NEWARK, NJ - The Madison Dodgers have high expectations for their team, according to running back P.J. Mulcahy,
“Our expectation is always try to go undefeated and win a state championship,” Mulcahy said.
The senior seemed to have that mindset going into the game versus Newark Central on Friday, leading the team with two touchdowns in the first quarter of the Dodgers' 43-14 victory at Shabazz Stadium.
Mulcahy sparked Madison (6-0) early by scoring on a nine-yard run just 1:36 into the game and then followed with a 13-yard touchdown rush and a two-point conversion run as the Dodgers moved to a 15-0 lead with 4:20 left in the first quarter.
“Whenever I see an opening near the goal line I try to get in,” Mulcahy said, “… we had a couple key blocks down the field which helped me get (the second TD) in.”
Sophomore Matt Mulcahy then followed his older brother’s footsteps by scoring the first touchdown in the second quarter on a five-yard burst. (7:20 left in the second).
Central (2-5) struck back when quarterback Naheem Cleveland threw a 57-yard pass touchdown pass to wide receiver Mohammed Kaba, slicing its deficit to 22-6.
The Dodgers then started to attack through the air behind senior quarterback Michael Kearney, who threw a 20-yard touchdown pass that Brian Harris pulled with an impressive one-handed catch in the right corner of the end zone.
With just 25 seconds left in the first half, Kearney made another winning throw, hitting Matt O'Donnell in the left corner of the end zone with a five-yard pass.
“I told my coach on the first (touchdown) that I was going to be open,” said O’Donnell, who caught a TD pass in each half.
Matt Mulcahy helped set up O'Donnell's first TD with a 41-yard catch from Kearney, which put the ball at the Central six. O'Donnell's touchdown catch made it a 43-6 Dodger advantage heading into the break.
The second half seemed to slow down compared to the first, but not for O’Donnell, who pulled in a seven-yard touchdown pass from Kearney.
“For the second (touchdown) I just ran the route and was looking for a good ball,” O'Donnell said.
The Dodgers will try to remain undefeated when they play Hanover Park at home next Saturday.