MADISON, NJ - Madison built an 18-point halftime lead and went on to a 45-12 victory over Newark Central in the opening round of the NJSIAA Section 2, Group 2 state football playoffs Saturday afternoon in Madison.
Dom Luppino scored a pair of touchdowns in the first half as Madison (8-1) built a 21-0 lead by early in the second quarter. After Central (7-3) closed to within 21-6 on an 8-yard TD run, the Dodgers closed out the half by driving down to the Central 3-yard line before opting for a 20-yard field goal attempt that Austin Sterkel converted just before time ran out.
It looked like Central might make a game of it when Dewan Johnson broke away for a 54-yard TD run to bring the Essex County team within 24-12, but Madison took command from that point on.
Luppino ran 50 yards for his third TD of the day, Zach Shupe banged in from the 1-yard line and David Luttinger scored on a 4-yard run for the Dodgers, who won their eighth consecutive game after losing their season opener.
Madison will be home for the second round of the playoffs next weekend against either Bernards or Lincoln of Jersey City. The date and time of the second-round contest will be announced Monday.