STANHOPE, NJ - The Madison High School football team had played six games this season and never trailed in the second half, until Friday night, Oct. 19, at Lenape Valley Regional.
Trailing 15-14 with 11 minutes remaining in the game, the Dodgers rattled off a 13 play, 67 yard drive that ended in a Devin Koep 21-yard field goal to lead the Dodgers to their seventh win of the season, a 17-15 victory over the Lenape Valley Regional Patriots.
“That’s the best kick I’ve ever had,” Koep, who missed a similar kick on an extra point in the first half, said. “I couldn’t ask for it to be any straighter. I kick with my toe, so a lot of times there’s a lot of room for error. I’ve never won a game with a kick or any type of scoring. It feels good.”
Lenape Valley had a chance to regain the lead in the final minutes. The Patriots drove the ball to the Dodger 18 yard line to setup a game-winning 33-yard field goal with five seconds left.
However, after a Madison timeout, senior kicker Kevin Pardo’s try was short and wide right, keeping the Dodgers’ 31-game winning streak intact.
“We expected a type of game like this, maybe not as exciting, we hoped it wasn’t,” Madison head coach Chris Kubik said. “They play tough here all the time. They’re a great football team. We needed this type of win. We needed a game like this, we had it last year against them. They provide it for us all the time, just a gut check time.”
Madison trailed 7-6 in the second quarter before senior running back Justin Goodwin pounded in a 1-yard touchdown and two-point conversion to take a seven point lead, 14-7.
Later in the quarter, Goodwin ran for 32 yards down the left sideline on a fake punt from deep inside their own zone. The play extended the drive and allowed Madison to take possession of the ball into halftime.
“They gave us the outside,” Kubik said. “It’s one of those things where we’ll read it on the ball and we saw it there. Justin made a great call, he had the green light to make it and he took care of business.”
The Dodgers held onto the 14-7 lead until the beginning of the fourth quarter when Lenape Valley’s senior running back duo of Michael Greico and Nicholas Rafferty combined for 49 yards on four plays.
Greico capped the drive with a 27-yard touchdown run before Rafferty put the Patriots ahead on a two-point conversion, 15-14.
Madison countered the scoring drive with a seven minute drive that ended in Koep’s game-winning field goal to make the final score 17-15.
The Dodgers improved to 7-0 on the season and host Kittatinny Regional on Friday, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.