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Stallions win first game in new stadium

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Christian Marroquin finds open space for a third quarter touchdown run in Friday’s victory over Hanford West.


The Madera South Stallions football team wanted to make a statement in its first game in its new stadium with non-conference opponent Hanford West.

The Stallions made a statement with a 24-0 victory Friday night in a game where they dominated on both sides of the football.

Madera South amassed 383 yards of total offense, including 361 on the ground. They limited Hanford West to just 61 yards of total offense and five first downs.

The only knock head coach Matt Johnson could find was three turnovers, which killed possessions deep inside Hanford West territory.

“We were sputtering like we have all year,” Johnson said. We get something going on offense, but we get penalties or drop the ball. These guys are resilient. We talked about finishing drives off at halftime. I told the defense to keep flying around. They rallied really well together.”

Johnson was happy with the results, especially since Hanford West is in the same division as Madera South — Div. V — and Madera South didn’t have to face the County/Metro Athletic Conference juggernaut, which features four schools in Div. I.

“Give credit to Hanford West, but this is the type of teams we play in our division,” Johnson said. “You see what Madera South looks like against like opponents. Overall, a win is a win and we are very pleased. I can’t stress enough we always have had good football teams. If we go against like-opponents that look like us, we’re going to compete against that opponent. That showed tonight.”

Johnson handed the reins of the offense to sophomore Jacob Edwards and he shone bright. Edwards rushed for a team high 115 yards, including a season-long 82-yard run. Unfortunately, at the end of the long run, Edwards lost the ball on a fumble.

Christian Marroquin was also a bright spot filling in for Edwards on a few second half drives, one of which he scored a touchdown.

Angelo Moreno rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown and Tayte Grantham added 73 yards and a touchdown. Overall, Madera South had five ball carriers rushed for more than 35 yards.

The defense was led by Jackson Smith and Roldon Alberto-Flores, who recorded two quarterback sacks. All four of Alberto-Flores’ tackles resulted in losses. Alberto Torres, Daniel Castro and Bryce Walters all came up with interceptions for the Stallions.

The Madera South defense held Hanford West to 0-for-12 on third downs and forced six punts.

The Stallions controlled the ball for a majority of the game, but only came away with 24 points and that was a result of three fumbles.

Madera South opened the game with a quick 32-yard touchdown drive. Marroquin returned the opening kick-off 48 yards to the 32-yard line.

Edwards kept the ball himself for a 22-yard gain to the five-yard line. Two plays later, Moreno scored up the middle for a touchdown.

On the ensuing kickoff, Hanford West fumbled and Erik Cervantez recovered at the 37-yard line.

Grantham began the drive with a 14-yard run. Grantham gained another first down to the 12. Madera South pushed the ball to the five, but lost a yard on third down. Rudy Valdez stepped up for a 28-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead with 8:20 left in the first quarter.

Hanford West opened the next drive with a 15-yard gain and an 18-yard gain inside Madera South territory. The Huskies gained five on fourth-and-2 and moved the ball to the 15-yard line.

Tackles by Marroquin and Isaiah Goodman forced a fourth-and-12. Hanford West threw incomplete to give the ball to the Stallions.

After an initial first down, Madera South fumbled and Hanford West recovered and ran to the 14-yard line before Valdez made a touchdown-saving tackle.

Goodman made a stop for a loss of six and Hanford West was picked off by Torres at the two-yard line.

Edwards broke free for an 82-yard gain through the middle of the Hanford West defense. He was caught from behind and the ball was knocked loose. Hanford West recovered at their nine.

Three plays later, Walters picked off Hanford West at the Huskies’ 21-yard line. The Stallions turned the ball over on downs.

The Stallions’ defense, led by Jackson Smith, Alberto-Flores and Jessie Ford, forced a Huskies’ punt, but the Stallions turned over the ball on downs as the first half came to an end.

Hanford West got a first down on the first play of the second half, but a tackle by Joseph Velasquez for a gain of one on fourth-and-three gave the ball back to Madera South.

After the Stallions went four-and-out, a sack by Alberto-Flores forced a Huskies’ three-and-out.

After the punt, Madera South got consecutive first down runs from Moreno, Cervantez and Grantham to move the ball to the 23-yard line. Moreno gained nine and Ridge Castellon got the first down to the 22-yard line.

Three plays later, Edwards had trouble with the snap and Hanford West recovered at its own 25-yard line.

Another sack by Alberto-Flores forced another Huskies’ punt — an 18-yarder to the Huskies’ 35-yard line.

From there, the Stallions overcame a holding penalty to get on the scoreboard.

Marroquin found Grantham for nine. Then, Marroquin called his own number, bounced off some tacklers and eluded two more at the five-yard line for a 26-yard touchdown run. Valdez’s extra point gave the Stallions a 17-0 lead with 48 seconds left in the third.

Castro came up with an interception on the next Hanford West drive. However, Marroquin was intercepted on the next play.

Alberto Flores and Smith forced another Hanford West punt and the Stallions went on their longest drive of the game — nine-plays for 71-yards.

Moreno gained 11 on third-and-10. Cervantez carried for 14 and Moreno gained 24 on third-and-six to the 18-yard line.

On the next play, Grantham got the carry around the right side and went into the end zone untouched for the touchdown and a 24-0 lead with 6:53 left in the game.

Both teams exchanged punts as the clock ran out for Madera South’s first victory in the shortened 2021 season.


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