Mustangs Win Round Three Of State Playoffs- Madison Academy Advances To Final Four For First Time Since 2006
GOOD HOPE- “These kids played their guts out and we made the big plays when we needed to,” said Bob Godsey head coach of the Madison Academy Mustangs after his squad’s hard-fought 35-28 victory over the Good Hope Raiders at James Shabel Stadium in Cullman County in round three of the AHSAA playoffs.
The top-ranked Mustangs never trailed in the game, but it wasn’t until a late-game interception by their defense did the game finally became sealed for the horses and advancement to the Class 4A semi-finals.
The first half was like a swap meet as Madison Academy opened a 21-nothing lead in the first quarter as senior sensation tailback Will Stokes scored twice on runs of 10 and five yards and junior quarterback Carson Creehan hit senior Jailen Holmes on a 71-yard strike. Good Hope took control in the second quarter scoring twice and putting the game up for grabs at halftime.
After intermission, the Raiders came out scored a three-yard touchdown to tie the score with 8:02 remaining in the quarter. The Mustangs made what could be the series of the playoffs for the No. 1 team as they began at their own nine-yard, but in 12 plays and 91-yards mostly behind Stokes who capped the long drive with a one-yard score took a 28-21 lead just before the end of the third quarter.
The host Raiders, who played an outstanding, gutsy game of their own, never quit and scored on a long drive of their own behind their two offense bullets of quarterback Tanner Malin and running back Ethan Anderson. With 6:50 remaining in the game, the game was again knotted with the outcome a long way from being determined.
Good Hope had three onside kicks during the hotly contested game with the final one coming on the ensuing kickoff. The attempt failed and the Mustangs took over at the Raiders 47-yard line and in eight plays took the lead for good with 3:11 remaining at Stokes scored on an 11-yard scamper.
In all, Stokes ran for 180 yards with four scores and Creehan passed for 175 yards as the Mustangs rolled up over 360 yards of offense. The Raiders nearly matched the Mustangs in statistics for the game, but the big stat Madison Academy won was the turnovers as the Mustangs committed no turnovers while Good Hope had two.
Madison Academy (12-1) made the final four for the first time since 2006 and will host Oneonta (12-1), which advanced with a 56-28 win over previously unbeaten Brooks. The red, white and blue Redskins will face the maroon and gold Mustangs with 36 points per game while allowing just 16 per opponent. Madison Academy top the visiting Redskins scoring 40 points per outing and allowing just 13 per game.
The Mustangs beat the Redskins 20 years ago for their only win against Oneonta in three tries all-time.