For the first five weeks of the season, Madison battled injuries in search of the right backfield. Last night, the Warhawks found what they were looking for.
Five Madison running backs combined for 341 yards to lead the visiting Warhawks past Lee, 28-7, and to their first victory of the season.
The win made Madison Coach Gordon Leib's job of keeping his team's spirits up--after an 0-5 start--a little easier.
"It makes them feel good about playing football for a week," Leib said. "When you're 0-5, you're fighting to keep things positive. It's a test of your character."
Madison quarterback Peter Dean threw just three times as the Warhawks game plan was evident from the first drive: run.
Madison set its offense throughout the game with no intention of passing. The Warhawks set three running backs around Dean and ran misdirection plays that confused the Lancers' defense and resulted in Madison's best offensive performance of the season.
After losing five running backs to injuries at various points of the season, the backfield enjoyed its finest game. Sophomore Tyler Lee carried the ball 22 times for 237 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game midway through the third quarter with leg cramps. Sophomore Joe Lewin added 64 yards and two touchdowns and senior Chris Caras--who started for the first time this season--had 65 yards.
Madison jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Tyler Lee broke two tackles and sprinted 28 yards for a touchdown with 8 minutes 1 second left in the first quarter. The Warhawks carried the ball 10 times for 85 yards; they did not attempt a passing play on the drive.
Madison's ground domination continued in the second quarter. After driving from their own 40 yard line, Lee ran up the middle to give the Warhawks a 14-0 halftime lead with 1:05 remaining.
Lewin put Madison up, 21-0, in the fourth quarter with a four-yard run, and then put the game away in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard run.
"I wish I could have gotten back in the game and done better," Lee said as he was carried off the field by two teammates after the game. "But it feels good to finally play well as a unit."
Senior quarterback Richard Gorham was the bright spot for Lee (0-6). He completed 15 of 26 passes for 202 yards, but threw four interceptions.
Lee's lone score came late in the fourth quarter when senior running back/linebacker Matthew Tillotson returned a kickoff 82 yards.
Lee recovered an onside kick, but its drive ended when Lewin picked off Gorham's pass.
CAPTION: Lee's Mark Baker enjoys a brief moment of unobstructed running against the stingy Madison defense.
CAPTION: Madison's Tyler Lee breaks tackle to score first of his two touchdowns; Lee carried 22 times for 237 yards. Madison earned its first win, 28-7.