MADISON, NJ - Colin McLinden scored four touchdowns for the Madison Dodgers as the team found the end zone ten times and defeated Newton 70-35 on Friday night in Madison. The Dodgers are now 8-0 and will be the number one or two seed in the NJSIAA playoff tournament.
Offense was the name of the game for the Madison Dodgers, and they were clicking on all cylinders against Newton on Friday night. On their very first offensive possession, the Dodgers put together a nice opening drive. It was capped off by Matt McHale's touchdown pass to Aaron Fant. The extra point put the Dodgers up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Newton got on the board on their next possession when quarterback Zac Little found tight end Evan Chrustic for a 90 yard touchdown catch and run. The Dodgers responded when Fant returned the next Newton kickoff for an 80 yard score. The score was 14-7 in the Dodgers' favor with under four minutes played in the game.
On the Dodgers' next drive, McHale found wide receiver Colin McLinden for a 65 yard catch and run down the middle of the field. McLinden scored his second touchdown of the game just a few minutes later off a nine yard pass down the right side of the field. The Dodgers had a commanding 28-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"Our offense has been great all year. Anything we do doesn't shock me," Dodgers' Head Coach Chris Kubik said. "Our offense is pretty tough. It was a great day for that side of the ball."
The Dodgers continued to find a way to put points on the board. On their next drive McHale pitched the ball to Justin Goodwin, who broke out down the middle of the field for a 69 yard run touchdown. Fant then scored the second special team's score for the Dodgers when he returned a Newton kickoff for 77 yards; that put the Dodgers up 42-14 with 7:51 to go in the second quarter.
After the Dodgers' defense forced a punt, Goodwin scored once again. This time he broke for a 26 yard touchdown score, running hard behind the Dodgers' tough blocking offensive line.
"Our line was doing good; blocking hard and opening up some holes. Our offense is very explosive," Goodwin said. "We have a lot of explosive players and we just worked hard."
Newton scored their third touchdown of the game when half back Michael Chirico ran for a 63 yard touchdown score. The Dodgers responded on their next possession. McLinden ran in for his third touchdown of the game on a 47 yard gain to put his team up 56-21. Goodwin scored his third touchdown of the game with under 25 seconds left in the first half when he caught a 17 yard pass from McHale.
The Dodgers were up 63-21 at halftime.
During the second half, the game slowed down a bit as the Dodgers had things well in hand against their opponent. The third quarter saw one touchdown, which came from Newton's Little who ran in to the end zone from 12 yards out on a designed quarterback draw.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Goodwin scored his fourth touchdown on a 56 yard run down the left side of the field. With the extra point, the Dodgers were up 70-28. The defense yielded one more score to Newton when Little ran the ball into the end zone from the three yard line with 2:21 left in the game.
With the win, the Dodgers have secured either the number one or two seed in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 2 conference. They will be the number one seed in the NJSIAA playoffs if Orange defeats Caldwell. That game also took place on Friday night.
"It was one of our goals to go undefeated. I'm just glad we accomplished that goal," Goodwin said. "Now it's time to look forward and try to win a state championship. It's a whole new season now. We're going to have to turn on the jets and keep going."
The Madison Dodger's will await the playoff seeding for their conference when the outcomes of this weekend's games within their conference are decided. Their final regular season test comes against Millburn on Thanksgiving Day at 11 a.m. in Madison.