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Penalties and turnovers led to a nightmarish first half for Trotwood-Madison (12-0) as Kings (12-1) took a 20-0 lead at half.
Austin Copeland and Max Lerer had interceptions off of District Offensive Player of the Year, Mike Simpson. Nick Handorf recovered a fumble and Seth Wilson blocked a punt to set up a Jamire Westbrook touchdown run for the Knights.
The veteran Kings' defense was playing the part of a championship unit heading into intermission. All was going fine for the boys in white, Westbrook and Brian Huffman would combine for 170 yards and two scores by the end of the contest. The Rams headed to the locker room stunned and looking for inspiration from a higher ground.
As bad as things were for Trotwood-Madison in the first half they were even worse for Kings after the break. The Knights got the ball out to their own 43-yard line on the opening drive of the half. Cameron Burrows recovered a fumble for the Rams. Isreal Green found the end zone 3:16 later and the T-Mad ground game was starting to get on track.
-- Postgame: Maurice Douglass, head coach, Trotwood-Madison
-- Postgame: Trotwood-Madison Team Address
The snowball had just been tipped over the edge and the avalanche was gaining speed and heading downhill on top of the Knights.
A poor kickoff gave Kings the ball at their own 43, but they go three and out. The Rams would then march 80 yards and score on the first play of the fourth quarter on a beautiful Simpson-to-Bam Bradley pass in the right corner of the end zone. That cut the Kings lead to 20-14. The drive was aided when Kings failed to stop Trotwood-Madison on a 4th-and-2 and moments later they get a personal foul penalty that put the ball inside the 10 yard line.
Bradley, the District Defensive Player of the Year, came up with an interception and had two receptions for 13 yards and his third touchdown catch of the year on offense.
The Knights responded with another three-and-out on a drive that took virtually no time off the clock. Their punt was not good either as it set up the Rams with the ball on the Kings 44 with 10:22 left in the contest.
Green would scamper 33 yards for his second touchdown on a drive that took just 1:13 seconds. The extra point was good and T-Mad took the lead for good at 21-20 with 9:09 left. As for Green, the senior would end up with a game-high 129 yards rushing now giving him 1,687 on the season.
Kings stalled again on offense and gave the ball back to the Rams just 56 yards from the goal line. Ashton Jackson spelled Green and ran 39 yards to Knights four. The junior then took it over for a touchdown. Jackson finished with 71 yards which leaves him just 51 short of 1,000 for the season.
Darion Heath came up with a fumble recovery for the Rams on their own 45 as Kings was so out of sync and in shock of what had just hit them. The Knights held and trailed only by eight when they got the ball back with 4:00 minutes to go on their own 30.
Adding insult to injury Mike McCray stepped in front of a Jensen Gebhardt and raced untouched 39-yards down the sideline for a Trotwood-Madison pick six. It was a fitting end for the junior linebacker, who was in on 14 tackles.
When the dust had finally settled T-Mad scored 35 unanswered points in the second half, 28 of them in a 9:19 second stretch of the fourth quarter. The Rams win their second straight Region 8 title as they continued their dominance with their fifth post-season win in a over a team from the now defunct FAVC. Trotwood-Madison will now face Marion-Franklin (13-0), who won in overtime to get to the final four.
Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.