Mitchell Goddard’s friends have called him “Ice” since childhood, so it’s only natural that the Madison football team turned to him when it was down four points with less than two minutes remaining against South Lakes on Friday night.
Filling in for injured starting quarterback Dan Powers, Goddard capped a nine-play drive by rushing into the end zone from one yard out to seal Madison’s 38-35 win. Along with his decisive score, the senior finished 13-for-18 with 183 yards and one touchdown through the air.
“In situations like that, I don’t really freak out,” said Goddard, who normally starts at cornerback. “I just told the team we needed to hustle through the whole drive and my mindset was to do what I knew I was capable of doing at quarterback.”
Jacob Hall proved plenty capable as well, rushing for a season-high 168 yards and three touchdowns during the Warhawks’ sixth straight win. Three of those victories have been sealed in the final three minutes of the game. Madison is 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the Virginia AAA Liberty District.
“It shows we are a team you can never give up on,” Hall said. “We may not blow out teams every week, but we aren’t going to lay down and let the other team win, either. We fight to the last whistle and the results have been great.”
Warhawks Coach Lenny Schultz said it’s too early to tell if Powers’ injured foot will allow him to play Friday’s home contest against Fairfax (5-2, 4-0) but he will be evaluated throughout the week.
On Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stopped by the school to promote the new Heads Up Football program, one of three non-profit youth organizations recently launched to educate youth and parents about player safety. In between watching the Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) Wildcats practice and fielding questions, Goodell took time to chat with Centreville Coach Chris Haddock about his team’s season.
“He’s a very down-to-earth guy and asked me a ton of questions,” Haddock said. “Between him coming and President Obama speaking here [in July], I’d venture to say that we’re the only school that’s had both those guys visit within the span of six months, which is pretty neat.”
Between that and the Wildcats’ recent win, Haddock hopes these are good omens for his team’s future. To close out the regular season, Centreville (5-2) will face AAA Concorde District powers Chantilly (5-2), Westfield (7-0) and Oakton (6-1), making the play of standouts like A.J. Turner all the more important. The sophomore tailback rushed for a season-high 195 yards and three scores on just 13 carries last week.
“We haven’t played our best football yet, but that’s somewhat encouraging since we have some of our toughest games ahead and we’re going to need to play our best games,” Haddock said.
Falls Church (2-5) during the offseason switched to a spread offense to better take advantage of its skill position players. The Jaguars picked up their second win Friday, blowing out Wakefield, 41-6.
“It was an easy decision, because we wanted to find an offense to get all our best athletes on the field,” Coach Said Aziz said. “In the old [offense], two were in the game and three or four were standing on the sideline. Right now, we’re definitely doing a lot better.”
Falls Church, 0-10 in 2011, has one winning season in the past 11 years, and the Jaguars’ two victories this fall have come against winless teams Marshall and Wakefield.
But they have scored almost as many points through seven games this season (157) than they did in the previous two seasons combined (161), and the starters are almost exclusively juniors and sophomores. One of the losses was in overtime to Edison, and the junior varsity is 4-0.
Falls Church junior quarterback Adam Daly has thrown for 1,515 yards and 11 touchdowns. Four receivers have 21 or more receptions, led by junior Jordan Coneys (47). Junior running back Dieon Dupont has accounted for 11 touchdowns.
Aziz said the new playing style also is a good recruiting tool at one of the smaller schools in the Northern Region because athletes who might not otherwise go out for football are attracted to the finesse of the spread game and see so many players involved in the offense.
Falls Church hosts No. 17 Yorktown (7-0) for homecoming this week.
On that final drive, junior quarterback Greg Stroman connected with senior J.R. Washington for a 30-yard pickup, scrambled for 12 yards and then hooked up with senior slot receiver Reuben Osei for a 29-yard touchdown with 12 seconds left.
Stonewall (7-0) rolled up 400 yards of offense in playing their fifth consecutive home game but threw three interceptions, lost two fumbles and turned the ball over twice on downs to Patriot (2-6).
The Pioneers’ three touchdowns, including kickoff and interception returns, covered 217 yards.
“To overcome that’s great, but if we’re going to make a deep push into the playoffs, we’re going to have to be a lot better than we were Friday,” said Stonewall Coach Mike Dougherty, whose team plays at AAA Cedar Run District rival Osbourn (4-4) this week.