Prep Football: Late scores help Wildcats edge Albany
NEW LONDON -- New London-Spicer has won big plenty of times this year but in Wednesday's regular season finale, the Wildcats had to rally. Payton Madison scored twice within 43 seconds in the game's final 2:46 to power the Wildcats past Albany 27-22.
NEW LONDON - New London-Spicer has won big plenty of times this year but in Wednesday's regular season finale, the Wildcats had to rally.
Payton Madison scored twice within 43 seconds in the game's final 2:46 to power the Wildcats past Albany 27-22.
Madison scored a 32-yard touchdown with 2:46 to play but failed on the two-point conversion for a chance to take the lead.
But the Wildcats' Blake Vagle recovered the ensuing kickoff on a pooched onside kick by Griffin Duininck to give his team a fighting chance, trailing 22-21.
NLS quickly drove down the field, leading to another Madison rushing touchdown, this time from three yards out to put the Wildcats ahead 27-22.
It seemed fitting that Madison scored the game's final 12 points as he looked dominant against the Class AAA's top defense. Albany came into Wednesday's game allowing just 5.7 points per game. He finished the night with 18 carries for 190 yards and picked up a fumble while finishing with a team-best nine solo tackles on defense.
NLS missed fellow running back star Sam Stageberg due to injury but between Madison's dominance and Gideon Mische's strong night (nine carries for 58 yards and a touchdown), the Wildcats survived.
It proved to be a defensive battle in the early going, as both teams were held scoreless in the opening quarter. NLS struck first on a well-placed ball in the corner of the endzone by Brandon Adelman to Kelly Bennetts. With a Duininck kick, the Wildcats led 7-0.
That lead didn't last long, as Albany's Alex Seiler completed a 53-yard scoring strike to Ben Buttweiler just 2:30 later. Seiler executed a naked bootleg for the two-point conversion to take an 8-7 lead.
Mische's 35-yard run to start the second half gave NLS a 15-8 lead but Albany scored on a one-yard Gabe Zierden run in the third quarter and a 52-yard run by Will Mergen to lead 22-15. Albany's defense seemed intent to keep that at the score but Madison and the Wildcats had other ideas.
New London-Spicer caps the regular season with a 7-1 record and a seven-game win streak and eyes on the No. 2 seed in Section 6AAA. These two teams could very well face off once again in the section playoffs but first they'll have to get out of the opening round, which kicks off Oct. 23.
Albany (6-2) 0 8 8 6 - 22
NLS (7-1) 0 7 8 12 - 27
NLS - Kelly Bennetts 7 pass from Brandon Adelman (Griffin Duininck kick)
Albany - Ben Buttweiler 53 pass from Alex Seiler (Seiler run)
NLS - Gideon Mische 35 run (Ethan Haugen pass from Adelman)
Albany - Gabe Zierden 1 run (Will Mergen run)
Albany - Mergen 52 run (run failed)
NLS - Payton Madison 32 run (run failed)
NLS - Madison 3 run (run failed)
First downs: 12 ... Penalties: 2-20 ... Rushing (Individual and team): Gabe Zierden 21-95, Alex Seiler 5-3, Nick Rueter 2-1, Will Mergen 10-102, Ben McLachlan 3-42, Carter Kotzen 3-3, Ezra Noska 2-2, Aaron Christensen 2-6. 48-254 ... Passing (Individual and team): Seiler 7-13-124-0 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Ben Buttweiler 2-63, Zierden 3-45, Noska 2-16 ... Interceptions: NA ... Fumble recoveries: NA ... Tackles (solo-assist): NA ... QB sacks: NA
First downs: 15 ... Penalties: 4-30 ... Rushing (Individual and team): Payton Madison 18-190, Gideon Mische 9-58, Kelly Bennetts 4-13, Brandon Adelman 3-(-16). 35-245 ... Passing (Individual and team): Adelman 8-16-111-1 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Bennetts 4-69, Madison 1-1, Ethan Haugen 1-21, Evan Dietz 1-11, Nick Perkins 1-9 ... Interceptions: NA ... Fumble recoveries: Madison 1, Jack Novak 1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): Jackson Wangen 7-3, Madison 9-0, Mische 8-1, Brandyn Harlow 7-0, Nate Ogdahl 7-0, Bennetts 6-0 ... QB sacks: Andrew Templer 0.5, Novak 0.5