Championship shutout completes Madison’s undefeated season

KELOLAND.com Original

VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Madison powered past Milbank in this year’s 11A State Championship to win their fourth title in the past seven seasons.

The Madison Bulldogs muscled their way to a 31-0 win over Milbank in the class 11A title game.

“This has been my dream since I was a ball boy for the Janke teams and all of those,” Madison quarterback Nate Ricke said. “I just remember watching them dominate in the dome and I just remember I wanted to do that when I was a senior.”

“It’s just a testament to all the players who have come through our program over the last 12 years and it’s a real compliment to the coaching staff, having all these coaches and all of us together,” Madison head coach Max Hodgen said. “They’re great men. They’re great teachers and I couldn’t ask for a better group of men to work with.”

The Bulldog defense was lock down against Milbank. They held Milbank scoreless while allowing just 195 total yards of offense.

“All week we kind of heard how Milbank’s defense is so good and we all said ‘I think ours is better’, Ricke said. “We’ve had like three shutouts this year and we knew they would come out and ball out and that’s what they did.”

“It’s crazy what we can do when people talk down about us. Everyone talked about how good their defense was and we just wanted to show them how good ours was too. We showed it here tonight,” Madison senior Trey Smith said.

Madison’s lead was just ten at halftime, but a 21 point surge in the third quarter put the Bulldogs ahead for good.

“We found some stuff in the second quarter that worked for us. I know they had a lot of energy that first quarter and we just had to withstand that,” Hodgen said. “Then I said ‘they’re going to come out hard in the third quarter’ but we were able to punch it in.”

“We knew they were going to be a tough defense and we really put an emphasis on wearing them down and going tempo, so in the second half we could come out and do our thing. That’s what we did and it worked out,” Ricke said.

Bulldog senior Trey Smith was named the Joe Robbie MVP of the game as he accounted for 19 of the teams 31 points, while also grabbing 13 tackles and a sack on defense.

“Trey is the best football player I’ve ever seen play. He’s so fun. I love watching him play and I knew he was going to give everything he had today and that’s what he did. He played fantastic,” Ricke said.

The Bulldogs were one of four undefeated teams in South Dakota to win a state championship in 2021.

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