The Madison Warhawks are getting a second chance to play one of the two teams they would like to face again.
That team is the No. 2-seed Centreville Wildcats (10-2), who play the top seed and defending champion Warhawks (11-1) host at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, in the championship game of the 6D North Region high-school football tournament. Madison topped the host Wildcats, 21-17, in week seven of the regular season.
The Warhawks were disappointed they didn’t finish that game strong, and believe they let the Wildcats back into the contest, after leading 21-3 at the end of three quarters. A 15-yard penalty against Madison gave Centreville new life, and the Wildcats answered with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to make the outcome close.
“We didn’t like the way that game ended or how we played late,” Madison senior linebacker Ryan Salvosa said.
Other than Madison’s 20-0 opening-season loss to host Stone Bridge, the outing against Centreville was the closest for the Warhawks. Madison has won 11 straight since losing to Stone Bridge. Centreville has won four in a row since losing to Madison.
The Warhawks can’t play Stone Bridge again in the postseason because the teams are in different regions and state classifications.
In it’s regular-season victory over Centreville, Concorde District champion Madison rushed for 224 yards, with senior running back Alex Jreige having 112 and senior quarterback Connor Barry 105. Each ran for a touchdown. Barry passed for 40 yards. Centreville gained 167 total yards, of which just 59 were rushing.
If Madison wins, the region title will be the Warhawks’ fourth in program history their and second straight for the first time.
Madison head coach Justin Counts said a key to the game will be eliminating and limiting foul ups, as the Warhawks did in victories over Marshall and South Lakes in their first two playoff games of the region tourney.
“We really focus on not having self-inflicted mistakes, like penalties and turnovers,” Counts said.
Madison had the one turnover that bothered Counts against South Lakes in the semifinals and only 30 yards in penalties.
The Warhawks have shut out five opponents this season and allow 7.6 points per game, with a defense led by top tacklers Salvosa, linebacker Austin Wysocki and end Eric Anderson. Centreville has three shutouts and gives up 12.8 points per game.
Each team lost to Stone Bridge, Centreville falling, 32-7.
Against the four other common opponents the teams faced during the regular season, Madison has a big edge in average points allowed (five) and scored (37.5) compared to Centreville’s totals of (10 allowed) and (27.5 scored).
The region champion advances to the four-team Virginia High School League Class 6 state tournament, where the Warhawks lost in last season’s semifinals to South County.
NOTES: Dating back to the 2017 playoff campaign, Madison has defeated Centreville the three times the teams have met in the postseason . . . Madison will be hosting its seventh straight home playoff game in the Nov. 27 region final.