December 2, 2020

Despite five-week delay to open 2020, Madison took care of business in its district, and season, opener

Madison didn’t have room for error when its season and district opener fell on the same day last week.

Despite the unusual offseason due to COVID-19, Madison coach Marcus Gates didn’t see his players skip a beat in the 35-19 win over Maypearl, which gives Madison a head start in District 7-3A Div. I.

Entering the game with only a scrimmage against city-rival Carter, Gates said it was important to have a team that was able to physically ready and conditioned to go the entire game. Having his team in the best physical shape possible was a big factor in the Trojans’ win over Maypearl.

“I saw a team that was well conditioned and excepted well on special teams,” Gates said. “If we keep that going and replicate that, we should be fine.”

Gates said his players were excited to finally get to play but reminded his team that they needed to stay disciplined in order to win. Maypearl entered the game with five games played and a 4-1 record.

Dallas ISD schools delayed their seasons in conjunction with county guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19, though schools in some neighboring counties have been playing since August.

“We knew that Maypearl would be in pretty good shape and execute their offense and their defense,” Gates said. “For us, we wanted to make sure we can match that. We replicated that in practice – and it helped us to get ready to play.”

Madison only has five games scheduled during the regular season — all district games.

Junior quarterback Chris Tucker threw for 273 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the win. Despite the two turnovers Gates said he thought the dual-threat quarterback did a good job of managing the game.

“If you know Chris, you know he never really gets angry,” Gates said. “He rarely smiles but he’s a team player. He’s a confident kid.”

Moving forward, Gates said he wanted to see a more balanced offense from both his passing and running game and hopes to eliminate making mistakes that cost the Trojans points. Gates said Madison actually scored 49 points instead of 35 but had two touchdowns called back due to penalties.

Overall, Gates said he couldn’t be happier with his squad’s performance to win an important district win to open the season.

Madison will face Whitney on Oct. 16 for the second game of its season, against another district opponent in Whitney.

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