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Cubs fall 21-0 in football opener
Defense solid but offense struggles
, Courier Sportswriter
Saturday, August 23, 2014 5:00 AM
HANGING ON: Madison's Hunter Sego (4) does his best to bring down Charlestown's Garrett Woods during Friday's season opener at Cub Field. Woods scored on a two-point conversion on the play.
The Cubs' Reece Dryden (33) gets tripped up by a Pirate on a run. Madison lost the game 21-0. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Madison's defense played well enough to get a win in its season opener Friday. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the offense wasn't as crisp.
Charlestown scored two touchdowns on broken plays and had every bounce go its way in a 21-0 win over Madison at Cub Field.
The Pirates managed only 279 yards of total offense and only five first downs, but it was enough to give coach Darin Ward a win in his debut.
"There is always a adjustment coming in. We didn't get started with these guys as a staff until early June," said Ward, who came to Charlestown after a successful stint at Corydon Central. "We've hit the ground running and we've really been pleased with their effort so far. It's good to get that first game under your belt and it's good to see some negative things, too, so we can go work on some things."
The two teams spent most of the game trading punts with a total of 13 heading into the air. But it was a mistake on a punt that ended up being the back-breaker for Madison.
Charlestown had a 15-0 lead midway through the second quarter and Madison's offense was finally showing signs of life. The Pirates had just been stopped on fourth down and Eli Daniel was sent out to punt the ball for the fourth time.
But a low snap ended those hopes, and by the time Daniel picked up the ball, he saw four Cubs bearing down on him. Rather than force a punt, Daniel tucked the ball and headed to the right side of the field. A cutback to the left found nothing but open field and he sprinted the final 43 yards for a crushing touchdown.
"It was a low snap and he made a good decision," Ward said. "That was one of those things where you wouldn't have wanted him to do that down around the 20 but from where he was, it wasn't that big of deal."
It was the second time in the game that Daniel turned near disaster into points. He caught a bubble screen, juked past a defender and raced 68 yards for a score for a 15-0 lead just before halftime.
Other than those two plays, Madison's defense largely held Charlestown in check. The Pirates gained just 168 yards on every other play combined and had only four other plays that went further than 10 yards.
"We knew our defense was going to be a strong point coming into this evening," Madison coach Patric Morrison said. "I thought they played great. They gave us an opportunity all night. We just couldn't keep them off the field. We struggled to move the ball offensively. We kind of got into a rhythm there in the third quarter. But again, we have some new guys there and we're just trying to work out the kinks."
Charlestown's first score came early in the second quarter after the Pirates were given a short field. Antonyo Gaddie, who finished with 131 yards rushing, broke two tackles and sprinted 19 yards for the score. Holder Garrett Woods made the most of a bad snap by running the ball in for a two-point conversion.
Madison managed just 36 yards of offense in the first half but finally got some traction coming out of the lockerroom when the Cubs switched to a Power I set and running back Kyle Tucker began ripping off yards.
Madison's best drive of the game started at its own 26-yard line. Behind the hard running of Tucker, the Cubs marched down to the Pirate 27 but quarterback Dylan Bilz's pass was picked off by Tate Boley in the end zone to end the threat.
A lost fumble ended another drive on the Charlestown 31 and a second interception, this one by Jason Houchens, ended Madison's night.
"A lot of the things I saw tonight, and I'm sure I'll see more on film, are correctable," Morrison said. "There were a lot more penalties than I would have liked to have seen and that's something that we need to work on."
Bilz struggled in his first game at quarterback, going 5-of-19 for 76 yards and two interceptions. But the senior got stronger as the game wore on and all five of his completions came in the final 14 minutes.
"He got more comfortable out there. It's his first time ever lining up under center in an actual game," Morrison said. "He's definitely got the smarts to do it but it's just a case of seeing things and realizing things. Overall, I didn't think he did a bad job."
Tucker ended up with 93 yards on 28 carries while Logen Cassidy caught two passes for 53 yards. His first catch was the highlight of the night for Madison when senior Nick Macon took a handoff from the receiver position, ran an end around and stopped to throw a 37-yard pass.
Charlestown quarterback Tristan Chester finished with 99 yards on 5-of-12 passing.
Madison hosts South Dearborn - a 14-13 winner last night over Lawrenceburg in overtime - next Friday.
FRIDAY'S MADISON STATISTICS
CHARLESTOWN 21, MADISON 0
CHARLESTOWN 0 15 0 6 - 21
MADISON 0 0 0 0 - 0
Char - Antonyo Gaddie, 19-yard run (Garrett Woods run), 8:49.
Char - Eli Daniel, 68-yard pass from Tristan Chester (Jose Arredondo kick), 0:54.
Char - Eli Daniel, 43-yard run (kick blocked), 6:00.
1st Downs 5 11
Rushes-Yards 34-180 35-93
Comp-Att-Int 5-12-1 6-20-2
Pass Yards 99 113
Total Yards 279 206
Penalties-Yards 6-45 6-50
Punts-Avg. 6-35.3 7-38.7
Punt Ret.-Yards 3-5 3-11
Kickoff Ret.-Yards 1-26 3-32
Interceptions-Yards 2-15 1-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-2
Sacks-Yards 1-6 1-3
RUSHING - Charlestown, Antonyo Gaddie (23-131, TD); Eli Daniel (3-53, TD); Syd Gieseking (3-3); Jarren Anderson (2-(-2)); Tristan Chester (3-(-5)). Madison, Kyle Tucker (28-93); Carson Compton (1-4); Reece Dryden (1-2); Team (1-(-1)); Dylan Bilz (4-(-5)).
PASSING - Charlestown, Tristan Chester (5-12-1, 99 yards, TD). Madison, Dylan Bilz (5-19-2, 76 yards); Nick Macon (1-1-0, 37 yards).
RECEIVING - Charlestown, Eli Daniel (2-71, TD); Hunter Crace (1-24); Garrett Woods (1-7); Syd Gieseking (1-(-3)). Madison, Logen Cassidy (2-53); Carson Compton (2-16); Spencer Perkins (1-28); Trenton Roark (1-16).
MISSED FIELD GOALS - None.
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