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10th annual Champions Challenge Madison Academy Nips Leeds 19-14 In Battle of Defending State Champs

 

     Madison Academy edged Leeds in the battle of defending state champions Friday night – beating Leeds 19-14 in the AHSAA’s 10th annual Champions Challenge prep football classic at Cramton Bowl.
     The game hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA), was the first of three in the classic to be played at Cramton Bowl this weekend and officially opened the 2015 AHSAA football season.  Saturday’s double-header kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday with 2014 Class 3A playoff semifinalists Glencoe and Gordo at 5 p.m., followed by Carver-Montgomery and Bob Jones in the big school finale at 7:30.
     All games are being televised live by AHSAA TV partner Raycom Media over its Raycom affiliates’ D-2 channels. At WSFA TV 12 in Montgomery the games can be found on the NBC station’s Bounce Channel. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting the games live over the internet. See www.ahsaa.com for the link.
     Coach Eric Cohu’s Class 3A state champion Mustangs (1-0) extended their current winning to 15 games with the win over the Class 4A Green Wave (0-1), which had a seven-game winning streak snapped in the process.  Leeds beat Madison Academy 28-24 to open last season – ending the Mustangs’ 25-game win streak at the time. Coach Keith Etheredge’s team went on to finish 14-1 and win the Class 4A state title at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium last December in the Super 7 state finals. Madison Academy won its next 14 games to also finish 14-1 and won the 3A state title at AU for its third state crown in a row.
     Madison Academy’s punishing ground game dominated the first half and then sealed the victory by grinding out a 19-play drive that started at the Mustangs’ own 20-yard line and ended up at the Leeds 16 to eat up the final 8:20 of the game.
      The Mustangs had the ball for all but four plays in the first quarter and for 29 of the 47 plays in the first 24 minutes.  Still, the Green Wave was still tied 0-0 until Kishawn Matthews’ 5-yard run at 7:29 of the second period gave MA the lead 7-0.  Senior running back Malik Miller was the workhorse with 146 yards rushing on 24 carries made it 13-0 with a 15-yard TD run with 3:10 to go in the half.
     Coach Keith Etheredge’s Green Wave did mount some offense late in the second quarter and carried that momentum into the second half behind senior Tre’ Nation picking up most of game-high 211 yards rushing in the second half. He had 24 carries and scored both Leeds touchdowns on runs of 2 and 9 yards.  His final TD came with 8:20 to play, setting up MA’s final march.
     Quarterback Grayson Edgmon was 10-of-13 passing for 200 yards for the Mustangs. His 19-yard TD pass to Cole Tomlinson on fourth down with 22 seconds left in the third period turned out to be the play of the game.
      Tomlinson finished with four catches for 67 yards and Jaelin Ferdinand added three grabs for 72 yards.
     Madison Academy ran 53 offensive plays for 353 total yards. Leeds had 39 rushes for 235 yards. The Green Wave did not complete a pass.
    Robbie Orfield led Madison Academy on defense with nine tackles including two sacks.  Tomlinson had seven and Bronson Schad, seven.   Kori Freeman led Leeds with eight tackles while Nation,  Josephus Smith and Alex Nickell had seven each.
    The Mustangs won the time of possession battle keeping the ball for 28:12 and Leeds for just 19:48.



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