The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 25, 2013

With US conquered, Madison comes home

Blue Streaks host PAC rival Chardon on Friday


Star Beacon

MADISON TOWNSHIP — Having righted a “wrong” that had festered for two years, the Madison Blue Streaks can turn their attention solely to the present this week, though sneaking a look back at the result against this week’s opponent from a year ago certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Premier Athletic Conference rival Chardon will be at Blue Streak Memorial Stadium on Friday night. Coach Mitch Hewitt’s Hilltoppers whitewashed homestanding North last week in their PAC opener, 35-0.

Meanwhile, coach Tim Willis’ Blue Streaks (3-1, 1-0) were taking care of business Saturday afternoon, whipping University School, 30-10. Two years ago, Madison journeyed to Hunting Valley and laid an egg, dropping a 20-14 verdict to a team it, quite frankly should have handled — but didn’t.

That wasn’t the case Saturday as Brandon Davis rumbled for 177 yards on 21 carries to lead the Blue Streaks to victory.

“We have a very good group of seniors who worked very hard last week,” Willis said. “We talked about we are just playing football, and it didn’t matter what day or time we played and not to make excuses.

“I felt the team played well, other than the penalties (9 for 85 yards). The defense basically shut them down, and that’s not an easy task.”

Nor will it be this week against the Hilltoppers (2-2, 1-0). Since 1939, this series is tied, 21-21, along with three ties. A year ago, the Chardon defense stole the show at Memorial Field, shutting out Madison, 7-0.

“They are a very good football team, which we must prepare for,” Willis said. “Extra film work and study of the wing-T offense will be necessary for success.

“We must be explosive on offense and come up with some big plays.”

While Davis’ big numbers were the highlights — which included touchdown runs of 63, 12, 21 and 1 yard — last week at University, there was plenty of work being done up front, Willis said.

“Our offensive line, led by Kurt Smith, did a great job,” the dean of area coaches, now in his 14th season at the helm of the Blue Streaks, said. “And Brandon broke many tackles. He averaged 9 yards a rush.”

Willis certainly doesn’t expect anything to come easy this week against Hewitt’s Hilltoppers, who have outscored the opposition, 121-83, in their four games this season.

Chardon opened the season with a 20-15 loss at West Geauga, then bowed to Kenston in its home opener, 31-21. The Hilltoppers recorded their first win against visiting John Adams in Week 3, 50-32, before registering the shutout a week ago at North.

“We must play a disciplined defense,” Willis said. “And we must control the ball on offense and play very good special teams.”