Toros can’t take advantage of opportunities
Wendy AlexanderThe Madera Tribune
Torres running back Joseph Bass flies over a potential tackler for positive yardage during Friday’s loss to the Washington Union Panthers.
The Matilda Torres Toros football team had their chances for a win, but couldn’t score when it needed to in a 28-20 loss to the Washington Union-Easton Panthers.
The Toros scored two fourth quarter touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough for their second loss of the season Friday at Madera South.
“We moved the ball, but we have to get better at finishing,” head coach Joseph Marquez said.
The Toros had a key fumble midway through the third quarter that allowed the Panthers to take a 14-6 lead.
“That strip fumble was big,” Marquez said. “Washington Union is a good team and we hung in there with them. This is a perfect time for a bye week.”
The Toros drove inside the Panthers’ 20-yard line on the first possession of the game, but turned it over on downs.
The Panthers then drove 82 yards on 11 plays to score on an 18-yard pass play to take the lead.
For the second straight possession, the Toros drove inside the Panthers’ 20-yard line, but came away without any points.
After holding the Panthers on fourth-and-two, the Toros finally finished a drive. Jose Soriano scrambled for a 16-yard gain on third-and-14 to keep the drive alive. Soriano gained six on a run to the two-yard line. On fourth-and-goal from the one, Joseph Bass scored a touchdown to cut the lead to one after the point after was blocked.
The Panthers had four first down plays on its next drive, but a bad snap led to a Toros fumble recovery.
Soriano hit Jesus Moreno for a 17-yard gain. A couple of penalties moved the ball to the Panthers’ 10-yard line with seconds left in the game. Soriano scrambled and went out of bounds at the two-yard line as the first half buzzer sounded.
After an exchange in possessions to open the second half, the Toros moved the ball to midfield before the Panthers stripped the ball away and came away with the recovery.
Six plays later and the Panthers were in the end zone for a 14-6 lead.
The Toros were forced to punt and downed it at the 10-yard line. Three plays later, the Panthers split the Torres defense and outran them for an 84-yard touchdown and a 21-6 fourth quarter lead.
The Toros marched down the field with a 11-play, 85-yard drive to cut the lead to nine. Soriano hit Moreno for a 24-yard completion to move the ball into Panthers’ territory. Soriano finished the drive with a quick nine-yard pass to Alan Avila in the end zone. A fumbled snap on the conversion hand-off kept the Toros trailing 21-12.
The Panthers recovered the onside kick. The Panthers’ quarterback broke off a 32-yard run to the four-yard line and two plays later, the Panthers were in the end zone for a 28-12 lead.
It only took the Toros three plays to answer. Soriano hit Moreno with a 14-yard pass and then hit Moreno for a 45-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Josiah Salinas scored on the conversion run to get within one score.
The Toros couldn’t get the onside kick and Washington Union ran out the clock in a 28-20 victory.