Week 11: Madison Warhawks 35, Mira Mesa Marauders 21
Friday nights are not easy. You still have to suit up and go out to play a football game against an opponent that wants it just as bad, if not more, than you. Sure, some Fridays are easier than others, heck, I’ve seen plenty of coaches mark those games on the calendar before the season begins. For Madison, that game was Mira Mesa. But like every team Coach Thompson has coached in the past, this Marauders team was not going down without a fight.
The season finale for the Warhawks and Marauders started out strong for both of them. Madison immediately went to their bread and butter; handing it off to their superstar running back, Ke’ontae Springs. Throw in a 30-yard pass from Jaylen Thomas to Felix Ware, and the Warhawks found themselves 4 yards away from the early lead. Springs took the direct snap and did just that. 7-0 Madison.
Mira Mesa set a tone of their own, handing the pigskin off to senior running back, Elijah Thomas. Thomas only carried the ball a half-dozen times before sitting out the rest of the game with a lower right leg injury. 2 big-yardage catches by Tajon Davis and the Marauders were also in business. Fa’avae Leomiti finished off the drive by punching it in from a yard out. The touchdown was just the beginning for Leomiti, as he would play outstanding defense throughout the game and would collect an additional touchdown later in the game.
There was no slowing down Springs though. The Alex Spanos All-Star Classic Top Selection would cap off the warhawks’ next 2 drives with another 1-yard touchdown run and later, a 26-yard touchdown run. The 26-yarder was set up by a big interception at midfield by Dominique Iata. Iata would get another pick, later in the game, off a tipped ball, just like the first one. 21-7 Madison.
Iata would again be a thorn on the Marauders side on their next possession, blocking the punt attempt. Sam Owens would pick up the loose ball and run it back 20 yards for the Madison touchdown. That is what we call a “scoop and score” for the 28-7 Warhawks lead.
Mira Mesa drove down the field and were within 10 yards of a touchdown, but Herman Smith would get the goal-line interception, returning it 100 yards for the touchdown, only to be brought back because of a penalty. A couple plays later, Smith would again find the endzone, this time from 40 yards out, and this time, it did count. On the ensuing Marauders drive, Deen Banks would get an interception of his own.
2 Madison turnovers later, a fumble and interception, saw Mira Mesa capitalize on a 9-yard touchdown run by Leomiti. The Marauders would get a late touchdown to cut the lead to 35-21, but that is as close as they would get.