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Football 2017 Season

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    Posted: 17 Nov 2017 at 10:01pm

Playoff first-timer Madison rolls West Jefferson to reach Final Four

10:07 p.m Friday, Nov. 17, 2017  Journal-News Sports

The Division V Final Four is the next stop for Madison High School’s football team.

The Mohawks stormed to a 17-0 lead Friday night, then outscored West Jefferson 25-0 in the second half to pound their way to a 42-7 victory in the Region 20 championship game at Beavercreek’s Frank Zink Field.

Madison (11-2) recorded its 10th straight win in its inaugural playoff season and will meet either Wheelersburg or Johnstown-Monroe in the state semifinals next Friday night at a neutral site.

Cameron Svarda ran 20 times for 219 yards and two touchdowns for the Mohawks. Cole Pelgen, Jake Phelps and Mason Whiteman also ran for scores, while Whiteman returned an interception 96 yards for a TD.

Madison took advantage of five Roughrider turnovers and totaled four interceptions. Whiteman had two of those picks, and Svarda and Phelps each added one.

West Jefferson (12-1) trailed 17-7 at halftime after Gabe Jones closed the half with a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Debwards Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2017 at 11:18am

Prep football: Mohawks crush West Jefferson to earn spot in Final Four

Updated: 4:10 a.m. Saturday, November 18, 2017 |  Posted: 10:07 p.m. Friday, November 17, 2017

Madison High School’s inaugural postseason run became a thundering march Friday night.

The Mohawks surged within two wins of the Division V state championship by clobbering West Jefferson 42-7 at Beavercreek’s Frank Zink Field, capturing the Region 20 title before another large throng of cowbell-clanging MHS fans.

“It’s something special,” said junior quarterback/cornerback Mason Whiteman, who scored a touchdown on both sides of the ball. “Everybody said that we were going to be the team to do it, and as it starts to become more of a reality, it’s starting to be crazy.

PHOTOS: Nick Graham’s gallery from the game

“We came out with the mentality that we wanted to make a statement across the state, and I think we did so.”

Junior fullback/safety Cameron Svarda, who also tallied a pair of TDs, said Madison left the field with a “more work to do” attitude.

“I think the first playoff game, we had the most excitement,” he said. “Right now, we just want to keep on going.”

Svarda piled up 219 yards on 20 carries in a 374-yard rushing night for the Mohawks. True to form, the winners had zero passing yards and two incompletions.

Madison (11-2) extended its winning streak to 10 and will meet Wheelersburg (13-0) in a 7:30 p.m. state semifinal next Friday at Chillicothe.

“We’re feeling great about things. How can you not?” said Mohawks coach Steve Poff, oblivious to the cold air while maintaining his tradition of wearing shorts on game night. “Our kids just keep coming. We talk very little about winning or losing. It’s just the journey and have fun while you’re there and work hard and appreciate what you have.

“I’m excited for our kids first and our student body and our community. It’s got to be something that people didn’t dream of, and now that it’s here and things are becoming reality, it’s just outstanding. You saw the community support again tonight. Tremendous.”

Madison took advantage of five turnovers by the Roughriders (12-1), intercepting Lance Lambert four times and getting a fumble recovery by Levi McMonigle.

Whiteman had two of those picks, and Svarda and Jake Phelps added one apiece. Whiteman pounded a bucket of nails into West Jefferson’s playoff coffin by returning an interception 96 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 35-7.

“I kind of read their back out,” Whiteman said. “They ran an isolation play for him, and I just read it. When I picked it, all the D-linemen got right in front of me, and I just followed them all the way down the field.”

Lambert was 20 of 40 for 145 yards and found himself under fire all night long.

“He kind of just lobbed it up sometimes,” said Phelps, a sophomore outside linebacker. “We knew that we could cover our guys long enough to get some picks, and we did.”

Roughriders coach Shawn Buescher said the Mohawks’ defensive front was the primary reason for the interceptions.

“They’re very physical up front and move very well,” Buescher said. “I think a lot of their pass defense honestly comes from the pressure they apply. They really try to get after the quarterback.”

West Jefferson was held to 23 yards on the ground and didn’t score an offensive touchdown.

The Roughriders’ only TD came as time expired in the first half. Madison took a 17-0 lead on Graham Reich’s 23-yard field goal with 0:06 on the clock, only to watch Gabe Jones return the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a score.

So it was 17-7 at the break, with West Jefferson set to receive the second-half kickoff.

“Just a busted play,” Whiteman said. “Our guys were in the right spot at the right time. No big deal.”

“We were OK,” Svarda said. “It kind of made us mad a little bit, but we focused up and knew they weren’t going to get anything else on us.”

Poff said he wasn’t worried about his players’ mind-set heading into the second half.

