Stallions run wild in win over Fresno
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Sergio Garcia (4) gets an escort into the end zone for a fumble return for a touchdown. Celebrating with Garcia are, from left, Adrian Rodriguez, Angelo Moreno, Vincent Botello and Fabian Mendoza.
The Madera South Stallions offered more than one story line in a non-conference home battle against Fresno High.
The 52 point-win was historic, the near 400 rushing yards was impressive, but maybe more than all, the Stallions have found their identity.
After defeating the Fresno High Warriors 52-0 on Friday, the Madera South Stallions have won three games in a row and look toward one final tune-up against Kerman before County/Metro Athletic Conference play begins.
“That effort was just awesome. From special teams to the defense, down the offense, a great night for Stallions football,” Madera South head coach Matt Johnson said. “We have strong opponents the rest of the way, but this gives us confidence. They went out there and finished plays and that was exciting.”
The Stallions scored 17 points in the first, 14 in the second and third quarter and finished the night off with seven points in the fourth quarter. The Stallions’ defense not only shut out the Warriors, they collected three sacks and intercepted Fresno High quarterback Ivan Santamaria twice in a physically dominant performance.
Stallions’ quarterback Jacob Edwards finished the game with 86 yards rushing and a touchdown, Erik Cervantes carried the load with 148 yards and three touchdowns while Sergio Garcia collected a fumble on a kickoff for a touchdown, Jackson Smith scored on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter and Ruben Marines returned a 50-yard punt for a score.
“I have to give credit to all the coaches. We put together a really good game plan and the team executed it on both sides of the ball. I feel for Fresno High because they are on the side that we used to be on, but they came out and did their best,” Johnson said.
It wasn’t that long ago, that Madera South had a hard time putting victories together and the progress the program has taken is a testament to the work and effort by Johnson and his staff, but the players as well.
The Stallions have bought in and the results show.
“I have noticed it throughout the years that they are [buying in]. They are understanding the philosophy, what coach Johnson and his staff are trying to do,” Madera South Athletic Director Andrea Devine said after the game. “That accountability pays off on nights like this. The team realizes that they have talent and we saw it on display tonight. If we continue to grow as a team, we can continue this success and achieve more.”
Friday night’s contest started in favor of the Stallions, and Madera South never let up.
Cervantez got the ball rolling, literally, as the Stallions only needed five plays to open the scoring. Cervantez plunged into the end zone for a short score as Moreno, Edwards and Cervantez combined to create a three-headed monster in the backfield.
The Stallions’ defense followed suit, forcing the Warriors into a three-and-out on their first drive.
Valdez, who finished the game seven-for-seven on point after attempts, connected on a 37-yard field goal to push the lead 10-0 in the first quarter.
Madera South went right back to work behind the strong legs of Moreno and Cervantez.
Moreno rushed for 13 yards on the drive while Cervantez took two carries for nearly 10 yards each try, the latter plunging into the end zone for his second score on the night.
From start to finish, the Stallions were wrapping up, finishing to the whistle and by the time the second quarter was coming to the end, the Warriors were beat up.
If it wasn’t the 52 points grabbing the headlines, it was definitely the tenacity shown by Madera South from start to finish.
Madera South later capped off an eight-play drive, ending in a third Cervantez touchdown, pushing the lead to 24.
Moreno handled the rock, Edwards called his own number and Cervantez finished it off, but it was a 58-yard gain by Cervantez on third down that set Madera South up for the 23-0 lead before Valdez connected between the uprights.
The Madera South special teams unit forced a fumble and the Stallions’ Garcia scooped up the ball, and ran it into the end zone.
Valdez’s point after pushed Madera South to a 31-0 lead and they never looked back.
After Madera South forced three negative plays on defense, the Stallions got the ball back and Cervantez was back tearing up the field.
The Stallion tailback broke off a 31-yard gain late in the second quarter. The Stallions were stymied but led 31-0 at the break.
Madera South scored 21 points in the second half behind a 10-yard plunge by Edwards, a 50-yard touchdown by Marines and a late score by Smith.
The 3-1 Stallions finish non-conference play Friday at Kerman.