Milne is workhorse in Bulldogs' 34-31 win
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
Rush Milne carried the ball 53 times -- and the last one was the most important carry of the night.|
Milne scored his fifth touchdown with 27 seconds left in the game to lift Class 11A #1 Madison to a thrilling come-from-behind 34-31 win over the Tea Area Titans at Tea on Friday night.
Milne's fifth touchdown, a two-yard run, capped off a 12-play 61-yard drive in 3:17 to give the Bulldogs a 33-31 lead. Wth the extra-point kick by Brayden Gilbert, the Bulldogs went on top 34-31 with just 27 ticks on the clock.
The Titans rallied back from a 20-0 first-quarter deficit to gain the lead, 31-27, with 3:44 left in the game. Tate Nedved capped off a 10-play, 73-yard drive with a 37-yard scoring scamper; with the extra-point kick by Cooper Hansen, the Titans enjoyed a 31-27 lead.
"It was an exciting night of football," said Madison Coach Max Hodgen. "Our players showed a lot of grit as they marched down the field in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter to reclaim the lead. That was the first time we have been down all year, and I was proud of our composure."
The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 20-0 first-quarter lead. Milne scored his first touchdown with 6:36 left in the period with a seven-yard scamper to put Madison up 6-0. The scoring drive was a 10-play, 58-yard drive.
Milne scored his second touchdown of the night on a three-yard run with 2:54 left in the first period. Milne was on the end of the two-point conversion pass by Jacob Giles as the Bulldogs went on top 14-0. The scoring drive took 1:47 (four plays and nine yards).
Milne added his third touchdown with one second showing on the clock in the first quarter. He capped off a 30-yard, six-play drive with a one-yard plunge to put Madison up 20-0.
The Titans battled back in the second quarter and pulled to within three at halftime, 20-17. Taylor Roemen put the Titans on the board with 9:50 left in the half with a one-yard plunge; with the extra point by Hansen, the Titans trailed 20-7. The scoring drive covered 70 yards and took seven plays. Hansen booted a 19-yard field goal with 33 seconds left on the clock.
Tea scored its second touchdown of the half with nine seconds on the clock. Roemen hooked up with Tarin Smallfield for a nine-yard scoring strike. The drive went 49 yards in four plays and the Titans trailed 20-17 at intermission.
Milne ended the Titans' scoring run with a one-yard plunge with 7:43 left in the third period; with the extra-point kick by Gilbert, the Bulldogs enjoyed a 27-17 lead. The scoring drive covered 61 yards in 12 plays.
Smallfield returned a pass interception 35 yards with 9:06 left in the game; with the extra-point kick by Hansen, the Titans trailed 27-24.
Madison rolled up 336 total yards, 244 rushing and 92 passing. Milne finished the night with 233 yards rushing for the Bulldogs. Mason Hemmer had 14 yards on three carriers.
Giles completed 8-of-21 passes with one interception for 92 yards. Carter Kasuske caught five passes for 50 yards and Preston Nordling caught three passes for 42 yards.
"Offensively, we take what the defense gives us. Tea played off and wide the entire game, so we rode Rush all night. The offensive line and Blake Gusso were dominant up front," Hodgen said.
The Titans had 285 total yards, 83 rushing and 202 passing. Nedved had 50 yards on five carries. Roemen completed 8-of-15 passes with one interception for 202 yards. Brett Herr caught two passes for 92 yards.
"Defensively, we did great against the run; however, we had a few breakdowns in our pass coverage -- mental mistakes. We can fix that," Hodgen said.
Tyler Currey had five unassisted tackles and seven assisted tackles. Jordan Unterbrunner had five unassisted tackles and one assisted tackle. Kasuske and Gusso each had four unassisted tackles and three assisted tackles. Milne had one interception.
Hunter Irvine had eight unassisted tackles and three assisted tackles.
"It is great for us to face adversity and rise up to the challenge," Hodgen said.
Madison (6-0 overall) will go to Lennox on Friday for a battle with the Orioles at 7 p.m.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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