“They’re a loose bunch anyway,” Poff said. “They basically knew they were right where they wanted to be and all they had to do was settle in and do our thing, play the game the way we wanted to play it rather than on their terms.”

The Roughriders managed one first down in the third period, and three of Lambert’s interceptions came in the second half.

Cole Pelgen, a defensive end who lines up in the Mohawks’ backfield from time to time, followed up Svarda’s pick with a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:41 left in the third quarter.

Madison’s Quincy Brown then recovered what appeared to be an onside kick by Reich, and Phelps notched a 5-yard touchdown 88 seconds later.

Was it really an onside kick?

“I’m not sure it was,” Poff said. “I think the kicker mishandled the ball a little bit because he onside kicked it the time before and we told him not to do that anymore, and he did it the very next one.”

Whiteman ran 11 times for 80 yards for the Mohawks, and Tyler Baumgartner chipped in 57 yards on 13 carries. Svarda had 13 carries for 178 yards before halftime, including a 77-yard TD burst.

“I think we wore ’em down in the first half. I don’t think they wanted to play the second half, honestly,” Svarda said. “That’s what the Wing-T does. You just break a team down and you go right at ’em.”

The Roughriders have been to the regional finals eight times in the last 12 years, but they’ve made it to the Final Four just once during that span.

“I knew (the Mohawks) were extremely physical,” Buescher said. “Obviously all the turnovers made the score a little more lopsided, but in the same sense, they’re a good team and they earned that.”

Madison 0-17-12-13—42

West Jefferson 0-7-0-0—7

M: Cameron Svarda 9 run (Graham Reich kick)

M: Svarda 77 run (Reich kick)

M: Reich 23 field goal

W: Gabe Jones 70 kickoff return (Jon Stevenson kick)

M: Cole Pelgen 3 run (Run failed)

M: Jake Phelps 5 run (Kick failed)

M: Mason Whiteman 96 interception return (Kick failed)

M: Whiteman 1 run (Reich kick)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Debwards Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2017 at 4:38pm

Madison Mohawks vs. Wheelersburg Pirates in the State Semi-Final
Friday, November 24th at 7:30pm
Chillicothe, Ohio at Herrnstein Field - 345 Arch Street, 45601

PRE-SALE TICKETS $8/$10 at gate
FRIDAY 10:00AM-1:00PM

Order your Mohawks Football Regional Champs 2017 shirts now!
ALL proceeds directly benefit the Madison Mohawks Football Program through our Madison Athletic Boosters.
Webstore closes Sunday, November 26th at midnight!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Debwards Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Nov 2017 at 9:08pm
Madison 10 - 15 Wheelersburg. Final Score.

#RegionalChamps #WeLoveOurMohawks #MakingHistory
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Post Options Post Options   Quote munoz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2017 at 7:58am
Congrats to the team for a great season, you came up just a bit short but what a great run !!!!!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Debwards Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2017 at 11:44am

Prep football: ‘Heartbreaking’ loss for Madison in D-V state semifinal

4:44 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017  Journal-News Sports

The finality was brutal for a Madison High School football team that made history this season.

The Mohawks couldn’t close the deal on a trip to the Division V state championship game, completing their first-ever playoff appearance by squandering a 10-0 lead in the last 14 minutes and falling to Wheelersburg 15-10 in a state semifinal Friday night at Chillicothe’s Herrnstein Field.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” said junior nose guard Max Evans, part of a Madison defense that limited the potent Pirates to 182 total yards. “We made it this far. I didn’t like when people called it a Cinderella story. We knew what we were doing the whole time.

“All good things come to an end, and we played a great team. I don’t think we regret anything. All the guys left everything on the field, and I think we’re all really proud of what we’ve done.”

The Mohawks (11-3) were limited to 122 yards on the ground — they entered the contest averaging 364.5 — as their 10-game winning streak came to an end.

Wheelersburg (14-0) will go after its second state championship next Friday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, facing Pemberville Eastwood (14-0) at 3 p.m.

“We came up short. I don’t have a snazzy cliche for you … I wish I did,” Madison coach Steve Poff said. “My kids fought hard, and you have to face the fact that we played a really, really good team. That was the best team that we had played all year. I feel like we played them better than anybody else has all year. They’re a class act, from the coach to each one of their players and staff members and fans.

“You’re upset about what happened tonight, but so many good feelings and so many positives came out of this. We came a long way from 1-2. I’m just proud of my kids and the way they respond to things and the effort they put in. There’s worse tragedies in the world than losing a high school football game. We’re going to take our 30 days and get back in the weight room and get better.”

Cameron Svarda ran 17 times for 53 yards and Tyler Baumgartner added 32 yards on 10 carries for the Mohawks. Quarterback Mason Whiteman had a 1-yard touchdown run with 0.4 seconds left in the first half to give his team a 7-0 lead at the break.

