Last night, I witnessed a HUGE upset at Rutledge stadium as the Judson Rockets hosted the Madison Mavericks in a 5A division 1 playoff game. In Week 4, Judson beat Madison by 41 points. The Mavericks turnovers and awful passing game helped Judson score basically at will! Coming into last nights a game, we all knew the score would be much much closer. Everybody was picking the Rockets to win and have a long playoff run.
The Judson Rockets, Quaylon Jones, started the scoring with a 7 yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Marquis Warford, the Madison running back, scored on runs of 61 yards and 68 yards in the first quarter.
After one long quarter of play, Madison led 14-7. Wow!
In the second quarter, Judson scored 2 touchdowns; one passing and one rushing. Madison didn't score in that quarter.
Halftime score was 21-14 in favor of the Rockets.
A field goal for both teams was all the scoring the third quarter. Going in to the final 12 minutes, the score was 24-17 Judson.
Judson had a few opportunities to extend that lead, but came up empty each time. Madison was running out of energy. Warford was playing on defense and offense. Galen McAllister, another running back for Madison, got hit so hard in the first quarter that he never completely recovered.
With 2:50 left in the game, Madison had the ball at the 25 yard line. In the press box, we were thinking this could end up going to overtime. Wow! What an awesome game! Justin Jones, the Madison quarterback, threw a pass to Alex Smisek, who bobbled the ball and tipped it several times and somehow eventually caught the ball despite have a Judson defender right there with him! This ended up being a 29 yard completion and the Mavericks were in the red zone at the 9 yard line. OMG! Wow! Judson was a tip away from intercepting that pass and getting a victory.
Now, there is less then 45 seconds left. Every fan in the stadium is on there feet! Justin Jones throws a right corner pass towards the end of the end zone and Byron Daniels catches it and he was in bounds!!! Wow, that was an awesome catch! Daniels only had 1 catch for 20 yards before he scored.
Score is now 24-23 Judson with :37 left in the game.
Now, what do you do? Kick an extra point and go to overtime or go for 2 and the win? Thank god I am not a coach! We kinda had a feeling in the press box that Madison was gonna go for the win. Madison called a timeout to talk about it and when they got back on the field they lined up like they were going to go for the win, so the Rockets called a timeout to try and ice the Mavs! Gave everybody a chance to catch there breath!
Okay, so here we go! Madison is still going for the win! The fans are still standing and screaming! Justin Jones throws the ball to the right front corner of the end zone and Bryon Daniels is there again and snags the ball for 2 points! Awesome! The Judson defender was looking for a flag. he thought Daniels pushed off. Madison now leads 25-24 with :37 left in the game.
Judson still had a chance to score. I was thinking back to the Rockets state championship game in 2005 where they had a very long touchdown pass to win that particular game. Judson has the players to do it! I really thought that going to happen again!
Matt McCarty, the Judson quarterback, and Dennis Parks, a Judson wide receiver connected on a 44 yard pass but it needed to be a 70 yard pass to score. So, the Rockets had the ball at the 26 yard line with :09 left in the game. They had time to run one play and get out of bounds and kick a field for the win. They instead chose to kick a 43 yard field goal and the kicker, Max Lehnig, kicked it short! Max missed 2 field goals last night. I felt so bad for Max! He has been almost perfect all season long. A really tough way to lose a game. Max showed his frustration after the miss and the Madison plays cheered!
Madison wins 25-24 in what may be the upset of the year. I was speechless and disappointed. I can't even imagine how the fans, the players, and the coaches felt. You could hear a pin drop on the Judson sideline and also in the press box. Bobby Stautzenberger later told me this was the worst Judson loss he has ever seen and I believe him. He has been around Judson football for many many years.
Just because Judson is out of the playoffs doesn't mean our season is over. We still have a lot of local teams still alive.
Wow! Just like that, a team that a lot of people were picking to advance very far in the playoffs is out! This now gives Madison a chance to make a long playoff run. In an earlier blog, I mentioned Madison as a team that could shock everybody!
Marquis Warford, the Madison running back, had 16 carries for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. If you take away the touchdown runs of 61 and 68 yards, Judson was able to contain him. Galen McAllister, another running back for the Mavs, had 7 carries for 7 yards. He never recovered from the huge hit he took in the first quarter.
Justin Jones, the quarterback for Madison, was 12 for 21 passing for 211 yards and 1 interception and the lone touchdown to Bryon Daniels. Daniels caught 2 passes for 29 yards and also scored the 2 point conversion! There was no debate on who the player of the game would be? It was Daniels! I know I mentioned this in a previous blog, but he is only a sophomore! Wow!
Quaylon Jones, the Judson running backs, had 27 carries for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. That also marks an end to his high school football playing days. I had a great time watching him play and wish him luck in his next step. Thanks Q!
Matt McCarty, the quarterback for Judson, was 9 for 14 passing for 231 yards and 1 touchdown. Dennis Parks had 4 receptions for 125 yards and 1 touchdown.
Madison will play the winner of the East Central Hornets and Stevens Falcon game which will be played this afternoon.
As I was leaving the game and driving past the stadium, I waved and said goodbye and see ya next year Rutledge stadium.
I am still shocked that Judson lost. Every year, I always expect them to have long playoff runs.
This evening, I will be at Harlandale Memorial stadium for a TAPPS II Bi-District playoff game between the Holy Cross Knights and the El Paso Cathedral Irish. Check my blog tomorrow for my recap.