Sep. 18—FAIRMOUNT — The excitement in the postgame huddle was evident, both audibly and visually, as the Madison-Grant Argylls broke away from coach Brady Turner to greet their home fans in the bleachers.
After last week's drubbing by Mississinewa at Ball State, a big win over Blackford on Friday night was just what Turner and company needed.
"We needed that a lot," he said. "It could have gone bad if we didn't get that tonight."
Nothing went bad for the Argylls as junior Tanner Brooks rushed for over 150 yards and a pair of scores, and M-G unveiled a new offensive weapon in a 35-6 win over the Bruins.
While Brooks and company rolled up over 200 yards of first-half offense in taking a 29-0 lead into the locker room, the M-G defense set the tone early and went on to dominate throughout.
After yielding a first down on the Bruins' second play, M-G allowed just two more the remainder of the half and forced Blackford (0-5) to punt four times in five first-half possessions. In total, the Argylls allowed just 27 yards in total offense, had two sacks and picked off Blackford quarterback Braxton Mallott once.
They held bruising running back Scott Winger to 24 yards rushing at the break.
"That's a tough offense to stop, especially when you've got No. 48 back there," Turner said. "Our defense stepped up. They knew it was going to be physical. We told them all week that we both run the same styles of offense. It was going to come down to who executed better."
With Brooks and senior Seth Lugar pounding away at the Bruins' defense between the 20s, Maverick Miller was introduced in the M-G offense, and he made quite the splash.
"This is his first year playing in quite a while, and we didn't want to throw too much at him at once," Turner said. "We felt like this was the week he could do it, and he just stepped up. He had a great game, and he adds a whole other weapon to us to go with the other two."
The dimension he adds is a home-run threat, and he wasted little time showing it.
After Brooks and Lugar shared the load for the first 54 yards of M-G's opening possession, Miller took the handoff on a sweep and sprinted 18 yards for the opening score. Brooks added the 2-point conversion, and it was 8-0, Argylls.
Another defensive stop later, again it was Miller. This time he went 36 yards for the second score, and with Lugar's 2-point run, it was 16-0 early in the second quarter.
"We're excited about (Miller). He's only going to continue to get better," Turner said.
After the teams exchanged punts, Brooks showed he has the potential to score from anywhere on the field as well, running 69 yards untouched for the score.
After a Zander Gillespie interception — the only turnover of the game — Brooks and the Argylls capitalized just before halftime. This time Brooks broke through a pair of tackles at the line and rolled 47 yards to put M-G up 29-0 at halftime.
Late in the third quarter, Lugar put the finishing touches on the night with a 13-yard run to make it 35-0 in favor of Madison-Grant (2-3).
Winger finally got loose for the Bruins for a 47-yard touchdown to close out the third period, but the running clock mercy rule had already been locked in.
The Argylls will travel to Oak Hill next Friday while Blackford will stay in the area as they visit the Elwood Panthers.
"If we're not physical in that game and tackle the fullback, we're in for a long game," Turner said. "It's another tough challenge. I told the kids that we need to enjoy this win and something positive, then Monday we'll start focusing on Oak Hill."
Contact Rob Hunt at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-640-4886.