Toros hang on for league victory
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Matilda Torres running back Amani Sua tries to break out of a tackle to score the Toros’ first touchdown in Friday’s North Yosemite League victory over Hoover. Sua rushed for a game-high 151 yards and averaged 10 yards per carry in the win.
The Matilda Torres Toros football team held its first Senior Night in school history and sent the group of five out with a victory after a 26-22 win over the Hoover-Fresno Patriots at Madera South.
The Toros used a two-headed monster on the ground to gain 339 yards of total offense in the win.
Amani Sua led the team with 151 yards rushing on 14 carries (10.8 yards per carry) and scored two touchdowns. Joseph Bass gained 93 yards on 16 carries and averaged almost six yards per carry.
“The two-headed monster has been building up,” head coach Joseph Marquez said. “They are two of the best running backs around. They don’t mind blocking for each other. They play for each other.”
The Patriots got back in the game thanks to three pass plays of 60 yards or more that accounted for 198 yards of their 329 yards of offense.
“They hit us with a couple of trick plays to score on us,” Marquez said. “They threw the kitchen sink at us. I told the kids we’re going to be their Super Bowl. It happened. They weren’t going to move the ball on us in traditional ways.”
The win gives the Toros a 4-0 record in the North Yosemite League and sets up an unofficial championship game with Sunnyside-Fresno Friday night. Both teams head into the game with undefeated NYL records.
“I told the kids it’s a championship week, for sure,” Marquez said. “We can assure ourselves at least a piece of the NYL championship. That’s how we’re treating it.”
The Toros scored on their opening possession. Two runs by Sua gained 16 yards. Jose Soriano found Jesus Moreno for seven yards and Sua gained 20 to the 12-yard line. Two plays later, Sua scored from three-yards out and the Toros led 6-0 after the point after try was blocked.
The Stallions forced the Patriots to turn the ball over on downs. It took just two Sua runs (one for 44 yards and the touchdown run of eight) for the Toros to lead 13-0 after Alan Avila’s extra point was good.
The Patriots completed a 74-yard pass play to the Toros’ four-yard line, and scored two plays later to trail 14-8 after they converted a two-point run.
The Toros then went on a 12-play, 65-yard run to take a two-score lead.
Two Bass runs gave the Toros a first down. Soriano hit Nila Demetrio for 10-yards. On fourth-and-seven, Soriano found Bass for seven yards and a first down. Hoover was hit with a 15-yard penalty to put the ball on the 14-yard line.
Four plays later, Bass scored from four yards out for a 20-8 second quarter lead.
After a trade in punts, the Patriots struck just before half-time with a 61-yard pass play to cut the lead to five at the half.
The Toros opened the second half with a 12-play, 65-yard drive to extend the lead to 11. Soriano hit Sua for a nine-yard pass and the Patriots were drawn offsides on fourth-and-two. Soriano completed two passes to Demetrio for 12 and 23 yards to get to the Hoover 17-yard line.
Soriano called his own number for four yards on fourth-and-two. After an illegal procedure penalty on the Toros, Bass carried three times, the final one from a yard out, to score a touchdown for a 26-15 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Toros recovered the bouncing ball, but had to punt.
The Patriots gained 63 yards on fourth-and-three to get the ball inside Torres territory. On third-and-goal from the six, Sebastian Gonzales sacked the quarterback for a loss of 10. On fourth down, Soriano broke up the pass to turn the ball over.
Bass got the Toros out of deep n their own territory with a 23-yard gain, but fumbled and Hoover recovered.
The Patriots drove 50 yards on eight plays to cut the lead to 26-22 after the two-point try failed.
The Toros had to punt on their next possession.
Hoover used a double pass for a 34-yard gain to the Torres 38-yard line. However, Hoover went backwards from there and threw an interception on fourth down from the 45-yard line.
A 26-yard run from Bass put the game away with a four-point victory.