NICE GAME: Madison senior defensive end Calvin Willhite sacks South Dearborn quarterback Evan Oatman (right) and then celebrates (above) during Friday’s game at Cub Field. The Cub defense had five sacks, forced four turnovers and scored a safety to help Madison roll to a dominating 27-6 victory. Willhite had two sacks in the game. These and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
NICE GAME: Madison senior defensive end Calvin Willhite sacks South Dearborn quarterback Evan Oatman (right) and then celebrates (above) during Friday’s game at Cub Field. The Cub defense had five sacks, forced four turnovers and scored a safety to help Madison roll to a dominating 27-6 victory. Willhite had two sacks in the game. These and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Madison dominated every phase of the game in 26-7 football thrashing of South Dearborn at home on Friday.

A week after a bevy of mistakes led to a 21-0 season-opening loss to Charlestown, Madison could do seemingly no wrong. The Cubs rushed for more than 200 yards, turned Dearborn over four times while holding the Knights to under 200 yards total and sacked the Dearborn quarterback five times.

Needless to say, there was a much different feeling in the huddle after this week's game than last.

"I told the guys to enjoy this win, they deserved it," Madison coach Patric Morrison said. "But I also told them not to forget how they felt last week. It was a lot more fun this week than last because we worked hard in practice and we need to keep doing that."

Madison (1-1) used its size advantage to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Along with the five sacks, the Cub defense also forced the Knights into seven negative plays and spent nearly as much time in the Dearborn backfield as the Knights' ball carriers.

On offense, Madison used its power game to run over the Knights. A week after the Cubs could muster no offense, they couldn't be stopped against Dearborn. Senior Kyle Tucker rushed for 149 yards on 28 carries and, as a team, Madison gained 222 yards on the ground.

"We knew our plays a lot better this week and we practiced a lot more. We did a lot more walk-throughs and it really helped," said Tucker, who had 212 all-purpose yards in the game. "I'm feeling good. I'm ready for more."

It was Tucker who did the heavy lifting on Madison's opening drive. The Cubs marched 70 yards on 11 plays - all runs - and scored on Tucker's 6-yard run for an early 7-0 lead.

Madison got the ball right back after Reece Dryden picked off Dearborn quarterback Wyatt Schwing on the Knight 17. Five plays later Tucker scored from 3 yards out to push the lead to 14-0.

The Cubs went up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and again had a short field to work with after Curry Morgan recovered a fumble on the Madison 45. Carson Compton capped the short six-play drive with an 11-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 lead.

The game was essentially over at that point. While Madison managed only a safety and a field goal the rest of the way, Dearborn didn't come close to scoring until early in the fourth quarter, long after Morrison had begun substituting to get younger guys into the game.

"I would have liked to have seen us score some more points in that second half because that's going to be pivotal when we move into conference play," Morrison said. "But what can you say about the defense? They did a great job. I don't think they score if we have our number ones in and even our back-ups still made plays. We had a couple of breakdowns and you're going to have that. But we sustained drives and we just need to work on capitalizing on that."

The signature moment for the defense came right at the end of the first half. The Cubs lost a scoring chance when quarterback Dylan Bilz was intercepted at the 1-yard line but the defense made the most of the opportunity when John McCarty and Carson Cheatham teamed up to stop South Dearborn running back Daeman Lane in the end zone for a safety and a 23-0 lead.

Seniors Calvin Willhite and Tanner Young each had two sacks and sophomore Mikiah Kring added a sack. Hunter Stivers returned one interception 39 yards and came a shoe-string tackle from going the distance. Nick Macon killed the Knights' final drive with an interception.

Overall, South Dearborn had just 162 total yards, nearly a third of that coming on a 49-yard pass from Evan Oatman to Jake England late in the third quarter. The Knights managed just six first downs as the Cubs owned the line of scrimmage.

"Mikiah Kring and Calvin Willhite did a great job on the defensive line," Morrison said. "Mikiah is an up-and-comer. I've coached that kid since eighth grade and he just has a motor. Calvin Willhite is that same kind of guy. Those guys were making some plays on the defensive line and the linebackers were able to come in and fill the voids."

