SANGER — The Sanger Indians might want to skip the replay of Friday night’s season opener against Dallas Madison. There’s just not much they’re going to want to see again.
The Indians struggled in nearly every aspect of their 34-19 loss to Dallas Madison. Their offense managed only 10 first downs, committed a whopping 19 penalties for 124 yards and their young defense gave up more than 400 yards. Their offensive highlight was 147 yards rushing as a team.
The night, instead, belonged to Madison quarterback Randall Johnson, who threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns despite his team turning the ball over five times and committing nine penalties for 50 yards. Corey White added 100 yards on 22 carries for the Trojans’ balanced attack.
Sanger, which returned only one starter on offense and four on defense from a 9-2 team last season, simply was unable to overcome a slew of miscues throughout the game. The play most fans will remember was a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown by Will Carter that was erased by five penalty flags.
The first play of the game might have been an omen for Sanger as quarterback Brandon Mann was intercepted. Madison had its own problems on its first possession. Facing fourth-and-10 at their own 31, the Trojans tried a fake punt. But Derrick Smith was stopped well short by a strong tackle by Joseph Sharp and Sanger took over at the Trojans’ 32.
The first three plays on the ensuing drive were penalties, two against Sanger, but the Indians moved to the Madison 9. But two false starts, a 2-yard loss, an incompletion and three more penalties turned the first-and-goal into a fourth-and-29 where the drive stalled.
Sanger needed only one play, though, to get on the board. After a Sanger fumble, defensive back Tanner Thomas picked off Johnson and ran 55 yards untouched for the first score of the game with 3:13 left in the first quarter.
Madison’s first scoring drive came after Corey White ran for 21 yards on two carries, Willie Ross ran three times for 26 yards, and Jamon Brewer capped the eight-play, 64-yard drive with a 2-yard score to tie the game 7-7.
Sanger drove right back behind a 36-yard run by Thomas and a 26-yard run by Devin Teeters to get to the Madison 1. The Trojans’ defense, however, held and Sanger’s 24-yard field-goal attempt was no good. However, a personal foul penalty gave Sanger the ball at the 4. An offside penalty moved the ball to the 2 and Derek Shelby gave the Indians a 13-7 lead.
Johnson, though, completed two passes for 33 yards, Ross ran for 9 yards, and after an incompletion, Johnson connected with Brewer from 37 yards out to cap a 69-yard, six-play drive that gave Madison at 14-13 lead at intermission. It should have been more as the first half ended in bizarre fashion.
With about 30 second left, Madison had a fourth-and-1 at the Sanger 46 when Johnson fired a pass to Brewer over the middle. Brewer broke one tackle, scrambled to the sideline and broke another tackle on his way to the end zone. But just as he was about to cross the goal line, he was hit by a Sanger defender and the ball popped into the air.
Carter caught the ball about three yards deep in the end zone and scrambled up field. Several teammates came up with key blocks as Carter hugged the sideline for what appeared to be a 103-yard interception return. However, there were about five penalty flags on the field, all against Sanger, erasing the best run of the night.
The second half was all Madison as Johnson threw two touchdowns passes to Smith and a scoring strike to Brewer. Sanger added a late score when Teeters caught a 14-yard pass from Wyatt Broxson with 1:18 remaining.
Shelby led the Indians with 42 yards on 12 carries, while Teeters added 38 yards on four carries and Thomas rushed for 28 yards on six carries.
Dallas Madison 34, Sanger 19
S — Tanner Thomas 55 interception return (Kyle Johnson kick), 3:13
M — Jerome Brewer 2 run (David Garcia kick), 8:03
S — Derek Shelby 2 run (kick failed), 5:18
M — Jamon Brewer 37 pass from Randall Johnson (Garcia kick), 4:01
M — Derrik Smith 6 pass from Johnson (kick failed), 4:49
M — Smith 38 pass from Johnson (Garcia kick), 1:15
M — Brewer 19 pass from Johnson (Garcia kick), 11:55
S — Devin Teeters 14 pass from Wyatt Broxson (kick failed), 1:18
Rushing — M: Corey White 22-100, Willie Ross 8-60; Jerome Brewer 4-9, Derrik Smith 1-1. S: Derek Shelby 12-42, Devin Tetters 4-38, Tanner Thomas 6-28, Wyatt Broxson 12-28, Kion Evans 2-11, Kyle Link 1-4, Brandon Mann 1-0, Andrew Martinez 2-(-4).
Passing — M:Randall Johnson 16-29-254-1. S: Wyatt Broxson 9-14-50-1, Brandon Mann 1-2-2-1.
Receiving — M: Jamon Brewer 8-167, Derrik Smith 5-73, David Gallegos 1-8, Willie Ross 1-3, Cory White 1-3. S: Derek Shelby 4-20, Devin Teeters 2-20, Andrew Martinez 1-7, Brennan Bloom 1-6, Tyler Krahl 1-2, Tanner Thomas 1-(-3).
Sanger quarterback Wyatt Broxson (2) moves through the middle of the Dallas Madison defense Friday in Sanger.