By Robert Clark
For Madison Southern, it was mission accomplished.
The Eagles set a goal at the start of the season to play host a home playoff game and on Friday night they achieved that goal as they hammered South Laurel, 56-0.
It was the Eagles’ second shutdown this season — something they had not accomplished since 2005.
The Eagles (6-3. 4-1) finished in second place in their district and will take on Perry County Central on Nov. 2 in Berea.
“This is well deserved for all our players,” Southern coach Jon Clark said. “They’ve worked so hard. At the start of the season we worked them and treated them like a championship team and it worked. I’m proud of our staff, which has put the same kind of commitment to this program as our players.”
Everyone got involved in the Eagles’ offense.
Four players eclipsed 100 yards on the night, and five different players found the end zone, led by Damien Harris, who ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns, and Wes Proctor, who had 102 yards and two touchdowns.
Harris now has more than 1800 yards rushing on the season and school-record 36 touchdowns.
“We got other guys involved,” Clark said. “We had players step up to the challenge and they stepped up huge.
The Eagles ran for more than 400 yards and also showcased an efficient passing game. Southern completed 12-of-13 passes for more than 150 yards.
“We’ve known all season our passing game can be effective,” Clark said. “We have proven over the last two weeks we are capable of big plays.”
Defensively, the Eagles have improved dramatically over the course of the season, allowing only 18 points per game.
But late in games they have seemed to get comfortable and let teams play themselves back in the ball game.
That didn’t happen this time, despite numerous personal fouls and two different Cardinal players being ejected from the game.
“Out team kept focus,” Clark said. “We played defense and played to our standard.”
The Eagles will wrap up the regular-season against Garrard County Friday in Lancaster.