GOOD TIMES: Madison’s sideline erupts in cheers as quarterback Kody Boles sprints into the end zone during the first quarter of the Cubs’ game with No. 1 Columbus East on Friday. The score put Madison ahead 7-0, the first time in 52 quarters that the Cubs have led the powerful Olympians. This picture and more can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
GOOD TIMES: Madison’s sideline erupts in cheers as quarterback Kody Boles sprints into the end zone during the first quarter of the Cubs’ game with No. 1 Columbus East on Friday. The score put Madison ahead 7-0, the first time in 52 quarters that the Cubs have led the powerful Olympians. This picture and more can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
It was far from a win, but Madison felt pretty good about itself after a 41-7 loss to Columbus East football Friday at Cub Field.

The Cubs hung tough with the No. 1 team in Class 4A, holding East to its lowest scoring total of the season. Madison even held a brief lead - the first time in 14 years the Cubs were able to accomplish that seemingly trivial task.

Yes, despite the loss, there were not too many down faces on the Madison sideline.

"I told the kids at halftime, we're playing the No. 1 team in the state. We don't need to make any excuses. We know that they're good," Madison coach Patric Morrison said. "We just wanted them to go out and play their ballgame and we definitely did that in the second half. I'm very proud of the way we played in the second half and the way we played in the first quarter."

East (7-0, 5-0 Hoosier Hills) shot itself in the foot on its opening drive by committing three-straight penalties to be forced to punt. That opened the door for the inspired Cubs.

Madison (2-5, 0-5 HHC) put together one of its best drives of the season after starting on its own 19. Riding the back of senior Mitchell Sandlin, the Cubs methodically worked their way down the field to the East 21.

Quarterback Kody Boles then capped the drive with a 21-yard keeper around the left side and scampered into the end zone untouched. Coupled with Hunter Sego's kick, Madison held a 7-0 lead.

It was the first time since the 1999 season that Madison held a lead on Columbus East at any point of any game, a span of 52 quarters. That season, quarterback Chris Bass and running back Lionel Smith led the Cubs to a 12-2 win.

The lead was brief and it was a former Cub that kicked off East's "comeback." Sophomore Steven O'Neal, who transferred to East after his eighth-grade year, nearly broke the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown but stumbled after racing 74 yards down the Madison sideline.

A play later, East junior Markell Jones scored from 22 yards out to tie the score 7-7.

It was the beginning of a big night for Jones, who scored all six of East's touchdowns and finished with 194 yards on just 15 carries. Jones' second TD, 20-yarder a few minutes later, gave the Olympians the lead for good.

Jones added scoring runs of 15, 15 and 34 yards in the second quarter to give East a 34-7 halftime lead. Just three plays into the second half, he scored a final TD from 52 yards out.

East coach Bob Gaddis substituted liberally after that and neither team scored again. Still, Morrison was pleased with his team's play.

"Talk about two positives. We beat them in the first nine minutes and we held them to their season-low in points," Morrison said. "Before this game they scored 48 points or more on everyone they played. So we had some positives and the way we played in the second half, hopefully we have some momentum that will carry over to next week."

Jones wasn't the only Olympian to break the century mark on the ground. Quarterback Alex Cowan finished with 121 yards in seven carries. As a team, East had 381 yards on the ground. O'Neal, who saw mop-up duty in the fourth quarter, had 23 yards on eight carries.

Sandlin broke the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in seven games, getting 102 yards in 27 carries to lead Madison. The senior back now has 832 yards rushing on the season.

The loss was Madison's fifth-straight after opening the season with back-to-back wins but the hardest part of the Cubs' schedule is now behind them.

Madison's final two games of the regular season are both against beatable opponents, starting with Bedford North Lawrence next week on the road. The Stars, whom the Cubs have not beaten since a double-overtime win in 1998, fell to 1-6 overall after getting drubbed 69-7 by Floyd Central on Friday.

Bedford's lone win this season was against Seymour, which fell to 0-7 after getting hammered by Jennings County 49-3 on Friday. Madison will get a chance to beat Seymour for the first time since 1982 in the season finale in two weeks.

While Morrison noted that his team has a shot in both games, he was quick to note that the Cubs could not look ahead or take anything for granted.

"The next two weeks we're playing two very winnable ballgames but they're not winnable if we approach them like we approached Jennings County," Morrison said, citing the Cubs' 13-9 loss two weeks ago. "We learned from that and we're not going to approach it like that. We'll definitely be ready to play next Friday."

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Friday's Madison Statistics

at Madison

4A No. 1 COLUMBUS EAST 41,

MADISON 7



COLUMBUS EAST 14 20 7 0 - 41

MADISON 7 0 0 0 - 7



SUMMARY

1st Quarter

Mad - Kody Boles, 21-yard run (Hunter Sego kick), 3:49.

CE - Markell Jones, 22-yard run (Paul Baker kick), 3:30.

CE - Markell Jones, 20-yard run (Paul Baker kick), 1:36.

2nd Quarter

CE - Markell Jones, 15-yard run (kick failed), 5:25.

CE - Markell Jones, 15-yard run (Paul Baker kick), 3:08.

CE - Markell Jones, 34-yard run (Paul Baker kick), 1:50.

3rd Quarter

CE - Markell Jones, 52-yard run (Paul Baker kick), 11:17.

CE Mad

1st Downs 12 12

Rushes-Yards 45-381 46-178

Comp-Att-Int 6-9-1 4-9-0

Pass Yards 70 33

Total Yards 451 211

Penalties-Yards 11-85 3-15

Punts-Avg. 3-31.0 8-34.8

Punt Ret.-Yards 4-75 1-4

Kickoff Ret.-Yards 1-74 3-44

Interceptions-Yards 0-0 1-10

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1

Sacks-Yards 0-0 0-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING - Columbus East, Markell Jones (15-194, 6 TDs); Alex Cowan (7-121); Sean Owens (6-31); Steven O'Neal (8-23); K.J. McCarter (6-8); Thomas Smith (2-4). Madison, Mitchell Sandlin (27-102); Carson Compton (6-33); Kody Boles (4-28, TD); Jordan Partee (5-17); Kacey Owens (2-1); Kyle Tucker (2-(-14)).

PASSING - Columbus East, Alex Cowan (3-5-1, 44 yards); Thomas Smith (2-3-0, 15 yards); K.J. McCarter (1-1-0, 11 yards). Madison, Kody Boles (4-9-0, 33 yards).

RECEIVING - Columbus East, J.T. Voelker (3-32); Markell Jones (1-16); Jason Kimmet (1-11); Donovan Davis (1-11). Madison, Jordan Partee (3-23); Kyle Tucker (1-10).

MISSED FIELD GOALS - Madison, Hunter Sego, 2nd, 0:00, 54 (WR).