Toros battle tough with NYL-leading Wildcats

If the Matilda Torres Toros football team was battling just the Sunnyside-Fresno Wildcats in an important North Yosemite League contest, the results may have been different.


However, when the officials helped determine the outcome, the Toros couldn’t compete against two opponents in a 48-35 loss to the Wildcats in a battle for the top spot in the NYL.


“They played well enough to compete. They played well enough to win,” head coach Joesph Maquez said of his team.


There was a sequence of plays near the end of the first half that turned the game around. Instead of the possibility of heading into the locker room with a 28-20 lead, the series of events led the Wildcats to a 26-21 halftime lead.


However, Marquez’s team will look forward to Friday’s game and then to the final regular season game against Madera South that will determine second place in the NYL.


“Our losses are to higher-division teams,” he said. “We are competing with all of them. If we get the play like we got Friday, we can make a run.”


The Wildcats got on the scoreboard with a 65-yard touchdown catch-and-run on the first possession of the game.


The Toros came right back with a touchdown drive of their own, culminating in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jose Soriano to Amani Sua to tie the game at six.


After the Wildcats went three-and-out, the Toros drove for another score. After a 15-yard punt, Soriano’s pass to Jesus Moreno moved the ball into the red zone. Soriano gained one on fourth-and-one from the eight.


He then hit Josiah Salinas with a seven-yard pass for the touchdown. Joseph Bass ran in the to-point conversion for a 14-6 lead.


Sunnyside used two pass plays to gain 57 yards to the Toros’ eight-yard line. Three plays later, Sunnyside’s quarterback walked into the end zone. The two-point conversion pass was good to tie the game at 14.


The Toros punted on their next possession, but Bass came up with an interception. The Toros couldn’t do anything with it and turned the ball over at the 10.


The Wildcats got a pass play of 32-yards to get better field position. They completed a 28-yard pass for a score to take a 20-14 lead.


Soriano hit Moreno on a quick pass and Moreno took the ball to the Wildcats’ 26-yard line for a 45-yard gain. A face mask penalty as added and the Toros had the ball at the 13-yard line. Soriano called his own number to score and Alan Avila hit the extra point for a 21-20 lead.


A botched spiked ball attempt by Sunnyside that was awarded by the officials led to a Wildcats’ touchdown on the final play of the second half for a 26-21 lead.


The Wildcats added a touchdown on their first possession of the second half for a 32-21 lead.


The Toros responded with a 13-play, 85-yard drive to cut into the lead. Bass gained four on third-and-one to keep the drive alive. Soriano scrambled for 11 on third-and-10. He then hit Avila on back-to-back passes for 14 and 20 yards, the latter for a touchdown. Avila kicked the extra point to get within one score.


Sunnyside scored early in the fourth quarter and then added another touchdown two drives later to open the lead.


Torres scored a quick touchdown with a 20-yard run by Angel Pereida and an 18-yard run by Bass. Bass finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Avila hit the point after, but it was too little, too late in a 48-35 loss.

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