Going into Friday’s game, Madison knew Hillcrest’s rush game would be tough to stop. It ended up being so tough to stop the Knights didn’t have to complete a pass and they won 42-28.
Hillcrest ran for 360 yards on 59 attempts and nearly had three 100-yard rushers. Quarterback Payton King led the Knights with 140 yards and running backs Tre Kofe and Sheldon Nelson ran for 127 yards and 93 yards respectively.
“They have three really nice runners,” said Madison head coach Mitch Buck. “They just hang in there and stick with it. Those guys can dance. They’re pretty good.”
Despite their inability to stop Hillcrest, the teams went into halftime tied at 28.
Madison was once again able to move the ball for much of the game with 305 total yards but they lost three fumbles and went two of five on fourth-down conversion attempts.
“It just hurt us,” said Buck. “We need to clean that up. I don’t know that we will be able to. It comes from a lack of confidence. It comes from frantic anxiety. We have to somehow get enough confidence that we can walk onto the field and not be anxious in a bad way.”
Buck said despite this game being Madison’s third loss this season, it was the first where they disappointed him with their effort.
“I like the way our kids played last week and the week before,” Buck said. This game — I just don’t know. I didn’t see aggressive play. I saw some moments — it’s easy to just show up and play but they have to put a little bit of mental and emotional time to play well.”
Madison is scheduled to play Bonneville next week at Thunder Stadium. Buck said they’ll have a few things to improve.
“Getting some passion, getting some energy, enjoying the game, playing hard,” Buck said. “I don’t know how you can play a sport without playing hard with energy. I think we have a lot of kids who do but we have to do it as a team.”