Madison unable to recover from four early turnovers

Madison unable to recover from four early turnovers


Madison unable to recover from four early turnovers



Four turnovers and the elusive running of Jared Harris were too much for Madison to overcome in a 35-26 loss to Millburn in the 81st Thanksgiving Day meeting between the schools Thursday.

Harris, Millburn’s diminutive junior quarterback, ran 27 times for 259 yards and four touchdowns. His final carry, an 11-yard quarterback draw for a touchdown with 47 seconds left in the game, dashed any hopes of a Madison comeback.

The victory was Millburn’s first in this rivalry since 2007. Madison holds a 49-27-5 edge in the series, including a 77-21 triumph in 2012.

Despite turning the ball over on four of its first five possessions, Madison did mount a valiant comeback effort in the second half.

Trailing 28-13 after Harris’ 71-yard touchdown run with 1:06 to play in the third quarter, Madison (6-4) received some impetus when Christian Scarpello returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards to the Millburn 43. From there, Madison quarterback Sam North guided his team to the end zone in nine plays with David Luttinger’s 2-yard run with 9:02 to play in the game allowing the Dodgers to get to within 28-20. Luttinger finished with 12 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns.

Madison’s defense pinned Millburn (4-6) on its own 18 on the next possession and Scarpello was able to return Jake Pickard’s short punt 22-yards up the right sideline to the Millburn 1-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage North went over with a quarterback sneak with 5:36 to play in the game when Madison cut the deficit to 28-26. Attempting another sneak on the conversion attempt, North was stacked up by Millburn’s defense.

“I don’t have a lot of words for what happened,” Madison coach Chris Kubik said. “We made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. You turn the ball over and sometimes it’s a death sentence. But it is what it is. We battled back, but it didn’t go our way.”

Millburn cashed in when Madison lost the ball on a fumble on the game’s second play on its own 32. On Millburn’s first play from scrimmage, Harris ran up the middle for a touchdown.

Madison appeared to be on the way to evening the score with North taking his team from its’ own 14 to the Millburn four in 16 plays. However the next play of the march ended with a fumble that Millburn recovered and converted into another touchdown. Harris took his team 95-yards in nine plays with Zack Weinstein scoring on a 2-yard run with 10:00 left in the first half.

Madison responded on its ensuing possession when Luttinger polished off an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard run 4:52 before halftime allowing Madison to get to within 14-6.

Harris gave his team a 21-6 advantage on a 2-yard run with :46 remaining in the first half on the 10th play of a 65-yard drive.

“We battled, but we just didn’t have enough today,” Kubik said. “They ran the ball well and they did a good job. They executed their plays and they did what they needed to do to win the game.

“We tried to stop him (Harris). We tried moving some guys into gaps, but the bottom line is that the kid’s a good football player and he made plays. We needed to put ourselves in position to win the game and unfortunately we weren’t able to do enough.”

North completed seven his 10 passes for 123 yards and also ran six times for 11 yards and a touchdown while Noah Gertler carried six times for 114 yards for the Dodgers.

MADISON 0-6-7-13 – 26

MILLBURN 7-14-7-7- 35

MIL-Jared Harris 32 run (Gabe Greenberg kick)

MIL-Zack Weinstein 2 run (Greenberg kick)

MAD- David Luttinger 1 run (kick failed)

MIL – Harris 1 run (Greenberg kick)

MAD-Dom Luppino 9 run (Austin Sterkel kick)

MIL-Harris 71 run (Greenberg kick)

MAD-Luttinger 2 run (Sterkel kick)

MAD-Sam North 1 run (run failed)

MIL-Harris 11 run (Greenberg kick)


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