Game of the Week: Madison 38, La Jolla 31
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
If this old adage rings true the rest of the year for the Madison Warhawks, the San Diego Section should be on high alert.
Silver Pigskin watch list candidate Kareem Coles accounted for three touchdowns, and Isaiah Osborne ran for three of his own, as the Warhawks (6-3) stayed hot with a 38-31 win over the host La Jolla Vikings (4-5). It was Madison’s sixth straight win after starting the year 0-3.
The game started in unorthodox fashion, with the Warhawks attempting and recovering an onside kick on the game’s opening kickoff. Unfortunately, it would not lead to any points, as a Coles pass sailed incomplete on fourth down. The potent Vikings offense took advantage of that miscue, as La Jolla quarterback Collin Rugg found Brandon Bonham in the corner of the endzone for the game’s first score. The two quarterbacks then exchanged touchdown runs (Coles from 2 yards out, Rugg from a yard out) as the first frame ended with the Vikings up 14-6.
Rugg would again find Bonham for a score in the 2nd, as the La Jolla wideout reeled in his pass and went 52 yards to the house to give the host school a 24-9 lead. A Coles-to-Shaheed Madyun-9-yard touchdown pass brought the visitors to within 24-15 after the 2-point conversion failed, and that was the score the two teams would take to the locker room at the half.
But the Warhawks would not be denied in the second half. La Jolla running back Joseph Vang would be tackled in his own endzone for a safety to bring Madison within seven points. And on the ensuing punt, Isaiah Osborne took a pitch from Coles and went 49 yards for the tying score to knot the game up at 24.
Rugg would run in his second ground score in the fourth quarter to retake the lead for the Vikings, but once again, the lead would not last. Coles found running back Brandon Lewis in the flat, and after some impressive open field running and some old fashioned speed, he found himself in the endzone with a 78-yard touchdown catch and run. Following a turnover, a La Jolla facemask would keep a stalling Madison drive alive, which gave Osborne all the time he would need to run in the go-ahead 21-yard touchdown that gave the Warhawks a 38-31 advantage. Rugg would throw a pick on the following drive, thus ending any chance of another La Jolla comeback.
Madison will end their regular season next Friday night when they host Point Loma to decide the Western League, while La Jolla will look to end the season with a 5-5 record as they host Kearny.