DALLAS — Dallas Madison opened their season with a convincing 28-6 win over Sanger on Friday night at Pleasant Grove Stadium.
Led by 128 yards from running back Trey Gardener, the Trojans opened up a large lead early and never looked back.
Madison took advantage of great field position on their first drive, using three Gardener runs to get down to the Indians’ 3-yard line. The drive slowed and a penalty pushed the Trojans back. Facing a fourth-and-goal from the 20, Madison opted to go for it, and Draylon Jeffery hit Carlton Duncan for a touchdown pass to go ahead 7-0 with 8:05 left in the first quarter.
After Sanger’s next drive stalled when their fake punt attempt came up 2 yards short, Draylon Jeffery quickly drove Madison down inside the Indians’ red zone. After the drive slowed, Madison again went for a long fourth-down attempt, converting on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Daniel McCullough.
Sanger had a golden opportunity to get back in the game early in the second quarter. Madison fumbled on the Indians’ 3-yard line and it appeared that Jarod Huther had scooped it up and returned it for a 97-yard touchdown. However, the run was called back due to a block in the back. Two plays later, Sanger fumbled inside their own twenty.
It took just four plays for Jeffery to get the Trojans back in the end zone. Facing another fourth down, he hit Donny Ebank on a 14-yard fade to the back of the end zone, giving them a 21-0 lead at the half.
Madison tacked on another score midway through the third quarter when Jeffery and Ebank connected again, this time from 13 yards out. Sanger would finally respond on the first play of the fourth quarter when Brandon Mann threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Link, but the rally was too little too late.
After the game, Madison head coach Marcus Gates had high praise for his running back, Gardener.
“Trey is our offense, and we are going to feed him,” he said.
On his early decisions to go for fourth-down attempts, Gates said, “We approach every game like a playoff game, that’s what makes the guys so clutch.”
Jeffery had 112 passing yards and two touchdowns, both to Ebank, who had four receptions for 70 yards. Mann led the way for Sanger in the losing effort, rushing for 42 yards and throwing a touchdown.
Sanger next plays host to Liberty Christian on Friday night.
Dallas Madison 28, Sanger 6
MI — Carlton Duncan 20 pass from Draylon Jeffery (David Garcia kick)
MI — Daniel McCullough 16 pass from Draylon Jeffery (David Garcia kick)
MI — Donny Ebank 14 pass from Draylon Jeffery (David Garcia kick)
MI — Donny Ebank 13 pass from Draylon Jeffery (David Garcia kick)
SN — Kyle Link 5 pass from Brandon Mann (Dakota Branch kick failed)
Rushing — MI: Trey Gardener 17-128, Draylon Jeffery 10-33, Keonta Wilson 1-1, David Brown 1-1, Carlton Duncan 1-0, Team Stat 2--2, Daniel McCullough 2--4, Derrick Blakemore 3--10, SN: Brandon Mann 24-42, Tre’von Jackson 17-30, Turner Barnes 6-24, Baley Garza 1-9.
Passing — MI: Draylon Jeffery 8-12-0-112, SN: Brandon Mann 11-21-1-75.
Receiving — MI: Donny Ebank 4-70, Carlton Duncan 1-20, Daniel McCullough 2-20, Trey Gardener 1-2, SN: Kyle Link 5-24, Wyatt Broxson 2-16, Turner Barnes 1-12, Tre’von Jackson 1-11, Baley Garza 1-8, Josh Secrest 1-4.