Old-school football: Much at stake in Carlisle-Madison showdown

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Carlisle High School senior linebacker Caleb Boy talks about his team after a practice session this week.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Carlisle High School’s football team is on a four-game winning streak and surging toward its goals.

Knocking off Madison along the way would just make things a lot sweeter.

“We’re definitely thinking revenge,” said CHS senior linebacker/tight end Caleb Boy, with his Indians headed to the Mohawks’ Brandenburg Field on Friday night for a key Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division contest.

“We know that they came into our house last year and whipped up on us pretty bad at Laughlin Field, and we don’t take that lightly on this team, so we’re definitely looking to go over there and take a game.”

Carlisle, Milton-Union and Dixie are all unbeaten in Buckeye play, with two-time defending champion Madison 1-1 after losing to M-U on a late touchdown last week.

The Mohawks (Division IV, Region 16) and Indians (Division V, Region 20) are in the postseason hunt as well, so Friday’s game has playoff implications.

“Really what last week’s loss did was take things out of our hands,” Madison coach Steve Poff said. “Our season goals are in other people’s hands now, so all we can do is try to win the games that are in front of us and hope for some help. We’re concentrating on Carlisle. We’re not talking about the rest of it.”

Madison’s Tyler Baumgartner tries to turn the corner on Valley View’s Sam Whisman at Barker Field in Germantown on Sept. 9. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY JOHN CUMMINGS
Madison’s Tyler Baumgartner tries to turn the corner on Valley View’s Sam Whisman at Barker Field in Germantown on Sept. 9. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY JOHN CUMMINGS

Old-school, smashmouth football is expected to be on display at Brandenburg Field. Both teams love to run the ball and use their physicality.

“We’ve been playing well as far as running the ball, executing on defense and just kind of starting to really understand what our roles are,” Carlisle coach Mike Brown said. “We have to be able to do our jobs and match Madison’s intensity and toughness because that’s going to be the key to the game.”

The Indians are averaging 289.2 yards per game on the ground, led by senior Ridge Reed (82 carries, 823 yards, 11 TDs). He’s battled an ankle issue all season, so Brown tries to limit his reps whenever possible.

“We’ve been spreading the ball around a lot,” the Carlisle coach said. “Ridge had some nice runs last week (against Preble Shawnee), but probably the most impressive thing was his blocking. On a limited number of blocking plays, I think he had two or three pancakes. It’s pretty cool for a running back to be able to do that.”

Sophomore Cameron Svarda (86 carries, 513 yards, six TDs) heads the ground attack for Madison, which is getting 260.8 rushing yards per contest.

“We’re going back to our roots and doing things right. We have to stop being our own worst enemy,” Poff said. “There’s 100 ways we could’ve won the game last week, and we lost it one way. That’s on me as the head coach and the staff and the players. We’ve got to do a better job. Good teams come back from tough losses.

“Coach Brown has definitely figured out Carlisle’s best attributes and a way to be productive with them, so my hat’s off to him. Defensively, they’re fast and run around and make plays. And I think their quarterback (Jake Moore) is a lot better than people give him credit for. He hasn’t thrown an interception all year.”

Madison is “a little banged up,” according to Poff, and has lost sophomore utility man Evan Crim (elbow) for the rest of the season.

Brown said his Indians, 30-27 losers to Franklin and Washington Court House Miami Trace in their first two games, have shown steady improvement.

“Each week we’ve been able to have more players step up and make plays,” Brown said. “There’s not a lot of easy games on the back end of our conference schedule, so to us, it’s always a one-game season. We need to see what kind of poise we have going on the road and playing Madison.”

Friday’s game

What: Carlisle (4-2, 3-0 SWBL Buckeye) at Madison (4-2, 1-1 SWBL Buckeye), 7 p.m.

Where: Brandenburg Field, 5797 W. Alexandria Road, Madison Twp.

Last meeting: Madison won 28-14 in 2015