For Madison County coach Stuart Dean, it’s as simple just forgetting about it and moving forward as quickly as possible. Nothing went right for the Mountaineers against Manassas Park. The Raiders ran one just one play from scrimmage a more than midway through the first quarter but had three touchdowns to their name. While Madison defensively in the second quarter, Manassas went wild in the second half and as a result, the Mountaineers fell hard 54-14.
“We left it tonight saying that we were happy with the effort but we didn’t execute at all,” Dean said. “At halftime we had nine penalties or turnovers from the offense in the first offense. When you do that, it’s hard to be successful. We just have to execute better. We never could get in a rhythm. It was just penalties and turnovers, really frustrating.”
Madison’s first drive ended with a fumble and one 47-yard run from John Byrd later and the Raiders were on the board. The Mountaineers second drive ended in a punt with was returned for 87 yards by Ryan Kolb for a touchdown. Moments later a fumble recovered by Drew Lewis and run in 10 yards from the goal line had it 21-0 for the visitors.
“He have players that can make big plays and all of the sudden, that’s what happened,” said Raiders coach John McElfish. “It was scary when you do that because you haven’t put a drive together, but as long as your scoring points, you’ll take it.”
Madison was able to get on the score board thanks to L.J. Ward who capped a long drive with a 10-yard run with just under nine minutes left until the break. But as they did all night, Manassas responded with a big play, and this time it came on a miscue as a fumble snap rolled right to Byrd who scooped it up, ran it 49 yards to the left edge for a score to make it 27-7.
Both teams traded turnovers before the break between a loss on downs and an interception caught by Madison’s Travis Warren, but the second half belonged to Manassas Park completely.
After Warren went down to injury on a catch, the Mountaineers were forced to rely on the run, and the fumbles continued. Manassas continued to ride Byrd who made 34-7 on his team’s first possession of the third quarter. The Mountaineers came up with a 20-yard run from Logan Carpenter to make it a 20-point game. Yet again though, just second later Byrd had another big run, this time for 45 yards and the score to make it 41-14. In the fourth the Raiders padded their lead with two more touchdown runs to finish strong.
“They’ve got a good team and when (Warren) went out that hurt them and so we were able to play a deep zone defense,” McElfish said. “Our seniors, some of them have been playing varsity for four years and they’ve never beat Madison so this was a big incentive.”
Byrd finished the night with 17 carries for 251 yards. Madison’s Maurice Gentry led the Mountaineer offense with 19 carries for 149 yards.
Madison (2-3, 0-1 Bull Run) heads to George Mason on Friday at 7:30 p.m.