Geraldine, AL – In a thrilling Class 3A North semifinal showdown that kept spectators on the edge of their seats, the Madison Academy Mustangs emerged victorious over Geraldine with a score of 48-43. The victory was largely due to the exceptional performance of Mustangs senior Ken Cherry, who sprinted for an 11-yard touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the contest.
Cherry, showcasing his athletic prowess, ran for five touchdowns for the undefeated Mustangs (14-0). His scoring runs in the second quarter from 3, 2, and 3 yards out were followed by impressive 37 and 11-yard dashes in the fourth quarter.
This isn’t the first time Cherry has been the Mustangs’ saving grace. A week prior, he scored a touchdown with only 19 seconds left on the clock, securing a 35-28 win over Sylvania in the quarterfinals.
The Mustangs had a slight lead of 22-21 at halftime at Coolidge-Isbell Field in Geraldine. Josh Williams amplified the excitement with a 1-yard run in the third quarter and a 10-yard run in the fourth.
Geraldine’s Jaxon Colvin also put up a good fight, running for two touchdowns: a 28-yarder in the first quarter and another from the 3 right before halftime. He also threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Owen Walling in the fourth quarter. Carlos Mann contributed two touchdown runs for the Bulldogs, including a 73-yarder in the second quarter and another from the 1 in the fourth. Jordon Lankford added to the tally with a 14-yard touchdown in the third.
Despite trailing 43-36 with 5:16 left after Walling’s touchdown catch and Mann’s 2-point conversion run, the Mustangs managed to close the gap to 43-42, courtesy of Williams’ second touchdown at 2:44. The Mustangs then missed on a 2-point conversion run but managed to drive for the winning score with less than 2 minutes remaining.
Cherry finished the game with 22 carries for 188 yards and five touchdowns. Williams had 15 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson Reece caught 12 passes for 175 yards. Jake Poldiak completed 17-of-26 passes for 240 yards with one interception. For the Bulldogs, Mann had 27 carries for 174 yards and a pair of scores. Colvin had 14 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns and a TD pass.
Madison Academy is now set to face the unbeaten top-ranked Mobile Christian (14-0) in the 3A state title game on December 7th at 11 a.m. at Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Geraldine’s season comes to a close at 12-2, advancing to the semifinals for only the second time in program history.