Mustangs take down Sylvania 35-28 in Black Friday playoff epic

MADISON – Looking back at 13-0 Madison Academy’s dramatic 35-28 home victory over Sylvania (10-3) in the third round of the playoffs on Black Friday is difficult to comprehend.

The Mustangs had so many moments on the final drive for the game to get away from them.

It was very bleak with the pressure mounting on this undefeated team that has dominated for much of the season.

Madison Academy was trailing 28-27 to the Rams after missing an extra point attempt earlier in the fourth quarter.

Moments like that tend to come back to haunt teams in the playoffs.

The Mustangs were running out of time as they moved the ball down the field with everything riding on this drive.

The home fans implored Madison Academy to find a way to break through just one more time.

Just one more long run by senior running back Ken Cherry would be all they needed to turn Sylvania to dust.

This game meant more than most.

Not only was it an affair deep in the playoffs, but the Rams were the team that eliminated Madison Academy last season in overtime 48-45 in the second round.

The wound is still fresh for the Mustangs with a point to prove.

It had been a back-and-forth battle forged on the ground by both sides, but here with less than two minutes remaining, the Mustangs found themselves just trying to stay alive.

Some doubt started to creep in when Madison Academy quarterback Jake Poldiak was slammed to the ground by a Ram defender for a sack that lost six yards and set up a third down and long.

Polidak dropped back looking for one of his favorite targets, the senior standout receiver Jackson Reece, who was blanketed in the middle of the field.

The pigskin tumbled harmlessly to the turf, and it all came down to this.

Fourth down and 16 yards to gain or Sylvania was going to most likely run the clock out and win the game.

The anxiety pulsed through the stands like a stomachache that threatened to overpower everyone.

That fear that takes over like chill bumps on a cold night.

They just had to convert it.

They just had to.

The clock ticked down to 1:45 as Polidiak dropped back and began his progression desperately hunting for someone to make a play with the season on the line.

The Mustang quarterback spotted Reece slanting toward the middle of the field again with a defender tight on his hip.

Poldiak sent a spiral twirling down the field.

The players under the lights seemed to slow down as the ball drifted toward Reece and the defender.

For a complete breakdown of Madison Academy’s epic clash with Sylvania, be sure to pick up a print copy of the Madison Record on Wednesday, November 29.

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