Football: Madera South beats Mission Oak 35-34 in overtime

The Hawks blew a touchdown lead in the fourth quarter and went on to lose 35-34

By Jermaine Johnson II @Jerm_10

TULARE – For the second year in a row, Mission Oak went one and done in the playoffs. This year they lost in heartbreaking fashion. A missed extra point after a touchdown resulted in a one-point loss to Madera South in the first round of the Division V playoffs.

The Hawks overcame a 14-0 deficit to go up 28-21 in the fourth quarter. The Stallions had a chance to tie the score as they had the ball at the one-yard line with about 10 minutes remaining in the game. The snap was too high on fourth down resulting in a turnover on downs. Their defense stood firm against the Hawks and got the ball back. Marvin Brewer began running all over the Mission Oak defense as he tied the score with an 11-yard touchdown. Each team had 28 points with under four minutes remaining in the game. The Hawks marched down the field but missed a field goal as time expired.

In overtime, both teams got a chance to score as they got the ball deep in the opponent’s territory. Mission Oak got the ball first and senior quarterback Matt Ordunez made an outstanding play to put his team on the board. He shook a sack and scrambled before finding Ethan Natera in the end zone. The kicker missed the extra point which ultimately cost the team the game. The Stallions scored in two plays during their possession and then converted the extra point to win the playoff matchup 35-34.

Madera South scored the first points of the game on a six play drive that went 50 yards. Isaiah Tyler ran in the touchdown from 17 yards out. He finished with over 250 yards passing and rushing plus four touchdowns. He scored again early in the second quarter to give the Stallions a 14-0 lead. With the game slowly slipping away, Mission Oak needed a spark to wake up their offense. They decided to go for it on fourth down by running a fake punt and it worked. They then turned to their passing game to get back in the game which set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Jericho Sierra. He was met by defenders several yards shy of the end zone, but he kept his legs churning for more yards. Since there was only a minute left in the first half, Madera South decided to take some chances with their offense which paid off. Tyler connected with Jaden Cisneros for a touchdown pass with around 50 seconds left to play. They were up 21-28 at half time.

The Hawks came out of half time playing very sharp. The defense got an interception which led to a 77-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Michael Iriye. He caught a slant pass and showed off blazing speed as he ran by the entire defense on his way into the end zone. He scored again later in the quarter on a similar play to give Mission Oak a 28-21 leading heading into the final period.

“The spark was Michael [Iriye] when he got those two touchdowns. That was what we needed to get moving,” Mission Oak head coach David Flores said.

The No. 10 Stallions will go on to the next round to play Yosemite on Friday. For the No. 7 Hawks, this season was a great bounce back year. They won five games which matches the total from the last three seasons combined. This year, four of their six losses were by a touchdown or less. With the margin of defeat being so small, Flores believes that these feelings will linger with the team as these losses sting the most.

“It’s going to provide that little extra bit that we’re going to need everywhere whether it’s in the weight room, in practice, or conditioning,” he said.

While the team’s offensive core will remain pretty stable next year, the Hawks will be graduating several starters on defense.

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