MADISON TWP. — The latest round of gridiron destruction left Madison High School’s football team with a piece of school history.
The Mohawks completed their first 10-0 regular season and wrapped up their second straight outright Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division championship Friday by smashing Waynesville 64-0 on Senior Night at Brandenburg Field.
“It’s killer, man. It’s awesome,” Madison senior defensive tackle Max Evans said. “It was our last regular-season home game, so it was just cool to see all the guys clicking together. We didn’t take anybody lightly along the way. Everybody was an equal opponent to us.”
WEEK 10 FOOTBALL COVERAGE
Jake Phelps scored three touchdowns for the Mohawks, who finished 6-0 in SWBL play and extended their regular-season winning streak to 17. Mason Whiteman and Cameron Svarda returned interceptions for TDs.
Madison, a Division V state semifinalist last year, will begin the Region 20 postseason at home next Saturday night. Portsmouth (7-3) appears to be the opponent, though the Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce the official pairings Sunday.
“It’s a great feeling, but I think we all realize that we’ve still got a long season ahead of us, hopefully five more games,” said Whiteman, a senior quarterback/cornerback. “We’re ready to work, ready for that playoff atmosphere to be back and ready to have some fun. We’re ready to see where this path takes us.”
The Mohawks thrived in Friday’s rainy, muddy conditions. With 1:43 left in first quarter, they had already rumbled to a 36-0 lead.
It was 52-0 by halftime, so the running clock was in effect the rest of the way. Madison didn’t even attempt a conversion on its last two touchdowns, opting to take a knee instead.
“We always play a little better in the rain and mud. That stuff doesn’t bother us as much as it does some teams,” Mohawks coach Steve Poff said. “These kids deserve this. A lot of them were born with more talent than other kids have, but they worked really hard to get where they’re at. I’m just glad to be a part of it.
“There’s going to be a turning of the page, and we’re going to start brand new and move forward. We’re confident that if we come out and play our game, we can compete with just about anybody right now.”
Poff said there’s a tradition in the program to have parents and loved ones write letters to the seniors, who read them in the locker room before their Senior Night game.
“I think it just shows how close-knit our community is and how important family is to this team,” Evans said. “We’re all like one big family. Everybody’s treated the same.”
“I think it’s just another neat thing we do,” Poff said. “It was an emotional time. There wasn’t much said after that. There wasn’t much that needed to be said. They were motivated and took that to the field.”
Madison scored the first five times it had the ball. The Spartans (6-4, 4-2) were 1-9 last season and made a major turnaround in 2018, but they were clearly overmatched against the Mohawks.
Waynesville managed 16 yards on the ground. Senior quarterback Anthony Carmichael was 7-of-23 for 52 yards and the two picks.
“We came out a little shell-shocked,” Spartans coach Scott Jordan admitted. “Once we started to do some things in the second quarter, we had some success. It’s just another level where Madison’s playing.
“They did exactly what Coach Poff and his staff do at Madison. They’re not trying to trick you in any way. They’re going to line up and run the Wing-T and play their defense, and man, that front four can play.
“I wish those guys the best of luck. I hope they win the whole thing. They’re definitely going to make a lot of noise in the playoffs. I want to see the team in Division V that can block that front four consistently and beat them in a four-quarter football game.”
The Mohawks earned a 413-68 advantage in yards. Phelps (six carries, 162 yards) and Svarda (12 carries, 98 yards) paced the ground attack.
Phelps scored twice on the ground and once on a pass from Whiteman, who also hit Quincy Brown for a score. Evan Crim, Gavin Turner and Svarda all had rushing touchdowns, and Tanner Limon recovered a fumble.
The only two balls Whiteman threw all night went for TDs.
“It’s all credit to the line,” Whiteman said. “On all of our passes, they’ve got good protection. On all of our runs, they’ve got good down blocks. They’re getting upfield. They’re hustling. They’re working. All praise to them.”
“It’s a beautiful thing to see the Wing-T keep moving like that and the defense was solid, forcing turnovers and everything else,” Evans said. “I thought we handled our emotions well.”
Jordan believes Waynesville will continue to rise as a program in the coming years.
“This year was a huge step forward,” he said. “We’ve got a good group of young kids that fight and want to pick it up and take us to the next level. We can use Madison as kind of a blueprint for what teams in the SWBL can do.”
M: Cameron Svarda 4 run (Jake Phelps run)
M: Evan Crim 34 run (Run failed)
M: Phelps 15 pass from Mason Whiteman (Pass failed)
M: Phelps 57 run (Luke Cornele pass from Whiteman)
M: Quincy Brown 27 pass from Whiteman (Crim run)
M: Phelps 46 run (Crim pass from Whiteman)
M: Whiteman 38 interception return (Phelps run)
M: Svarda 56 interception return (No conversion attempted)
M: Gavin Turner 4 run (No conversion attempted)