An early turnover, coupled with the Marshall Statesmen’s ability to move the ball early in the game, kept the visiting and favored Madison Warhawks off the scoreboard in the first quarter of the Sept. 14 non-district football contest between neighborhood high-school rivals.
Defending Concorde District and 6D North Region champion Madison then found the end zone three times in the second period en route to a 20-0 halftime lead and an eventual 27-7 victory to improve to 4-0. Marshall fell to 3-1, as the Statesmen lost to the Warhawks for the 16th straight time.
The victory meant Madison retained the Rotary Cup, which the winner of the annual game receives each year.
“I feel we are doing a lot of good things. Our defense is getting better and better each week and we hope to keep cleaning up our mistakes,” Madison coach Justin Counts said. “Penalties and mistakes kind of slowed our start against Marshall.”
When in high school, Counts attended Marshall and played for its football team.
Leading Madison on offense were quarterback Cael Yates and runningback Dominic Knicely. Yates completed 7 of 11 passes for 88 yards and ran for 34 more. Knicely ran for 149 yards on 14 carries and had three scoring runs of eight, 10 and 28 yards. Cord Yates ran 48 yards for Madison’s first and other TD and caught one pass for 16 yards. Cole DeSimone ran for 47 yards.
Darren Knicely caught four passes for 62 yards and Cord Yates one for 16.
Danika Pfeghardt kicked three extra points.
Madison gained 366 total yards.
On defense for Madison, Quincy Dewispelaere had an interception. Leading tacklers were Caleb Smith (one for a loss), Henry Maiden, Luke Jarvis, Charlie Backman (sack), Adam Beniger and Jack Arbuzs.
With linebacker Nick Murphy out of the lineup with an injury, Jarvis is one of the few defensive players who saw a lot of action last season.
“The defense is learning to play well together better every week,” Counts said.
Marshall’s touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Marshall senior quarterback Ian Olson. He had early and late success throwing to Derek Lenert and Ben Burnett.
Olson completed 13 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown and he ran for 16 yards. Sam Morales ran for 78 yards. Lenert caught 10 passes, one for a touchdown. Jihwan Park booted an extra point.
Marshall moved the ball well on its first possession, where it faced a fourth and two deep in Madison territory. The Statesmen passed on a field goal attempt, trying to get the first down running the ball instead, but were stopped short.
On defense for Marshall, Carter Oketunji had an interception.
NOTES: The game was a homecoming of sorts for first-year Madison assistant coach Mike Skinner. From 1988 through the 1990 seasons, Skinner was Marshall’s head coach. After leaving Marshall, Skinner went on to become the head coach at Centreville and Woodgrove high schools and work as an assistant at Stone Bridge High. His return to the Marshall football field for the Sept. 14 game was his first visit to the venue since leaving Marshall . . . Madison last lost to Marshall in the 2007 season . . . Marshall plays at the host and undefeated McLean Highlanders (4-0) in a Liberty District game on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. On the same date and time, Madison faces the host Chantilly Chargers (3-1) in a Concorde District contest.