Once again, the Madison Warhawks relied on a late-game touchdown drive and an outstanding defensive effort to roll past the Fairfax Rebels by a score of 28-21 in a Liberty District match-up of unbeaten teams. With the win, Madison improved its overall record to 7-1 and its District record to 5-0. The loss dropped Fairfax to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the District.
Madison's offense racked up a season-high 407 yards for the game. Mitchell Goddard had another excellent performance at quarterback completing 16 of 20 passes for 262 yards. Madison's wide receivers came up big with Ben Sanford catching six passes for 136 yards and Tom House catching six passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. Grant Hoffman led the rushing attack with 18 carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns. And big kudos go to the offensive line for protecting Goddard and opening huge holes for the running game.
However, the game did not start well for the Warhawks. On their first two possessions, the Rebels exploded to an early 14-0 lead behind two long touchdown runs of 81 and 42 yards by their blue-chip running back, Nick Scott. After the initial hit, the Warhawks began to settle into their offense and scored their first touchdown on a 22-yard run by Hoffman. But the Rebels responded with their third touchdown to take a 21-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
Seemingly in control, the Rebels recovered a Warhawk fumble and were moving again on offense when Kyle Mancini stepped up and made a momentum-shifting interception at the goal line with several minutes left in the half. Starting at his 1-yardline, Goddard took over and completed passes to Sanford, House and Jordan Ebersole to move the ball to the Rebel goal line before hitting House on a one-yard scoring pass. Madison trailed 21-14 heading to the locker room, but with the 99-yard drive, had fought its way back into the game.
The play that shifted the course of the game and the final outcome happened midway through the third quarter. Up by a seven points, Fairfax was moving the ball when they completed a pass over the middle and an apparent long touchdown. But Jacob Hall, playing safety, never gave up on the play and made a touchdown-saving tackle at the one-yard line on what looked like a sure Rebel score. On first-and-goal from the 1, the Rebels fumbled and Hall recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Madison marched down the field and scored on a 1-yard sneak by Goddard to tie the score at 21-21 as the third quarter ended.
Madison scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 3-yard Hoffman run midway through the fourth quarter. The big play of the drive was a roll-out pass from Goddard to Sanford down the sideline for 54 yards. On the ensuing Fairfax possession, Hall intercepted at mid-field and Madison was able to run the clock out for an exciting 28-21 win.
Madison’s defense rallied after a tough start and held the potent Fairfax offense scoreless in the second half. Tom Wagaman and Jordan Durham had key sacks for Madison in the second half. Nick Hoy and Dan Schwab held down the middle with multiple tackles and tackles for losses. And a game ball needs to go to Lenny Schultz, the head coach, and his assistants for their game plan and half time adjustments.
Madison's next game is 7:30 p.m. at Stone Bridge. Madison is tied for first in the Liberty District with the Stone Bridge Bulldogs, who are ranked second in the metro area.
F: N Scott 81 run (kick)
F: N Scott 42 run (kick)
M: Hoffman 22 run (Dorka kick)
F: 1 run (kick)
M: House 1 pass from Goddard (Dorka kick)
M: Goddard 1 run (Dorka kick)
M: Hoffman 3 run (Dorka kick)
4-0Points Scored 28 21
Madison Rushing (Atts-Yds-TDs)
J Hall: 3-2-0
N Williams: 1-0-0
Madison Passing (Comps-Atts-Yds-TDs-Ints)
Madison Receiving (Atts-Receptions-Yards-TDs)
B Sanford: 6-6-136-0
N Williams: 2-0-0-0
Kickoff Returns (Number-Yards-TDs)
Madison Defensive Stats
Tackles for Loss
Nick Dorka contributed this report.