Toros win first game on first try
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Matilda Torres sophomore Jesus Moreno tries to run through a tackle during Friday’s victory. Moreno scored a pair of touchdowns in the victory.
With time running out in the fourth quarter, Matilda Torres Toros football coach Joseph Marquez elected to punt the ball with about four minutes left in the game trailing 22-21.
However, his decision came up roses when Joe Bass blitzed on the edge, forced a fumble and recovered it.
Three minutes later, Torres quarterback Jose Soriano scored the eventual game-winning touchdown for a 29-22 victory Friday against the Hoover-Fresno Patriots at McLane Stadium.
“I was extremely happy with the effort they put out and the resiliency they showed,” Marquez said. “It was a back-and-forth game.”
Once Bass got the turnover, the Toros marched down the field and Soriano scored. He then completed a two-point conversion pass for the seven-point lead.
Jesus Moreno put the capper on a memorable game with a game-sealing interception on Hoover’s next possession to secure the Toros’ victory.
“It’s huge to get the win,” Marquez said. “I talked to the kids about building winning traditions and learn how to win tough games. For a bunch of sophomores, that’s really big. We only had two juniors active Friday night. One got cleared about two hours before the game, but didn’t play a lot. The other junior started both ways. For them to learn how to fight through and win is huge.”
Moreno highlighted the play of the Toros’ sophomores. He had an interception returned for a touchdown in the first quarter. He followed that up with a long catch-and-run touchdown and then closed the game with his game-sealing interception.
“He was definitely the player of the game. He was really exciting,” Marquez said.
Even trailing late in the game, Marquez was impressed at what he saw on the sidelines.
“Looking at the kids on the sideline, I never saw them give up and thought they were going to lose the game,” he said. “I always look to see how my sideline reacts to things. Even when we punted the ball away, they looked like we were going to win the game.”
The win not only gives the Toros some credibility, but it gives Marquez the knowledge of where his kids are in terms of competitiveness.
“It makes me feel better of where we’re at,” he said. “I was a little worried about them not having a lot of contact before the season. Physically, we’re fine. Execution-wise, we need to get a lot better. As far as a starting off point, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
The Toros continue their season Friay at Atascadero.