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FairfaxMadison plays for region football crown

Madison plays for region football crown

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Based on each team’s seven games, statistics suggest that the 6D North Region Tournament football championship contest April 16 could be an old-fashioned, low-scoring defensive struggle.

The top seeded and undefeated Madison Warhawks (7-0) host the third seed Chantilly Chargers (6-1) in that high-school contest in Vienna at 7 p.m. The winner advances to the four-team Class 6 state tourney.

Chantilly has allowed 38 points in seven games with three shutouts. Concorde District-champion Madison has given up 45 points with two shutouts. When the teams met during the regular season, Madison won 10-3.

In their region semifinal playoff wins, Chantilly won by shutout, 7-0, over second-seeded South Lakes, and Madison was victorious, 28-7, against fourth-seed Wakefield. The most points either team has allowed in a single game this season is 14.

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On offense, the teams have a run-first-oriented approach and mix in some passing.

“It’s two great defenses playing. So we expect a physical game where points won’t come easy,” Madison coach Justin Counts said. “It will be tough sledding. We will have to take advantage of any scoring opportunities we have, run the ball well and hit some passes.

Madison last won a region title in 2003 and Chantilly in 2006. The Warhawks lost in the 2018 region final to Westfield.

Madison and Chantilly last met in the region playoffs in 2015, with Chantilly winning 27-19 in a first-round contest.

Counts said his team is not surprised it has reached the region final.

“Our players have put in the hard work through these tough times and the pandemic, and have been dedicated to this,” Counts said. “We thought we had the potential to do well.”

Each team set itself up for making the playoffs with regular-season victories over perennial region power and multi-time district and region champion Westfield, and by similar scores. Madison won 21-14 and Chantilly, 19-14. Westfield did not make the playoffs for the first time in years.

The win over Westfield was Madison’s first in program history.

“That was a game we had to win and really wanted to win,” Counts said.

The winner of the Madison vs. Chantilly region final will face either South County (7-0) or Robinson (5-2) in a Virginia High School League Class 6 state semifinal game. Madison last played in the state tournament in 2003.

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