Madison Central boys repeat as 6A champs
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:00 PM
CLINTON-For the first hour of Friday night's 6A Championship game at Arrow Stadium in Clinton, it looked like the Madison Central's boys had met their match in the South State Champion Brandon Bulldogs.
In the second hour, it was obvious they had not.
Ridge Brohaugh scored two goals and head coach Cecil Hinds' Jaguars clinched their second straight state title with a 3-0 win Friday night at Arrow Stadium in Clinton.
"It is just an awesome feeling," Hines said. "This was a fun group to coach this year, and I told them at the start of the season to finish on top."
The orange and blue wrapped up one of the most impressive playoff runs in history with a third shutout in four post-season wins. They had recently defeated Warren Central 6-0, Olive Branch 1-0 and Northwest Rankin 2-1.
For nearly all of the first half Friday, the defending 6A champs were reacting, fighting off relentless Bulldog attacks and trying to keep keeper Austin Bradford's load as light as possible.
At halftime, the crowd of 3,000 started to grow restless, as temperatures dipped below freezing. The Jags (22-1-2) gave them plenty to cheer about in the second half.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Jags broke through when senior midfielder Lewis Tillman launched a long pass to Brohaugh, who spun and buried the ball into the back of the goal, just past the out-stretched hands of Brandon's diving keeper.
Just over four minutes later, it was Brohaugh again, this time heading it in from 10 yards out to give Madison Central the 2-0 lead.
"I think in the first half we were playing a lot of defense and we couldn't really get in any kind of rhythm," Brohaugh said. "In the second half, we created a lot more opportunities and we took advantage of them. I think a lot of guys realized it was the last game of the season, and some of them the last game of their careers."
One of those seniors, midfielder Gillian Watson, added a third goal when he booted a screaming shot to the left corner of the goal from 30 yards out.
Brandon (18-5-3) was vying for it's fifth state title.
"(In the) First half, we got our shots off, but they wouldn't fall," Brandon coach Randy West told reporters. "Second half, we didn't really control the game like we wanted too and Madison took advantage of opportunities."
Hinds became the sixth coach to lead both a boys and girls team to a state title in the same season.
With two state titles in two seasons, Brohaugh said he and his teammates would enjoy the championship, but be ready to gear up for the three-peat next season.
"With the coaches we have and the talent coming back," he said. "We expect to be right back here next season."
Madison Central seniors included keeper Austin Bradford, defenders Patrick Wagner and Derek Marshall, Midfielders Watson, Tillman and Malik Barakat, and Forward Eric Benton.