Madison’s football team topped Thunder Ridge 33-27 in double overtime Friday to secure its first conference win of the season.
Madison overcame a 14-7 halftime deficit to take a 21-14 lead in the third quarter before Thunder Ridge stormed back to tie the game at 21.
The Cats’ Logan Crane nabbed an interception with six minutes left in the game to give Madison the ball. Quarterback Ben Dredge then attempted maybe his deepest pass of the night, but the Titans intercepted it.
Thunder Ridger drove down the field to inside the 20 where Madison forced a fourth down. The Titans attempted a field goal to win the game with two seconds left in regulation —then Cannon Allen jumped up to block the kick.
“I was super excited,” Madison head coach Chandler Rhoades said. “I was super happy for the kids that they made a great play. They did exactly what we told them to do, they executed. After the initial excitement, we said, ‘Alright we have to get ready for overtime,’”
Each team scored in overtime but missed the extra point. Madison held Thunder out of the endzone on the second possession of overtime and Dredge ran eight yards up the middle to score the game-winning touchdown.
Rhoades said this win revealed his team’s resilience.
“There were a lot of ups and downs throughout the game but I was just super proud of how our players continued to respond to overcome adversity,” Rhoades said. “And also that we were able to get a win in double overtime, which is really hard to do.”
Ben Dredge started at quarterback en lieu of Kieren Valora who has started every game this year and last year. Before this week, Dredge started at running back.
“We just felt like we needed a spark and make a change,” Rhoades said. “So I decided to make that change. He played well in practice this week so he got an opportunity and he played unbelievably tonight.”
Dredge ran for 134 yards on 27 carries and scored four touchdowns. He passed for 130 yards, completing 11 of 20 passes for one touchdown and one interception.
“I think all of his teammates had confidence and believed in him,” Rhoades said. “I think the coaches had confidence and believed in him. And that’s what allowed it to translate to the field.”
Valora also played well in his new wide receiver role catching seven passes for 46 yards.
“It just shows that he’s a selfless leader on our team and he’s willing to do whatever the coaches ask him to do to try and put the team first and have success,” Rhoades said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him and the way he played tonight.”
Logan Crane caught two passes for 34 yards, Cameron Porter caught one pass for 27 yards and Easton Kirk caught one catch for 23 yards.
Madison now holds a 1-1 conference record and trails Highland (2-0) and Rigby (2-0). Rhoades said winning a conference game this late in the season provides momentum for the 4-3 team.
“It’s huge,” Rhoades said. “One we’re at home so that was big for us to respond at home like we did. The other reason it’s big is it’s a conference game coming down the home stretch and every game is vitally important. Our kids know that and they responded tonight with an amazing effort.”