For the Madison Bulldogs, half of the 2019 football season has been spent watching opponents celebrate wins that were decided in the final seconds of the game. That trend continued Thursday night, as Madison saw their final chance for a win fumbled away with 21 seconds to go, in a 35-33 loss to Lennox in the 11A quarterfinals.
The Orioles jumped out to 13-0 lead in the 1st quarter. After a Josh Arlt TD pass, the Bulldogs fumbled the following kickoff and the next play was a 25 yard TD run by Jackson Arlt. Madison put up their first score in the 2nd quarter, on an 18 yard pass from Tyler Tappe to Chris Reece. Both teams added one more touchdown before halftime, with Lennox leading 19-13.
The 3rd quarter saw the Orioles go on an 18 play 95 yard drive, that chewed up 6 minutes, and ended with another Arlt TD pass to Peyton Eich. Madison answered in the 4th quarter, with Tappe hitting Carter Bergheim for a 46 yard score. Four minutes later, Tappe and Bergheim hooked up again to cut the Lennox lead to 27-26. After a Lennox penalty on the PAT attempt, the Bulldogs decided to go for a 2-point conversion to take the lead. Reece brought in a pass, but stumbled at the one yard line and fell inches short of the endzone.
Lennox fumbled on their next drive, but Madison turned the ball over on downs at midfield. Four plays later the Orioles were in the endzone again, and after a 2-point conversion, were up 35-26. Madison needed less than a minute to drive down the field for another score, this time on a pass to Mason Avery, to cut the Lennox lead to 35-33.
With 32 seconds left, Avery recovered an onside kick at the Lennox 39 yard line. On the next play, Tappe completed a short pass near the sideline to Jacob Unterbrunner, who fumbled the ball in front of the Lennox sideline. The Orioles recovered the ball with 21 seconds left to seal the win.
Tappe finished the game with 421 yards passing and 5 touchdowns. Carter Bergheim caught 13 passes for 201 yards and 3 scores, Avery and Unterbrunner caught 7 passes each. Josh Arlt threw for 294 yards and 3 TD’s for Lennox. Cody Brown led the Bulldog defense with 10 tackles and 2 sacks.
Tappe ends a two year run as the Bulldogs quarterback with over 4,000 yards passing and 37 touchdowns.
Madison finishes the season with a 5-5 record, while Lennox moves on to host West Central in the 11A semi-finals next Friday. The other 11A semi-final will have Tea Area hosting Canton.