After a sloppy start and falling behind, the Madison Warhawks bounced back in strong fashion to defeat the visiting Centreville Wildcats, 22-7, April 1 in Concorde District high-school football action to cap an undefeated regular season with a 6-0 record.
Madison also won its first Concorde title with a 4-0 mark, snapping the Westfield Bulldogs’ string of six straight titles. Madison defeated Westfield, 21-14, this season to end the Bulldogs’ streak of 31 straight regular-season wins against district opponents.
Madison now will be the top seed in the four-team 6D North Region Tournament.
Warhawks head coach Justin Counts believed his team was capable of winning the district and finishing 6-0 before the unusual pandemic-delayed, shortened and postponed season began in February.
“I liked our team and I really thought we had the potential to be pretty good and to go 6-0 with the players we had coming back and how good the participation was during all of our offseason stuff,” Counts said.
Madison defeated Centreville in the manner the Warhawks were victorious in their previous five games – with stingy defense and a physical running game on offense, mixed with the high-percentage passes and running of quarterback Connor Barry.
Centreville took an early 7-0 lead early when Madison lost a fumble deep in its own territory. The Wildcats crossed midfield into Warhawk territory only once the rest of the game, and that was late in the contest.
“Our defense has been strong all season and is what we hang our hats on,” Counts said. “Centreville throws a lot, and we put a lot of pressure on their passer.”
On offense, Madison cut the lead to 7-6 on Barry’s two-yard sneak with 2:14 left in the first quarter, as the extra point was blocked. A 26-yard Barry pass to Braden Holt set up the TD.
Madison took a 12-7 lead on an Alex Jreige one-yard run. A 19-yard Barry run and his 13-yard pass to John Klein set up that score.
A 22-yard Connor Sevy field goal upped the lead to 15-7, followed by a 25-yard Barry to Ben Eldridge scoring pass and Sevy’s extra point making the lead 22-7 at halftime and ended the scoring.
The running of Jreige and Klein set up the field goal, then a Barry to Brendan Wyka 11-yard pass and a 14-yard Jreige run led to the last touchdown.
Jreige, Klein, Barry, John Hurley and John Kustra were Madison’s leading rushers.
On defense, Ryan Salvosa recovered a fumble; Austin Wysocki had a big tackle for a loss of seven yards; and Jakob Willett, Kevin Chadwick and Donavin Hansberry were in big tackles.
NOTE: Madison is in the playoffs for the sixth straight season, having a 6-5 record during that stretch and one region runner-up finish.