Madison totaled 330 yards on offense and had 19 first downs. Along with Tucker, Dryden had 50 yards on just six rushes and Logen Cassidy had two receptions for 46 yards.

Bilz, making his second start at quarterback, looked much more confident in the pocket. He completed 5-of-10 passes for 81 yards and other than the interception in the second, he did not look rushed.

"They say that one game at quarterback is worth six practices because you learn so much," Morrison said. "I thought Dylan really moved forward."

If there was one area for concern for Morrison it was special teams. Kicker Hunter Sego hit a 21-yard field goal and had a 37-yarder that just went wide left. But a second 37-yard attempt was blocked and the Knights collected 77 yards on just three kickoff returns.

"Last week the special teams looked pretty good and tonight there were some problems," Morrison said. "We'll look at it in practice and get better.

"We definitely made progress forward, fixing the mistakes we made last week," Morrison said.

Madison now heads on the road for the first time this season and enters Hoosier Hills Conference play when the Cubs visit Floyd Central next Friday. The Highlanders are now 1-1 after beating Providence 26-25 in overtime on Friday.

"Conference play starts tomorrow," Morrison said. "Last year we played with Floyd the whole game. We need to come out with intensity, we need to come out with focus and approach it that way this week."

---

FRIDAY'S CARROLL STATISTICS

at Madison

MADISON 26, SOUTH DEARBORN 7



SOUTH DEARBORN 0 0 0 7 - 7

MADISON 21 2 3 0 - 26



SUMMARY

1st Quarter

Mad - Kyle Tucker, 6-yard run (Hunter Sego kick), 7:58.

Mad - Kyle Tucker, 3-yard run (Hunter Sego kick), 4:50.

Mad - Carson Compton, 11-yard run (Hunter Sego kick), 0:00.

2nd Quarter

Mad - John McCarty, Carson Cheatham, tackle in end zone, safety, 0:25.

3rd Quarter

Mad - Hunter Sego, 21-yard field goal, 3:08.

4th Quarter

SD - Evan Oatman, 1-yard run (Tanner Anderson kick), 9:26.

SD Mad

First Downs 6 19

Rushes-Yards 23-41 47-222

Comp-Att-Int 7-14-3 7-13-1

Pass Yards 121 109

Total Offense 162 330

Penalties-Yards 4-50 8-75

Punts-Avg. 3-39.7 2-31.0

Punt Ret.-Yards 0-0 2-8

Kickoff Ret.-Yards 3-77 3-63

Interceptions-Yards 1-0 3-61

Sacks-Yards 0-0 5-25

Fumbles-Lost 4-1 2-1

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING - South Dearborn, Evan Oatman (12-43, TD); K.J. Probst (2-9); Matt Disbro (1-4); Daemon Lane (6-(-3)); Team (2-(-12)). Madison, Kyle Tucker (28-149, 2 TDs); Reece Dryden (6-50); Dylan Dilz (4-18); Carson Compton (3-15, TD); Corbin Hughes (2-7); Chad Ison (2-5); Team 2-(-22)).

PASSING - South Dearborn, Evan Oatman (6-12-2, 84 yards); Wyatt Schwing (1-1-1, 37 yards); Tanner Anderson (0-1-0). Madison, Dylan Bilz (5-10-1, 81 yards); Nick Macon (1-1-0, 26 yards); Chad Ison (1-1-0, 1 yard); Alex Wilson (0-1-0).

RECEIVING - South Dearborn, K.J. Probst (4-49); Jake England (2-58); Corey Frazier (1-14). Madison, Logen Cassidy (2-46); James Frazier (2-26); Trenton Roark (1-31); Marcus Schoonover (1-4); Ryan Mitchell (1-1).

MISSED FIELD GOALS - Madison, Hunter Sego, 2nd, 0:00, 37 (WL); Hunter Sego, 4th, 0:21, 37 (blocked).