Ingalls injured as Madison suffers first loss of season
By BRUCE McCLIMANS
For the Star Beacon
MADISON TOWNSHIP - One thing you can count on when you talk football with Madison football coach Tim Willis is that he rarely minces his words.
His words Friday night were mince-free and to the point as he discussed the 23-7 whipping his team took from the Lake Catholic Cougars at Blue Streak Memorial Stadium.
And it really wasn't even that close as Madison's vaunted passing attack featuring J. D. Ingalls was grounded and the spread offense of the Cougars was in full bloom with Alex Kurowski at the helm.
"They (Lake Catholic 2-1, 0-0) pass-rushed better than any team that we've faced so far, so I give them credit for that," Willis said. "Our offensive line had trouble blocking, but had some bad luck in the early going. We just missed a wide-open pass on the first pass of the game and if we would have connected on it, I think we would have seen a better game."
But it wasn't only some botched plays that blew it for the Blue Streaks. Lake Catholic's defense was staunch as it held Madison to 53 yards rushing and 142 yards total.
"We're going to be a better team in the long run by playing a team like Lake Catholic than we would have been if we kept Edgewood on the schedule. No disrespect to Edgewood, but I think this will make us a better team."
The Cougars raced out to a 23-0 lead before Madison (2-1, 0-0) scored with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter.
Randy Greenwood rushed for 121 yards on 20 carries and scored first for Lake Catholic from six yards out with :31 left in the first quarter.
He also scored on a 16-yard run in the fourth quarter, but the unknown star of the game might have been placekicker John Shaffer, who hit on field goals of 35, 36 and 35 yards.
On the other hand, Lake's coach Mike Bell couldn't have been more pleased with his team's efforts.
Running strictly out of the shotgun formation, Bell's team was anything but a passing team. In fact, at one point in the third quarter running backs Greenwood and Dave Jaranovic, along with Kurowski, had each rushed the ball for 13 attempts. If anything, the only thing spread about Bell's offense is that they spread the ball around quite evenly.
"Having to pass the ball in the spread is a myth," Bell said. "You've got to be able to run the ball first. You try to be balanced in your attack and you know that's not necessarily a 50-50 situation. It depends on your personnel and how they match up with the defenses and the defenders in particular."
Kurowski (12-19-0-110 yards) was the catalyst for the Cougar offense and even when they didn't score he played a ball-control type of offense that kept the Blue Streaks' offense on the sideline.
"We did make a few mental errors, but that's the only thing kept us back," Kurowski said. "We still have a lot to improve upon, but we made some plays when we had to."
McClimans is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.
Star Beacon Print Edition: 9/9/2006