Wolverines lose 28-21 to Madison

Published 6:22 pm Monday, September 17, 2012

Alec Philpott (no. 9) and Jamal Tanner (no. 7) connected on a spectacular 74-yard touchdown pass versus Madison. (photo by Fulton Hampton)

by Fulton Hampton

The first conference game of the season for Polk County High School did not start out pretty. The first two possessions by each team resulted in turnovers. The first quarter ended 0 – 0 as the teams exchanged field position and the ball.
Finally, late in the second quarter Madison produced a scoring drive. The team combined a 20-yard run, a 15-yard pass and a 35-yard pass from Tyler Rogers down to the 10-yard line. Madison eventually scored on a 15-yard pass, making the score 7 – 0 with 4.9 seconds left in the half.
Polk’s second half started out much more positively. Madison received the second half kickoff but had a quick “three and out,” punting to Polk.
Taking possession of the ball at their own 42-yard line, the Wolverines were unable to move the ball and on fourth and four they went into their “special” formation. (A center, quarterback, running back and wide receiver are in the middle of the field and the remainder of the team is near the sideline.) A staple for the Wolverines during Ollis’ tenure, it once again paid big dividends. Philpott avoided two defenders and ran the ball down to the 6 yard line. After a penalty on Madison, Tyler Jackson took it in over the right side of the line. Gage Stone added the extra point and the game was tied 7 – 7.
Madison returned the kickoff to their 38 yard line and put together a drive, finally scoring on an 11-yard run. The extra point made it 14 – 7 Madison with 6:59 in the third quarter.
Polk was unable to move the ball after the kickoff and punted back to the Patriots. With good field position past mid-field and two long runs Madison scored again with 2:57 left in the third quarter.
With the score 21-7, Polk’s chances seemed to be fading. However, on third down, Philpott, on the run and being hit as he released the ball, hit Jamal Tanner in full stride. Tanner made a spectacular one-handed grab for a 74-yard touchdown. With 0:56 left in the third quarter, Polk narrowed the lead to 21-14 and appeared to be re-energized.
Just minutes later, Madison answered with a long drive capped by a 3-yard plunge by Deryck Hilemon. Polk scored again with 5:32 to go to make it 28-21. Philpott executed an onside kick recovered by Polk. But Madison’s defense held as Polk turned the ball over on downs with 2:15 to go.
Ollis said after the game, “(We) lost to a good football team. I told our players we have to play like we’re capable of winning all the time. We did not really start playing hard until it looked like we had a chance to win the game. We’ve got to work on being more emotional and being focused and giving ourselves the opportunity to make plays. We had a chance on the last play but we overthrew the receiver open in the end zone. The difference between this game and last game was that when the game was on the line, we did not quite make enough plays.”
The Wolverines (3-2, 0-1) return on Friday, Sept. 21 at home to face Mountain Heritage in another conference game.

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