By DAVID NEGIN
For the Star Beacon
MADISON TOWNSHIP —
If the Madison was looking ahead to next week’s big game against rival Perry, the Collinwood Railroaders were of no hindrance to the Blue Streaks on Friday night.
Madison made quick work of Collinwood, racing out to an early lead and then coasting to a 53-0 win over the overmatched visitors.
Just how overmatched was Collinwood?
The Railroaders did not accumulate a first down the entire first half, and gained just two the entire game. They had just 24 net yards and failed to run a play in Madison territory. The Blue Streaks scored the first eight times it had the football.
After last week’s tough loss, 27-21, at traditional power Chagrin Falls, Madison coach Tim Willis was happy to notch its first win of the season.
“We wanted to do some things early to get better,” Willis said. “We had to get some things fixed from last week. Obviously, we still have to get better. We’re going to be playing some good teams, starting with Perry next week. That’s all we can focus on now.
“The good news is we got a lot of our kids in the game,” he added. “They got to experience Friday night here in Madison, which is special.”
Players like tailback Nick Brooks took advantage of the playing time after the starters departed early in the second quarter. Brooks led all rushers with 91 yards (12 carries) and a pair of touchdowns.
“Nick’s a very talented young man,” Willis said. “He’s just at a position where we have some other talented kids too. He works hard in practice, and when his turn comes, he is ready.”
Madison totaled 258 yards rushing on the night, with junior Jarrad Lasko (46 yards, 2 touchdowns), senior Brandon Davis (48 yards, 1 touchdown), and Connor Nikses (40 yards) pacing the way.
Junior wide receiver Aaron Petrucelli scored Madison’s first two touchdowns on the night. The first was a 23-yarder from backup quarterback Connor Smith after starter Austin Burkholder momentarily left the game after a hard hit. Burkholder came back in on the next drive after Collinwood fumbled, and found Petrucelli over the middle for a 20-yard score.
“We wanted to run the ball and mix a few passes in there tonight,” Petrucelli said. “Now we can turn our focus to next week. It’s a big game.”
Willis, for one, knows how important it is for the Madison faithful.
“One thing I’m very proud is the fan support we have,” he said. “The place was packed on a night like this. The community is a big backer of ours, and it’s only going to get better next week.
“It’s Perry Week, so it adds another flavor to it. It’s exciting for our kids and I’m sure we’ll have their attention this week.”
Negin is a freelance writer from Madison.