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The Madison Academy Mustangs posted their second consecutive comeback in the state playoffs with a thrilling 48-43 victory over Geraldine. The victory sends the undefeated Mustangs into the Class 3A State Championship game on Thursday against top-ranked and undefeated Mobile Christian. Photo- Richie Carter Photography

Madison Academy Set For State Championship Effort

MADISON- The months of physical and mental conditioning will come to the forefront of the players who will wear the maroon and gold colors of the Madison Academy Mustangs football team this week as the squad will face the Mobile Christian Leopards for the Class 3A State Championship. The two undefeated teams will tangle in the title game at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa as the AHSAA hosts its 29th Super 7 Football Championships.

The battle will feature the top two ranked teams in Class 3A as the Leopards are ranked No. 1 with the Mustangs at No. 2. For the Mustangs (14-0), they will be fighting for their fourth state championship in school history winning previous titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Madison Academy head coach Bob Godsey will attempt to win his second state championship as he won the Class 5A trophy in 2011 while head coach of the 15-0 Hartselle Tigers. Mobile Christian (14-0) has three titles in the school’s history taking home the coveted State Map Blue Trophy in 1979, 1983 and 1995.

The matchup will be one of the best in all of the classification state titles up for grabs at the Super 7. Madison Academy is scoring 49 points a game while allowing just 13.7 in each outing. Mobile Christian is in a similar mode scoring 42 points a game and allowing just 8.8 per opponent and posting five shutouts, including three in-a-row, during the season. The Leopards blanked Munro, Fla. (31-0), Excel (55-0), Hillcrest Evergreen (42-0), Cottage Hill Christian (34-0) and Flomaton (42-0).

Madison Academy’s road through the playoffs featured wins over Hokes Bluff (57-20), Mars Hill (21-14), Sylvania (35-28) and Geraldine (48-43). The last two tangles in the playoffs have been nail biters for the Mustangs gaining victories in the final minute of each game.

In their latest win, the Mustangs again relied on its star running back to score in the final seconds to secure a victory over the Geraldine Bulldogs. Senior All-State runner Ken Cherry had 188 yards on 18 carries including an 11-yard touchdown with 57 seconds remaining to rally the horses past the Bulldogs 48-43 in the North semifinal game in Geraldine. On the night, Cherry had five touchdowns runs including three in the second quarter and two in the fourth stanza as the host Bulldogs led 43-36 with just over five minutes remaining.

Josh Williams posted 143 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries for Madison Academy. His second score cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 43-42. The Mustangs’ defense then held the Bulldogs giving the ball back to the offense with less than two minutes remaining leading to the final drive and touchdown for the victory. On defense, Madison Academy was led by junior and Mississippi State commit A.J. Rice who had a team leading 19 tackles and Josh Williams who added 11 stops on the night. Besides the two running back’s efforts, the Mustangs’ offense included quarterback Jake Poldiak who threw for 276 yards on 17 completions while Jackson Reece hauled in 12 receptions for 221 yards.

The Class 3A Championship Game is expected to be tug-of-war between the two undefeated teams both with rich traditions, high-scoring offenses and tough defenses. The squads are among nine undefeated teams which advanced to the Super 7, but could easily be the most exciting game within the confines of the home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Conditioning will certainly play a part in the final outcome in what many are calling “The Super Game” at Super 7.

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