Bulldogs hold on, nip West Central 24-21
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
For the second time this season, the Madison Bulldogs had to face the No. 1 Class A team at Trojan Field, and the result was the same on Friday: a Madison win. This time the Bulldogs hung on for a 24-21 victory over the West Central Trojans.|
"It was a great team effort against West Central," Madison Coach Max Hodgen said. "They are a good team, and it was a battle for four quarters."
Madison's Jacob Giles had a huge night passing the ball. The senior quarterback threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
Giles hooked up with Mason Hemmer for a 66-yard scoring strike with 11:04 left in the opening period. Brayden Gilbert tacked on the extra-point kick and the Bulldogs enjoyed a 7-0 lead. The scoring drive covered 65 yards in three plays.
The Trojans scored a late touchdown in the opening period. With just under three minutes left in the quarter, Cole Tirrel rumbled 44 yards for the touchdown; with the extra-point kick by Noah Vettrus, the score was deadlocked. The Trojans marched 71 yards in four plays to paydirt.
The score remained deadlocked at 7-7 until 6:52 left in the half. Giles tossed a 33-yard scoring strike to Preston Nordling to put the Bulldogs on top; with the extra-point by Gilbert, Madison held a 14-7 lead. The scoring drive took four plays in 1:44 and covered 49 yards.
The Bulldogs tacked on three points just before halftime. Gilbert booted a 31-yard field goal with one second left in the half to put the Bulldogs on top 17-7 at intermission. The drive took nine plays in 1:26 and covered 55 yards.
Madison went up 24-7 early in the third period, when Giles again hooked up with Nordling for an 86-yard scoring strike with 9:15 left in the quarter. Gilbert added the extra point. The scoring drive covered 86 yards in one play.
Neither team scored until there was 7:11 left in the game. Cody Bussell scored on a 5-yard run to cap an 89-yard, 11-play scoring drive. Vettrus added the extra point and the Trojans were back in the game, 24-14.
West Central added another touchdown with just over five minutes remaining in the contest. With 5:24 left, Jace Hannisch threw a 51-yard scoring strike to Bussell; with the extra-point kick by Vettrus, West Central pulled to within three, 24-21. The scoring drive went 51 yards in just one play.
"We faced some adversity as the momentum swing in their favor late in the fourth quarter," said Hodgen, "but our offense really came through as we were able to bleed the last five minutes off the clock with a three-point lead."
"We were able to keep our composure and stay calm those last five minutes," Madison senior Jordan Unterbrunner said.
Madison rolled up 421 yards, 127 rushing and 294 passing. Rush Milne rushed for 102 yards on 23 attempts while Hemmer added 25 yards on nine carries.
"Our offensive line has been together for a long time; it is like a family, and we correct each other," senior Tyler Currey said.
Giles was 11 of 23 passing for all of Madison's passing yards. Nordling caught six passes for 165 yards while Hemmer latched onto three passes for 109 yards. Carter Kasuske caught two passes for 20 yards.
West Central racked up 330 total yards, 202 rushing and 128 passing. Bussell had 80 yards on 17 attempts.
Hanisch was 3-for-3 passing for 73 yards while Noah Matson was 4-of-5 passing for 55 yards. Bussell caught three passes for 68 yards.
Giles had six unassisted tackles and three assisted tackles for the Bulldogs. Tyler Currey had five unassisted tackles and six assists. Kasuske had four unassisted and four assisted tackles.
Brayden Swartwout had six unassisted and two assisted tackles for the Trojans.
"This is a huge win and a step in the right direction," said Unterbrunner. "We will celebrate tonight but we will be back to work tomorrow getting ready for Tea."
"I am proud of our team and their accomplishments so far; however, it is important that we remain focused on the task at hand, which is our next opponent," Hodgen said. "Tea is a good ball club with speed and the ability to stretch the perimeter and run some options at us. We need to practice our responsibilities and remain disciplined."
Madison (5-0 overall) will go to Tea on Friday to battle the Titans in a 7 p.m. contest.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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