Trotwood-Madison tops off perfection with state crown

Trotwood-Madison RB Raveion Hargrove (photo by Mike Noyes/

CANTON, ohio – They were on a mission from the very start. Ever since losing to Archbishop Hoban in last year’s Division III state championship Trotwood-Madison has been zeroed in on nabbing a title and they did so on Saturday night, besting Dresden Tri-Valley, 27-19. It was the Rams second state crown (also in 2011) and their seventh appearance in the finale. Trotwood-Madison was able to overcome an infraction infestation as defense and size up front wore down the Scotties in the second half.

There were 309 penalty yards in this affair and the Rams had 190 of them on 16 fouls. Through all of that the T-Mad defense was outstanding. They forced seven three-and-outs (five of those yielded negative yards on the drives) and held Tri-Valley to just 1-10 on third down conversions. The Scotties three touchdown drives were a grand total of 10 plays between them.

Division III co-offensive player of the year, Raveion Hargrove got the scoring started for Trotwood-Madison with 41-yard run on a one-play drive with just a little over two minutes left in the first quarter. It was the 30th rushing touchdown of the year for Hargrove and 90th of his career. The senior ran for a game high 137 yards on 20 carries. He finishes the season with 2,264 yards and 7,354 in a Rams uniform.

Trotwood-Madison used the field position factor to their advantage but the Scotties got out of the hole on their first score of the game. Pinned down at their own one-yard line quarterback Andrew Newsom broke through for a 99-yard touchdown run four minutes into the second quarter. A rush by Newsom on the conversion attempt failed making the score, 7-6. Take away that run by Newsom and Trotwood-Madison held Tri-Valley to just 21 yards rushing on 27 attempts the rest of the game.

That started a scoring frenzy in the second stanza. Markell Stephens-Peppers connected with Will McDaniel on 56-yard touchdown pass just 44 seconds later as the Rams went up by eight points. It was the 36th touchdown pass (only four interceptions) of the year for Stephens-Peppers and the 11th time that McDaniel has been on the receiving end of those fruitful tosses.

Trotwood-Madison QB Markell Stephens-Peppers (photo by Mike Noyes/

Less than a minute minute later Newsom capped off a three play, 64-yard drive with 15-yard scoring strike to Spencer Littick. With 6:20 left before intermission that would be the final score of the half. Trotwood-Madison went into the locker room up 14-13.

On the opening drive of the second half Newsom hit three big passes with the final one being a 24-yard touchdown to Dow Cameron. It gave Tri-Valley their first lead of the game at 19-14.

That lit a fire under Trotwood-Madison as they flexed their muscle and showed their depth. McDaniel would become beneficiary of superb blocking. He ran for the games next two touchdowns. The final one came with 4:34 left in the fourth quarter. It gave the Rams a 27-19 lead.

Both teams would go three-and-out on their next drives. It left 2:18 on the clock and time for one more shot from the Dresden boyswho were down by eight. Newsom and the hurry up offense saw the Scotties march down the field on their most sustained drive of the contest. On the 12th play, which was first and goal for Tri-Valley, Newsom was picked off by Jayvanare Nelloms with seven seconds left as Trotwood-Madison thwarted the comeback attempt and prevailed.

It capped off an undefeated campaign that also saw the Rams hand Division I state champion, Pickerington High School Central its only loss of the year. You can make a legitimate argument for Trotwood-Madison being Ohio’s best team in 2017.

Trotwood-Madison 7-7-7-6-27
Tri-Valley 0-13-6-0-19

TM: Hargrove 41 run (Mims kick)
TV: Newsom 99 run (run failed)
TM: McDaniel 56 pass from Stephens-Peppers (Mims kick)
TV: Littick 15 pass from Newsom (Dinan kick)
TV: Cameron 24 pass from Newsom (run failed)
TM: McDaniel 10 run (Mims kick)
TM: McDaniel 1 run (kick blocked)

RECORDS: Trotwood-Madison (15-0); Tri-Valley (13-2)

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