What already was a highly successful high-school football season became an historic record-setting campaign for the Madison Warhawks with their latest victory.
By defeating the second-seed Centreville Wildcats, 35-7, in the 6D North Region tournament-championship game Nov. 27, top seed and host Madison (12-1) set team records for the most wins in a single season, most victories in a row (12) and won consecutive region titles for the first time. The Warhawks have now won four region crowns overall in program history.
Madison advances to the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state-tournament semifinals and hosts the South County Stallions (11-2) Saturday, Dec. 4.
“Our goal was to win this again, and we are extremely happy to get back to this point. It was hard,” Madison coach Justin Counts said.
In the region final, Madison gained 336 total yards, led by 108 rushing and three touchdowns from senior runningback Alex Jreige. He scored on a pair of three-yard runs and another of 15. Madison quarterback Connor Barry was 6 of 8 passing for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Salvosa had a one-yard run for Madison’s other TD. Darren Knicely had three catches for 65 yards, Cord Yates had a diving catch for 39 and Jreige had one catch for nine. Alex Carlson rushed for 27 yards, Barry for 23 and Angelo Jreige for 10.
The Warhawks took the game’s opening possession and put together a nine-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capped by Jreige’s first three-yard run and Connor Sevy’s first of five extra points.
“We executed some big plays and came through on some third downs on that first drive,” Counts said. “That helped set the tone for us.”
Madison scored a touchdown on its second possession on a 51-yard pass from Barry to Sonny Endicott for a 14-0 lead.
“We executed and got that 14-0 lead and we were in control from there,” Alex Jreige said.
The Warhawks led 21-0 at halftime and were ahead 35-0 early in the fourth quarter. The Madison defense held Centreville to just 137 total yards.
“Our defense played physical and great all game long,” Counts said.
Madison had two interceptions by linebacker Austin Wysocki and defensive back Michael Delgado. Wysocki and Delgado also broke up another pass each.
“In the first half, that was the best we could have played on defense,” Wysocki said. “It was nice to win two in a row. We gave up that late touchdown, and that only motivates us to get better.”
Salvosa had multiple tackles for losses for Madison. In on sacks were Eric Anderson, Kyle Porter, Kevin Chadwick and Knicely.
The loss snapped Centreville’s five-game winning streak, as the Wildcats finished with a 10-3 record.
Madison had defeated Centreville, 21-17, during the regular season en route to winning a second straight Concorde District title.
One down note for the Warhawks in the region final was starting offensive lineman Grant Boody injured his right knee and he said likely won’t play again. He is one of the team’s most experienced linemen.
“It probably doesn’t look good for playing again,” Boody said.
Boody is one of two returning starters along the line from last season in addition to senior Ciaran Sullivan.
“Our goal is always to get the running game going, and we did that today,” Sullivan said.
Madison was 3-0 in the region tournament, outscoring its opponents 118-13 with a shutout.
NOTES: Alex Jreige has 1,469 yards rushing this season and 28 touchdowns entering the state tournament . . . The state-semifinal contest will be the eighth straight home playoff game that Madison will . . . The Warhawks lost to South County, 29-22, in last season’s seesaw state-tourney semifinals at Madison. “One of our goals about this season was to go farther than that season, and now we have the chance to do that,” Wysocki said. Added Alex Jreige: “We have another chance at South County. That’s what we want. That loss last year left a sour taste.”