All season, Madison High School football coach Steve Poff has had a hard time reading the mood of his team.
Heading into Week 10 with history all but assured, the Mohawks remain the same free spirits they’ve always been.
“They are a very loose team,” Poff said. “I don’t want to do anything to break that spirit as long as they show up and get after people. They have figured out what it means to them, and they go get it.”
Madison entered Week 10 competition ranked first in the Division V, Region 20 Harbin computer ratings.
The Mohawks are 7-2 and can clinch the program’s first-ever playoff berth with a victory at winless Northridge on Friday night. They’ll likely qualify even with a defeat.
At 5-0 in the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division, Madison has already wrapped up the divisional championship.
“I don’t think we’ve felt any pressure,” Poff said. “We are just trying to take care of things in the order they come to us.”
Northridge’s closest game has been a 30-13 loss to Waynesville. The Polar Bears have been outscored 420-168.
“When you watch them on film, it is hard to believe they are 0-9,” Poff said. “They are strong up front on both sides of the ball, and they have a really good running back. We have to stay solid because they can score points really fast. We are going to have to win the battle on the line.”
Quarterback Mason Hardin has completed 107 of 174 passes for 1,564 yards and 10 scores while throwing six picks for Northridge. Running back Twon Hines needs just 62 yards to reach 1,000 on the season.
Madison has attempted 39 passes all season while relying on a pounding ground attack. The Mohawks are allowing 12.8 points per game.
Cameron Svarda leads Madison with 1,221 yards on 140 carries. Teammates Tyler Baumgartner (103 carries, 832 yards) and Evan Crim (93 carries, 550 yards) follow.
“The talk around town and school has increased,” Poff said. “The kids are excited and happy because they have never been in this situation before. But they are focused on the job at hand.”