Madison Academy RB/LB Kanen Hamlett, No. 4, tussles with a Priceville defender in a second-round playoff game. The host Mustangs manhandled the visiting Bulldogs 35-7 for their 11th consecutive win of the season and advance to round three of the AHSAA playoffs. Photo Contributed

Mustangs Hogtie Bulldogs; No. 1 Madison Academy Defeats Priceville In Round Two of Football Playoffs

MADISON-  The Mustangs hogtied the Bulldogs in a ferocious display of football in the second round of the AHSAA playoffs.

The Class 4A top-ranked Madison Academy Mustangs crushed the Priceville Bulldogs 35-7 at Bill Washington Stadium for their 11th consecutive victory and advanced to round three of the post-season play. The horses cruised to the victory behind senior Will Stokes who rushed for 243 yards and five touchdowns and a swarming defense which held Bulldogs’ do-everything running back Mason Cartee to 145 yards.

Stokes opened the scoring on a six-yard run in the first quarter and added two more scores of 15 and three yards to put the Mustangs on top 21-0 at halftime. He added touchdown runs of five and 21 yards in the second half as the 5-foot-10, 164-pound Stokes now has 40 touchdowns on the season.

After the second score just inside the pylon on the goal line and a 14-nothing lead, the game was still in question until linebacker Kanen Hamlett (6-5, 224, Sr.) intercepted a Bulldogs’ pass on the ensuing Priceville offensive series inside the Bulldogs’ 20-yardline. The great defensive play led to a score with 27 seconds remaining in the half and seem to seal the deal for the No. 1 Mustangs.

For Stokes, he now has eight touchdowns and 460 yards rushing in the first two games of the playoffs. The uncommitted tailback, who will play in the annual North-South All-Star Game on Dec. 17 along with teammate Kaden Young, said, “I let my game speak for me and try and lead by example.”

Priceville came into the contest averaging 44 points per game and an eight-game winning streak, but the defense for Madison Academy took control early and was relentless in its game plan to corral the Bulldogs and their strong running game. The numbers don’t hide the real story as the Mustangs held the visitors to just 205 total yards in the hogtieing performance.

With its own 11-game winning streak, Madison Academy (11-1) will travel in round three of the playoffs to face Good Hope (9-3), 35-21 winners over Northside at James Shabel Stadium, home of the Raiders located in Cullman. Madison Academy owns a 3-2 record all-time versus Good Hope. The Raiders are scoring 32 points, but allowing 21 points per outing.

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