The Madison Rams, defending Ohio Cardinal Conference co-champions, routed Shelby on opening night 54-6 in a non-conference game at Ram Field.
Senior Kalvin Gordon ran for 146 yards on 19 carries for the Rams and they totaled over 340 yards on the ground as a team. “It went well. Our kids played hard. I thought we ran the ball real well. We still need to get better in our passing game. We need to take care of the football a little bit better. We had some fumbles. Obviously we still need to get better, but a good first step,” said Madison coach Sean Conway.
Madison fumbled twice on Friday night, loosing one.
Shelby played the game without starting quarterback Lucas Ousley, who injured a knee in scrimmage last week against Galion. The Whippets only score came in the fourth quarter on a Spencer Blevins to Coalton Webb 63-yard TD pass.
It was only 14-0 Madison at the half, but Conway says he didn’t give some kind of a big halftime speech. “The break was fine. It was just let’s make good on our opportunities, take care of the football and win the hit battle. If win the hit battle and take care of the football you are going to win the game. Shelby had some adversity in the third quarter, we were able to take advantage and it just snowballed after that,” he said.
Madison forced four Shelby turnovers, intercepting a pass and recovering three Whippets fumbles. Forced to replace almost all of their starters on that side of the ball, Conway says his defensive staff has done a great job. “I have a great defensive staff and they have put guys in position to be successful. It went well, but we still have to get better. The first quarter wasn’t what we wanted it to be we had some jitters. Shelby did some great things early,” said Conway.
Madison is a run first team. They threw only three passes on Friday night. Conway feels they did a decent job of executing. “Our offensive line came off the football well and made some nice adjustments. I would give us a “B” or “B-minus” only because I still think we are playing sloppy and we are being inconsistent and when you get to the “OCC” you can’t play football that way,” he said.
Juan Howard scored three TD’s for the Rams, two of them on short runs in the first half, and one on a 28-yarder in the third quarter. They limited the Whippets to 122 total yards and only seven first downs.
Next week, Madison travels to North Central Conference favorite Galion. The Tigers beat Fairbanks 40-12 on Friday night. Conway knows they have to improve. “We have to make sure we are taking care of the football. Really we are getting great effort on every play, but what is happening is we are getting one breakdown on every play and its costing us. If we are running the ball off tackle the back will miss the hole or one offensive lineman we let someone cross his face. We have to all get on the same page and when we do I think you will see a more consistent football team,” said Conway.
Shelby returns home to face the Lexington Minutemen, who lost an overtime thriller to Ontario last night.