By Scott Piker
MADISON, Ohio – The Madison Blue Streaks game plan against Western Reserve Conference rival Chardon was pretty simple to figure out, run the ball early and run the ball often. The ground and pound game plan and very good defense sent the Blue Streaks to a 28-0 shutout of the Hilltoppers in front of a jam packed crowd at Dick Hamblin Field on the final Friday night in September.
Madison’s running back combination of Nick Brooks and Isaiah McClure helped the Blue Streaks rush for 403 yards as a team against the previously undefeated Hilltoppers in a very important game for both teams in the very competive division two region three when it relates to computer points and playoff positioning.
“It’s always a competition between both of us,” Brooks said. “A friendly competition that is.”
“It’s awesome, it’s awesome,” McClure said. “I feel like I haven’t lost anything I feel like I’ve been there my whole life. That’s where I’ve played my whole life.”
Brooks and McClure battled one another for the most touchdowns on the night. Brooks took the early on the opening possession of the game. On a fourth down and one at their own 38-yard line, Brooks runs right through the middle of the Hilltoppers defense, gets into the secondary and goes 62-yards for the touchdown.
Blue Streaks take a 7-0 lead just 1:55 into the game.
McClure would get into the act the second quarter. McClure would score the first of his three rushing touchdowns of the game on a 26-yard run to extend the Blue Streaks lead to 13-0.
Madison had two more scoring opportunities in the first half, but missed a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter and tried a fake field goal on the final play of the first half.
Quarterback Josh Gibson, who was the holder on the field attempt, would roll to the left and throw for Vince Primer in the back corner of the endzone.
Primer would make a terrific catch but was out of bounds. Madison would lead just 13-0 at the half despite rushing for 243 yards to Chardon’s 51.
Madison’s defense was terrific on Friday night as well. The Blue Streaks would shut out the Hilltoppers for the second season in a row. Chardon would drive deep into Blue Streaks territory twice, once in the second quarter and on the opening drive of the second half.
Chardon would get into the redzone on both drives before Madison would stop both potential scoring drives on fourth down. The Hilltoppers would run 25 plays combined on those two drives with no points to show for it. The drive to open the second half took up half of the quarter and no points for the Hilltoppers.
“To hold that team out of the endzone, i’m very proud of our defense,” Madison head coach Tim Willis said. “Two years in a row we shut out Chardon, that’s not easy to do, and I don’t think you can find too many teams that can do that.”
“It feels real good knowing that both years they were undefeated coming into the game it’s great knowing that we shut them out,” Primer said.
“We had a similar situation last year against these guys when we lost to them 14-0,” Chardon head coach Mitch Hewitt said. “They eliminated any sort of big play threat they we had compared to last week and it’s a testiment to them, they’re tough.”
The rest of the second half belonged to McClure. After the Blue Streaks stop Chardon at their own 12-yard line, McClure capped of an 88-yard drive with his second touchdown of the game on a 19-yard touchdown run. McClure would also run in the two point conversion to give Madison a 21-0 lead in the third quarter.
McClure would put Madison’s fourth win of the season on ice in the fourth quarter with his third and final touchdown run of the game, this one from 22-yards out as the Blue Streaks improve to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Western Reserve Conference with the 28-0 shutout of the Hilltoppers. McClure’s three touchdown performance was his best this season but not in his Madison career.
“My freshman year I had a six touchdown game, freshman football my first game,” McClure said.
“Isaiah a special kid, he’s probably one of the best running backs in the area I would think,” Willis said of McClure. “We have two of them (McClure and Brooks) so we’re blessed by that, those kids feed off each other they compete with each other and their two pretty good guys.”
The Hilltoppers suffer their first loss of the season and have not scored against Madison since their previous visit to Dick Hamblin Field back in week five of the 2013 season. The Blue Streaks have won the last three meetings in the rivalry.
“Just dominated in every aspect up front, the better team kicked our rear ends,” Hewitt said. “We gotta get a lot better and we don’t have much to do it, and no one remembers how you started but how you finish and we have a huge second half of the season.”
“Very proud, we came up with a good plan,” Willis said. “All three phases of our game played we played pretty well tonight.”
Madison will remain at home next Friday night to host the Beavers of Painesville Riverside. Chardon returns home to host the Kenston Bombers. Both teams are now 4-1 on the season. Madison is 2-0 in conference play, Chardon is 1-1.
Here’s a Video of a Madison score!
Madison RB’s Nick Brooks and Isaiah McClure after the win
Check out Photos From the Game of all the Action!