The score was 20-17 with 9:18 remaining in the second quarter of the Madison football team’s first round matchup against Tea Area, and the Bulldogs’ coaches were hunkering down for another close, grimy battle like the team’s 32-29 win over the Titans on Oct. 16.
But then Brodie Frederiksen happened.
“It happened so fast,” Madison head coach Max Hodgen said. “Momentum’s a crazy thing.”
When the senior running back touched the ball late in the first half, he almost couldn’t help but score a touchdown. On the Bulldogs’ first drive after Tea Area inched within three, Frederiksen scored from 17 yards out on the eighth play of the drive. After the Bulldogs (10-0) recovered a fumble and advanced to the Titans’ 20 after a 15-yard penalty, Frederiksen scored again on a draw to the left. After Madison collected a pick-six and forced a punt on Tea Area’s next possession, it took just two plays for Frederiksen to score from 22 yards out. By then, the score was 47-17, and Madison was on its way to an easy 61-24 win over Tea area in the first round of the Class 11A playoffs.
The Titans started with the ball in the second half, but when that drive ended in a punt, Frederiksen scored on the sixth play of the next drive to make the score 54-17.
After that touchdown, Frederiksen was done for the night. He scored six touchdowns in all, which equalled his total from the Bulldogs’ win over Milbank the week before. He attributed his effortless success in the game to his offensive line’s blocking, which helped him find holes on wedge plays, with the Bulldogs’ guards taking on the Titans’ linebackers, when Madison transitioned from packing its players towards the middle to spreading the field more.
“It started working, and as soon as we started running that, we just kept running it,” Frederiksen said.
The Bulldogs’ focus is now on Sioux Falls Christian (9-1), which beat Belle Fourche 49-14 on Thursday. The Chargers are another powerful running team, and when they met Madison on Oct. 2, they led the Bulldogs 20-7 at half before Madison responded with a frantic comeback in the second half and snatched a 32-26 overtime win.
“Most of the team’s nervous, but I’m just more excited to play,” Frederiksen said. “…After we knew we were going to win this game, all I’m thinking about (was) Christian.”
The only negative of Frederiksen’s night on Thursday that he had so much time to sit on the sideline and think, and consequently more time to get cold because he wasn’t on the field.
“I didn’t want to get hurt or anything,” Frederiksen said. “I get a little mad, but I understand.”