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Madison Central finds solution to Columbus' defense

MC's balanced offense piles on 486 yards in win

12:00 AM, Nov. 10, 2012 EST

Madison Central's Brandon Collins (right) runs through the arm tackle of Columbus's Jacquarious Clark during Friday night's MHSAA Class 6A playoff game in Madison. / Joe Ellis/The Clarion-Ledger


Coming into Friday night's first-round playoff game, Columbus High School had the best defense statistically in Region 6-A.

That was until it ran into Madison Central's powerhouse offense.

Madison Central (9-3) thoroughly dominated every aspect of the home playoff game against Columbus (7-5) on the way to an easy 41-7 win.

"We challenged our offense this week," said Madison Central coach Bobby Hall about preparing for Columbus' stout defense. "We played really well. I thought it was a really complete game."

The Falcons manhandled the statistically superb Columbus defense for 486 yards -- 243 passing and 243 rushing. Quarterback Jake Schwartz led the way with two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the victory. He finished the game 14 for 19 for 243 yards, and 100 rushing yards.

Running back Daniel Goodspeed added 70 yards and a touchdown.

Hall credited his strong offensive line for the offensive fireworks. The offensive line gave Schwartz plenty of time to drop back, and plenty of holes when running the option.

The Falcons, who had allowed only 120 points all season, simply had no answer for the potent Madison Central offense. They didn't force the Jaguars to punt until 7:24 left in the fourth quarter when Hall had already removed Schwartz and many other offensive starters.

"They just kicked our butt," said Columbus coach Tony Stanford. "They did a good job with the option...we just didn't tackle well tonight. Just came up against a better ballclub than we were."

Just as impressive as the Jaguars offense was the defense. Madison Central held Columbus to a meager 86 offensive yards, forced it to punt the ball six times, and had seven sacks. The Jaguars defense didn't give up a Columbus first down until there was less than two minutes remaining in the first half.

Madison Central was close to registering a defensive shutout until Columbus finally got on the board on running back Quan Latham's 40-yard touchdown with 19.7 seconds remaining in the game.

That strong defense will come in handy next week when Olive Branch (11-1) travels to Madison. The Conquistadors average 33.5 points and 388.2 offensive yards per game.




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