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Madison Handles Mason
Madison handles Mason
If there was one play that typified the kind of night Madison County had, it was the final play of the first half. The ball at midfield, the Mountaineers could have easily gone into the break by taking a knee and enjoyed starting the second half with a three possession lead. Instead Madison coach Stuart Dean decided to give a trick play a whirl and thanks to a lot of running from Ashton Weakly and a timely fumble recovery from Logan Carpenter, the Mountaineers had put the game out of reach. It was just one of those nights, and coming off a tough loss last week to Manassas Park, the 33-7 drubbing of George Mason was exactly the kind of win this team was looking for.
“Defensively we came out and just played attack defense, something we didn’t do last week,” Dean said. “So it was really good get back on track there, very exciting for our guys. Offensively, we were able to mix it up with the run and the pass. We still have some things we can work on though.”
Madison wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as it received the opening kickoff and marched down field before Carpenter punched in the first of his three scores on the night, this one on a run from 10-yards out.
Two possessions later at the beginning of the second quarter, Carpenter broke to the left edge of the field and ran in his second touchdown, a 34-yarder to make it 14-0.
With the running game more than established, Madison went to the air despite the soggy weather and saw success there as well. Quarterback James Graves made 20-0 when he hit Weakly from 26-yards out on a beautifully placed ball to the right corner of the endzone.
Madison got the ball back with little time on the clock, but on the last play from scrimmage of the half, Dean pulled out the reverse. With more than half the defense thinking that it was a fake, Weakly had plenty of daylight ahead of him before the secondary was able to track him down.
“Originally it was designed to be a pass, but I saw it was covered so I just ran down the field,” Weakly said. “I was trying to make a play and got tackled, fumbled and then Logan was just there to get a perfect bounce.”
With the clock on Carpenter’s mind, Weakly had an ironic miscue.
“The whole time he was running down field I was yelling at him, ‘Ashton, pitch it! Pitch it! Pitch it!’” Carpenter said. “He didn’t hear me though and I was just thinking I hope he fumbles (when he gets tackled) because we had no time left. There was nothing to lose.”
With time expired, the receiver’s timely fumble bounced right at the goalline as he was being brought down. And as if it had been planned the whole time, Carpenter was there to pick it up and walk in for the touchdown to make it 26-0.
“It was supposed to be a toss-sweep reverse pass,” Dean said. “Ashton did what we told him to do (in that situation) though, he backed off the pass and got around the first defender and then made some things happen.”
With the rain coming down at a steady pace in the second half, not a lot of accomplished. A drive aided by a pair of costly penalties on third down allowed Mason to work its way into the endzone. The Mustangs were able to cut the deficit down to 19 points on a 1-yard quarterback keeper towards the end of third. However, Madison answered back with Graves’ second passing touchdown. On fourth and long from the 12-yard line, the quarterback struck Cole Smith on an impressive throw and catch to wrap up the scoring on the night.
“We needed this,” Carpenter said. “We needed something more than just a win. Something to build our confidence back up and I think we got it.”
Carpenter finished the game with 18 carries for 150 yards. Weakly had three catches for 62 yards. Smith also hauled in three catches and had 37 yards. Graves was 8 for 11 passing for 145 yards.
“It was weird because usually we have the rule ‘if it’s raining, don’t bother wearing your gloves,’” Weakly said. “But something was just working today.”
Madison (3-2, 1-1 Bull Run District) will head up to face rival Clark County on Friday at 7:30 p.m.