November 21, 2014
It was a cold but clear night in Madera. Memorial stadium was the sight for this division 3, second round matchup between the visiting Rebels of South High, and the hometown Madera Coyotes. South defeated Highland 35-6 to earn trip to Madera. Madera had a bye week, and are back after two weeks rest.
The South Rebels finished the regular season with a 7-3 record. They currently have a seven game winning streak coming into this contest. They have allowed 17 points at most during this winning streak, including three shutouts. Senior standout wide receiver Tommy Castellon leads the team in yards and touchdowns. Although South has played well, they have yet to play a team as talented as Madera so far this season.
Madera also finished the regular season with a 7-3 record. After starting the season 6-0, the question was begged: Why not them? But that question was quickly answered when they lost three games in a row to Memorial, Edison, and Sanger. None the less this Coyotes team has the talent to beat anyone on any day. Quarterback Nathaniel Nelson has an array of weapons around him. Jesus Jimenez is a big running back who is hard to take down. But don’t let his size fool you; he has speed that everyone underestimates. Chris Bueno is a tall physical receiver; he plays with emotion and loves to make the big plays. Alec Gamboa has pure agility and speed; He can go from zero to 60 in seconds. He is the factor that makes this team nearly impossible to defend. And who can forget Evan “Clutch Time” Rios; he is a fan favorite and is nearly automatic when kicking field goals.
Madera started with the ball, but before the fans can settle in their seats, Jesus Jimenez broke a huge tackle up the middle and ran it in for a big time 62 yard touchdown (7-0). The South defense had to brush it off quickly because their offense turned the ball back over to Madera. Madera then gave it to Jesus Jimenez again up the middle for an easy two yard touchdown (14-0). The next time Madera touched the ball, Nathaniel Nelson tossed a floater perfectly to Chris Bueno. Bueno, who burned his defender, easily scored on the 81 yard receiving touchdown (21-0). The big bad coyotes would add even more points to the board when a short pass to the quick Alec Gamboa turned into an easy touchdown for Gamboa’s standards (28-0).
South was not afraid to pass the ball, and it finally paid off when sophomore quarterback Aries Harris accurately connected with a wide open Tommy Castellon down the side line for a 30 yard touchdown pass (28-7). Madera would answer back when Nathaniel Nelson put his trust into the hands and legs of Chris Bueno. Nelson tossed it towards the direction of his star wide receiver; Bueno then jumped over his defender to get the ball and ran it down the side line for a 65 yard receiving touchdown (35-7). That ended what was a very long and action packed first quarter.
South fumbled the ball to begin the second quarter, and gave Madera great starting field position. South stopped Madera to force a fourth down. Madera decided to go for it on fourth down and was successful when they handed it off to Alec Gamboa. Gamboa got a sweep handoff and used his speed to reach the pylon for a four yard rushing touchdown (42-7). Gamboa would then score again on the following drive but this time as a wide receiver. Gamboa ran a slant route and Nelson accurately delivered the ball to him for a five yard touchdown pass (49-7).
Emotions began to rise on the South sideline. If they lose, this will be the last game for the seniors on this team. Madera would then put salt on the rebels womb when Bueno had deja vu. Bueno caught Nelson’s pass over the head of his defender again. This time the defender lost balance and fell; leading to a 53 yard Bueno receiving touchdown (56-7). Players, coaches, and fans all began to express frustration on the South sideline as the game appeared to be a blowout. However South would go into halftime with some dignity when Aries Harris connected with Devin McCord in traffic. McCord was able to shake a defender and have a foot race all the way to the end zone for a 40 yard touchdown (56-14).
The third quarter saw a change of pace as South actually held Madera scoreless. Unfortunately, South quarterback Aries Harris was able to be productive. Harris was constantly being rushed out of the pocket and forced to make bad throws. At the end of the third quarter, the score was still 56-14.
South began to look better in the fourth quarter. Not only did they hold Madera scoreless again, but they scored twice. The first score came after an elaborate South drive when Harris handed it off to PJ Jones up the middle for a four yard rushing touchdown (56-21). The second was at the end when Ricardo Pacheco followed his blocks and ran it in for a 60 yard touchdown (56-28). It was too little too late for the Rebels as time expired. Madera advances to the Division 3 semi-finals where they will play at Mission Oak.
Madera looked good in their playoff opener. They utilized all their weapons, and didn’t let up on defense. Nathaniel Nelson played very efficient scoring five touchdowns and not turning the ball over. Everyone o for the Coyotes stepped up and played their role on the team. If the “Yotes” can keep this up they will upset Mission Oak next week.
South looked good in 3 of the 4 quarters played. Their defense was able to slow things down in the second half. Aries Harris was rushed the entire game, and was unable to create good plays. This team has to remember the basics (blocking, and tackling). Small mistakes is what caused most of those big plays. Aries Harris still has two more years left, and I expect him to keep growing from these kind of experiences and become a good, seasoned quarterback.
Nathaniel Nelson: 5 TD’s
Alec Gamboa: 3 TD’s
Chris Bueno: 3 TD’s
Jesus Jimenez: 2 TD’s
Aries Harris: 2 TD’s
Tommy Castellon: 1 TD
Devin McCord: 1 TD
PJ Jones: 1 TD
Ricardo Pacheco: 1 TD
Round 2 Results
|Edison- K. Williams: 3 TD’s|
|Clovis- A. Prentice: 7 car, 75 yds, 2 TD’s|
|Bakersfield- Plays Liberty in semi-finals|
|Liberty- A. Mariscal: 12 car, 54 yds|
|Ridgeview- S. Croney: 339 rushing yards, 6 TD’s|
|Sanger- S. Pittman: 9 car, 136 yds, 3 TD’s|
|Dinuba- M. Wright: 24 car, 189 yds, 2 TD’s|
|Lemoore- R. Davis: 6 rec, 141 yds, 3 TD’s|
|Game ended early due to fight|
|Madera- N. Nelson: 5 passing TD’s|
|Mission Oak- K. Tripp: 6 rec, 101 yds, 1 TD|
|Bake. Chrstian- T. Lozano: 6 rec, 95 yds, 1 TD|
|Liberty- Plays Golden West in Semi Finals|
|Golden West- First playoff win since 2008|
|Chavez- Plays CVC in Semi Finals|
|CVC: Plays Chavez in Semi Finals|
|Corcoran- 13 sacks|
|Mendota- M. Rodriguez: 14 car, 73 yds|
|Immanuel- Plays Fowler in Semi Finals|
|Fowler- I. Munoz: 18 car, 155 yds, 1 TD|
|Kennedy- Plays Avenal in Finals|
|Avenal- J. Barrera: 1 TD
Featured game of round 3: Clovis Cougars @ Edison Tigers
(Scores, stats, and rankings courtesy of Maxpreps.com, and The Fresno Bee)
- Immanuel makes it look easy; Golden Eagles soar past the Grizzlies - February 14, 2015
- Immanuel and Fresno High unstoppable; Central making a late run. - February 4, 2015
- Central stuns Clovis West, Roosevelt stumbles but not out. - January 27, 2015