-and-out, but also had to punt despite a 12-yard Cervantes run.


The Rough Riders drove into Madera South territory after a 22-yard pass play on third down. Ford picked off Roosevelt near the end zone to stop the drive.


The Stallions went three-and-out and the Rough Riders had one more chance. Two plays later, Ford made another interception to put the game on ice.


Madera South closes out its regular season home schedule on Friday against McLane-Fresno.

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