That TD was set up by a Whiteman interception, and teammate Evan Crim also picked off Pirates quarterback Trent Salyers on the third play of the third quarter. Madison gained possession at the WHS 6, but had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by Graham Reich.

The Mohawks’ Levi McMonigle recovered his third fumble in the last three games on Wheelersburg’s next possession, but the Pirates kept it a 10-point game when Evan Dahm intercepted a Whiteman pass.

Wheelersburg turned a Madison fumble into a 22-yard field goal by Jalen Miller with 1:50 left in the third stanza, and the Pirates got a 17-yard touchdown pass from Trent Salyers to Justin Salyers just over three minutes later.

Whiteman had boomed a 62-yard punt from deep in his own territory, but a penalty forced Madison to replay the down, and Whiteman couldn’t handle the punt snap and got stopped short on a run for the first down. The Pirates missed the extra point and still trailed 10-9, but they went ahead for good on Xander Carmichael’s 2-yard TD run with 7:09 left.

The Mohawks’ last three possessions ended with a fake punt that failed to produce a first down and two interceptions. Reid Davis threw those picks after Whiteman moved to wide receiver — Whiteman came off the field holding his arm early in the fourth period, and Poff conceded that he was hurt.

“He was, but he’s also dynamic out there catching the ball, so it was a combination of things,” Poff said of inserting Davis at QB. “Mason’s a tough kid. I don’t have the words to tell you what he means to our team.”

Tanner Holden picked off Davis with 1:33 remaining, and Cole Lowery’s interception with 7.5 seconds left sealed the win for Wheelersburg.

“What a way to go out and earn a victory tonight,” Pirates coach Rob Woodward said. “Hats off to Madison. They did an outstanding job of taking away some things we wanted to do.

“We didn’t help ourselves. We dropped some balls, which is uncharacteristic of us. That’s why you have two sides of the ball and you have four quarters to play. Our kids stayed after it and kept fighting.”

Trent Salyers was 11 of 21 for 128 yards for the Pirates. Wheelersburg managed just 54 rushing yards, led by Dominic Reyes (nine carries, 21 yards).

Carmichael, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker and tight end, ran seven times for 20 yards in the second half. The numbers weren’t huge, but they were important to the Pirates’ comeback.

“That’s just a great defensive game right there,” Carmichael said. “We didn’t need to change our defense at halftime because we were doing just fine. It was just bad field position in the first half, and in the second half we finally got the field position we wanted.

“We knew they were a tough, hard-nosed team, so we prepared all week by just grinding and grinding. All we had to do was stop the run.”

And what about his touchdown?

“I’m going straight over people. That’s how I’ve got to get yards,” Carmichael said. “It was an amazing feeling, but there’s other people that contributed to that. It was just the best team thing I’ve had all year.”

Penalties stung the Mohawks all night long. They were flagged 11 times for illegal procedure, and Poff said it had nothing to do with the raucous fans that packed the house.

“That was their defense mimicking our snap count,” Poff said. “Great job by them. If the referees don’t call it, it’s legal. I’m not trying to take one thing away from Wheelersburg. They earned it.”Poff thought he hurt his team with some of the calls he made, especially in the second half. Evans felt Madison relaxed a bit after taking the 10-0 lead.

“We almost thought we had it in the bag or something,” Evans said. “Momentum is a crazy thing, and the penalties really didn’t help us. Things just swung their way in the final two quarters.”

Evans and Cole Pelgen had sacks for the Mohawks. Offensively, Davis was 1 of 4 through the air for 4 yards (on a completion to Whiteman) and Whiteman was 0 of 3.

Poff said he wasn’t surprised by Madison’s postseason run.

“I knew the sky was the limit,” he said. “I thought that we would dictate how we went with our play and our physicality and our attitude and our effort. Really, the kids probably played good enough to win tonight. The responsibility falls on me to lead guys through that, and I came up short. I feel terrible about it. I’m going to work on that and try to get better.”

Wheelersburg has been to the playoffs 29 times, but the Pirates are headed to the state finals for just the second time. They won the Division IV title in 1989.

“I am so psyched,” Woodward said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I got into coaching, and our players have been working towards it. When you believe in something and you work hard for it, good things happen. That’s what I told our kids tonight before we took the field, and they continued to work hard and good things happened.”

Madison 0-7-3-0—10

Wheelersburg 0-0-3-12—15

M: Mason Whiteman 1 run (Graham Reich kick)

M: Reich 28 field goal

W: Jalen Miller 22 field goal

W: Justin Salyers 17 pass from Trent Salyers (Kick failed)

W: Xander Carmichael 2 run (Run failed)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote LHelton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2017 at 9:05pm
For you Mohawk fans that are interested, Wheelersburg just won the state final 21-14 in overtime. Wheelersburg scored with 17 seconds left to force overtime.
Larry Helton - Historical Society of Madison Twp.
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