Prep football: Buoyed by dominant defense, Madison stifles Portsmouth

MADISON TWP. — The Madison High School football team has put up phenomenal defensive numbers all season, yielding under 5 points per game.

Saturday night in the first round of the Division V, Region 20 playoffs, the Mohawks took it to another level.

Madison thrilled a standing-room-only home crowd by holding Portsmouth to less than 100 yards of offense in a dominating 26-0 victory at Brandenburg Field.


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The victory moved Madison (11-0) into the regional semifinals. The Mohawks will face Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, which beat West Jefferson 49-42, at a neutral site next Saturday.

“Phenomenal, wasn’t it?” Madison coach Steve Poff said when asked about his defense. “They gashed us on some runs early on, but it is like anything else. It takes a minute to adjust and then we dig in.”

Portsmouth came in riding tailback Talyn Parker to a 7-3 mark, but turned the ball over three times. Parker, who is being recruited by multiple Division I schools, came into the game with 2,470 yards and 29 touchdowns this season. Madison held him under 70. Many Portsmouth runs struggled to get back to the line of scrimmage as the Madison front four made a living in the backfield.

“That’s what they are best at,” Poff said of his front four. ” They are not the fastest guys in the world. They are not the biggest guys in the world. They are good with their hands, and they are disciplined and do their jobs.

“That’s a good team over there we beat tonight. That’s a good offense. They have been powered by that kid all year. Our defense was pretty incredible. I thought our effort tonight was great.”

Madison set the tone early, taking the opening possession for a score.

The Mohawks went 65 yards in 12 plays capped off by Cameron Svarda’s 4-yard run. Svarda then ran in the 2-point conversion for a 8-0 lead.

Madison made it 14-0 after Kyle Melton intercepted Portsmouth quarterback Danny Lattimore at the Trojans 32. Mohawks quarterback Mason Whiteman bulled his way in from 5 yards out for the score.

The hosts made it 20-0 late in the first half when Jake Phelps finished off a 10-play drive with a 1-yard run.

Despite rolling up over 300 yards, Poff was a little concerned with his offense. The Mohawks actually punted twice and had six penalties.

“Hit and miss, hit and miss,” Poff said of his offense. “But that is a good defense over there. That was the best defense we have faced in a while. You are going to have those things. We were adjusting on the fly, and some went our way and some didn’t. “

Madison scored once in the second half when Svarda went around the end on a 26-yard run.

“I thought our guys on both sides of the ball played hard,” Poff said. “We didn’t win every single battle, but we didn’t need to. We will take this and move on to Week 12. “

Portsmouth 0-0-0-0—0

Madison 8-12-6-0—26

M: Cameron Svarda 4 run (Svarda run)

M: Mason Whiteman 5 run (Pass failed)

M: Jake Phelps 1 run (Run failed)

M: Svarda 26 run (Run failed)

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