Madison’s Cameron Svarda carries the ball during a Division V, Region 20 semifinal against Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy on Nov. 10, 2017, at Lakota East. The Mohawks won 35-27. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Prep football: Madison plows through adversity in Week 1 triumph

It was more trying than costly, even though fullback/safety Cameron Svarda and quarterback/cornerback Mason Whiteman both had to leave the game.

“Everybody likes a big story, but we don’t have anybody out for the season. Technically, we don’t have anybody out for this game,” said Madison coach Steve Poff, with the Mohawks set to host Reading on Friday. “The game was a struggle at times, but we sorted it out. We were good enough to come out with a win, some young guys got some good reps, and we’re learning from it as a staff.

“It was a good win. I think Franklin’s a better team than people are giving them credit for. They’re going to win a lot of games this year.”

Cramping sidelined Whiteman, while Svarda suffered a sprained ankle. Poff said the injury doesn’t appear to be serious and a decision about his status for Reading will be made as game day nears.

Junior Jake Phelps led Madison on the ground with 87 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Junior Quincy Brown moved from tight end to quarterback and threw a TD pass in Whiteman’s absence. Poff was happy with Brown’s fill-in performance, but added, “There’s no quarterback controversy.”

“At one point, we had four or five guys cramping and didn’t have one backfield starter in the game on offense,” the MHS coach said. “It just opens up your eyes to, ‘Man, we’ve got to get more guys ready and get more guys reps because you never know when they’re going to get called upon.’ ”

The Mohawks’ defensive front – Cole Pelgen, Levi McMonigle, Max Evans and Tanner Limon — was outstanding, limiting Franklin to 40 yards on 15 carries.

“I felt like our defensive line played physical and fast,” Poff said. “They’re the linchpin to it all. If they’re holding strong, we’ve got a great chance to win.”

Reading opened the season with a 54-7 loss to Roger Bacon as Spartans tailback Corey Kiner piled up 273 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns. The Blue Devils, a Division V playoff team last year, ran for 178 yards, but threw for just 25.

“They’re kind of a spread team and appear to have some explosive players on the edge,” Poff said. “It looks like they’re a 3-4 defensively, and they play hard up front.”