Madison Claims First State Title with Win over West Central
The third time was certainly the charm for the Madison Bulldogs as they claimed their first Class 11A Championship on Thursday night.
Madison has appeared in the 11A Championship game over the last three years. Their first appearance was in 2013 against West Central losing 28-21. Just two years later, and another loss squeezed in in 2014, the Bulldogs flipped the script on West Central winning 28-21.
The two teams traded possessions in the first quarter. Madison quarterback Mitch Hansen and receiver Mason Leighton connected on the first touchdown of the night from nine yards out in the second quarter. That combination paid dividends for Madison, as the duo connected for three total touchdowns. The Bulldogs at one point held a 21-7 lead.
West Central, however, cannot ever be counted out. The Trojans stormed back in the 4th getting within seven points with 7:43 left to go. After forcing Madison to punt, West Central had a chance with 4:43 left to play. Quarterback Dan Skinner threw an interception into the hands of Jaxon Janke to spark another touchdown drive for the Bulldogs.
Jonah Rechtenbaugh of West Central wasn't ready to end the game. He received a pass from Skinner and took the ball 65 yards down the field for a touchdown. After forcing Madison to turn the ball over on downs, West Central was not able to find a touchdown as the clock hit zero.
Leighton finished the night with 169 yards and three touchdowns on five receptions. That performance earned him the Joe Robbie Most Valuable Player award. Mitch Hansen went 12-18 for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Brodie Frederiksen finished with 119 rushing yards and a score. Defensively, the Bulldogs were led by Marcus VandenBosch's 15 tackles.
Madison finished the season with a perfect 12-0 record. West Central finished at 10-2 with both losses coming from the hands of Madison.