There were times over the last three decades when Madison High School’s football team would hope to score a single point against Valley View. On Friday, the Mohawks drove one home.
Snapping a 20-game losing streak to the Spartans, Madison recorded one of the biggest wins in program history with a 24-16 victory at Valley View’s Barker Field in a Southwestern Buckeye League crossover game featuring last year’s divisional champions.
The Mohawks’ last win against the Spartans was a 20-0 shutout in the same stadium on Sept. 7, 1990. Since then, Madison had been outscored 971-165 in the series. The teams did not play from 2006-2012.
Madison improves to 3-0, while Valley View drops to 1-2.
“We came out with vengeance,” Madison senior defensive lineman Max Evans said. “After years and years of Madison getting beaten by these guys, it was about time we gave something back.”
Said Madison coach Steve Poff: “Our guys are confident regardless of who they line up in front of. And we have nothing but respect for Valley View. I’m not mad at them, because they’ve built a winning culture over here. Some people stay bitter about those things. I don’t.”
The game spotlighted two teams coming off 11-win seasons that ended in close postseason losses to the eventual state champions in their respective divisions. Anticipation was high.
Unlike last year, where Madison trailed 6-0 at halftime before succumbing 32-7, the Mohawks entered the break up 16-6.
Losing a fumble inside the Valley View 10-yard line on its first possession, Madison scored on the second when senior Evan Crim ran in from 1 yard out. The ensuing 2-point pass play from Mason Whiteman to Quincy Brown was successful.
The Mohawks added to their lead when Whiteman scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter. Cameron Svarda added the 2-point conversion run.
Behind the legs — and arm — of junior quarterback Cade Cradlebaugh, Valley View scored 16 unanswered points.
Cradlebaugh hit Jarrett Lynch and Ben Owens on touchdown passes of 11 and 3 yards. Christian Meyers’ 29-yard field goal tied the game with 10:36 to play.
On the ensuing possession, Madison made history.
Driving 71 yards in seven plays, the Mohawks regained the lead with a 3-yard run by Crim, who also added the 2-point conversion.
Madison’s Jake Phelps picked off Cradlebaugh on Valley View’s final possession and the Mohawks ran out the clock, kneeling at the Valley View 1 on the game’s final play.
“Emotions are everywhere right now,” said Evans, who had a fumble recovery and several key defensive stops. “We went from happy to sad to nervous to ecstatic. That’s the first time in 28 years we’ve won. The energy we have right now is unbelievable.”
“To come over here and compete and win is a great honor for us,” Poff said. “This stacks up with some of the playoff wins we had last year. And we’re still trying to figure out how to win. As a staff, we’re confident our kids can play.”
Said Svarda: “We didn’t feel like the underdogs coming in.”
Next Friday, the Mohawks will travel to Preble Shawnee and Valley View will visit Oakwood.
Valley View 0-6-7-3—16
M: Evan Crim 1 run (Quincy Brown pass from Mason Whiteman)
M: Whiteman 7 run (Cameron Svarda run)
V: Jarrett Lynch 11 pass from Cade Cradlebaugh (Conversion failed)
V: Ben Owens 3 pass from Cradlebaugh (Christian Meyers kick)
V: Meyers 29 field goal
M: Crim 3 run (Crim run)