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FairfaxSportsMadison headed to state title football game

Madison headed to state title football game

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One undefeated Class 6 tournament team has been conquered, now the Madison Warhawks need to outscore another with a perfect record to win their first Virginia High School League state football championship.

Madison (11-3) never trailed as it knocked off the previously undefeated and host Fairfax Lions, 31-21, Dec. 3 in a Class 6 semifinal. Fairfax entered the game 13-0 and averaged 47.3 points in its previous three playoff games.

Next, Madison faces the Freedom-Woodbridge Eagles (14-0) in the Class 6 Dec. 10 title contest at 4:30 p.m. at Old Dominion University. Freedom averages 66 points per game, scored 112 in one regular-season contest and 77 in another, and has shut out six opponents.

 Madison lost in last year’s state final.

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Against Fairfax, Madison, which lost its first three games of the season and now has won 11 in a row, outgained the high-scoring Lions in total yards 344 to 326. Fairfax hurt itself with three turnovers, one resulting in a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown, missed a field goal and was unsuccessful on a faked field goal attempt inside the Madison 10-yard line.

“Fairfax is a really good team and has a lot of players going both ways,” Madison coach Justin Counts said. “We tried to play physical with them hoping to wear them down a little. Our focus on defense was to keep pressure on them and make them earn everything. At Madison, our team prides itself on strong defense.”

The potent Fairfax offense managed just 131 first-half total yards and runningback Tony Rojas, who had more than 2,000 yards rushing this season, gained just 50 in the first two periods. He found more room in the second half, finishing with 170 total on the ground and ran for all three Fairfax touchdowns.

Madison led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, was ahead 17-0, then 17-7 at halftime and 24-14 after three periods.

Madison senior defensive back Michael Delgado had an interception and caused and recovered a fumble to help spark the Warhawks defense.

“It’s the brand of football we like to play. Put both teams in a phone booth, play physical and see what happens,” Delgado said.

Madison’s ball-control and likewise physical offense was led by 154 yards rushing, including a 12-yard fourth-quarter scoring run, by Angelo Jreige. Also, Dominic Knicely rushed for 13 yards; Cord Yates had five catches for 124 yards; quarterback Mac Lewis was 11 of 18 passing for 175 yards; and Jreige, Darren Knicely, Nolan Wilbricht, Roger Stone, Sonny Endicott and Alex Carlson all caught passes.

One of Yates’ catches was a 61-yard touchdown pass on a flanker screen.

Up front along Madison’s offensive line that was opening holes for the running game and keeping Lewis from getting sacked were center Ari Rosenberg, Owen Cass, Tanner Hall, Blake Snider, Nolan Farley and tight ends Wilbricht and Stone.

The Warhawks survived two turnovers, both interceptions.

The other scoring for Madison came on a 31-yard field goal and four extra points by Arguri Hartman, a nine-yard pass from Lewis to Sonny Endicott and Kevin Chadwick’s 40-yard interception return.

Madison’s Orion Luera had one punt for 63 yards and another for 51.

On defense for Madison, Chadwick, Delgado (one pass breakup), Luera, Jack Green, Eric Anderson, Eli Novario, Matthew Remy. Luke Jarvis and Grant McVicker were among the top tacklers.

“We gang tackled, played our positions and had good pursuit on Rojas and to the ball,” Anderson said. “He did break some, but we tried to stop him at the line or behind the line and not let him get started.”

NOTES: Madison is in the state playoffs for the third season in a row, fifth time in program history and is playing in the state final for the second time . . . The Warhawks’ overall postseason record for three straight campaigns including state and region contests is 10-2, 4-0 this fall . . . The running of Jreige in Madison’s four playoff games has been a big reason for the Warhawks success. The senior has gained 479 yards on the ground and scored five touchdowns, at least one in each game. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in the last three contests. He was pulled early in a first-round 56-6 victory over Washington-Liberty, or likely would have surpassed the 100-yard mark in that contest, as well. Jreige has run for close to 1,500 yards so far this season through 14 contests. Lewis also has been productive at the quarterback positions in four postseason games. The senior has thrown for 529 yards and seven touchdowns. Lewis also has been accurate throwing the ball to multiple receivers. He has completed 31 of 52 passes in those four outings entering the state fi

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