Region champs: MA shuts out GeraldinePublished 10:42pm Friday, October 15, 2010
Goal No. 1 for the Madison Academy Mustangs: win the Class 3A, Region 8 championship.
The Mustangs clinched the region title Friday, Oct. 15 by shutting out the Geraldine Bulldogs, 38-0.
After falling to Class 4A North Jackson in the opening week, the Mustangs have reeled off seven consecutive wins en route to the region championship.
“We knew all of our goals were still there, we understood that and we learned from that loss,” Madison Academy head coach Eric Cohu said.
The Mustangs wasted no time jumping in the lead Friday night as Jake Hamlett capped a nearly 5-minute drive on a 4-yard run to put Madison Academy up 7-0.
The run-heavy Bulldogs attempted a fourth-down run on the ensuing drive, but the Mustangs’ defense held strong and denied the first down.
In the second quarter, Bennett Smith nailed a 33-yard field goal to give the Mustangs a 10-0 lead, but that would be all the points Madison Academy would muster in the first half as Smith missed a 47-yard field goal wide right on the last play of the half.
Defensively, the Mustangs forced the Bulldogs to punt and then held again on a fourth-down run to stifle any chance of Geraldine scoring points in the opening half.
“We knew coming in to this game they were a good running team and we felt like we had to stop the run to have a chance,” Cohu said. “Our defense rose to the occasion tonight.”
In the second half, Kam Jackson picked off an Anthony Wright pass on the Bulldogs’ opening possession, and then his brother, Khyle Jackson, took the ball in from 20 yards out to increase the Mustang lead to 17-0.
After holding Geraldine to three-and-out on the next possession, the Mustangs’ special teams went to work when Ben Seabrook blocked a punt and then returned it for a touchdown, but the score was called back due to a Mustang block in the back on the return.
Seabrook, however, would not be denied as he scored on offense two plays later on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Joe Dobson to put the Mustangs up 24-0.
“Ben’s a playmaker,” Cohu said.
After holding the Bulldogs, once again, on fourth down, Hamlett got his second rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 13-yard run to increase the lead to 31-0.
“Jake is a solid running back and linebacker,” Cohu said. “Last week, he willed us to victory and he did it again tonight.”
The Mustangs closed out the scoring on a quarterback sneak by Chris Clouser.
With the win, the Mustangs now have a 12-game home winning streak and clinched home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
But while the Mustangs are guaranteed a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, Cohu warned his team of lowering their guard next week at Brindlee Mountain.
“Next week’s not a week to take off,” Cohu said. “It’s a week to sharpen your skills.”