CHURUBUSCO — The Churu-busco Eagles moved to 11-0 Friday for the first time in the school’s history, beating Madison-Grant 28-20.
With the win, the team is also advancing to the sectional championship at Bishop Luers.
It was one of the closest contests of the season for the Eagles.
Madison-Grant took the opening possession and matriculated down the field on the feet of Cedric Presley, who had two runs of 32 yards on the first drive.
Argyll Tyler Young scored from one-yard out, taking the lead 7-0.
Young and Presley served as workhorses the entire game.
The two combined for 38 carries, 261 yards, two touchdowns and accounted for nine of Madison-Grants 13 first downs.
Off a solid return from Cory Miller, the Eagles began in Argyll territory.
Three plays later, however, quarterback Alex Zolman was intercepted in the end-zone by Brady Franklin, giving Madison-Grant a touchback.
Three plays after that the Argylls found themselves in fourth-and-short territory.
Cody Douglas ran for eight yards to convert and keep the drive going.
Madison-Grant made it all the way to the Eagle 23-yard line, barely missing a 40-yard field goal attempt.
The kick was straight, it simply fell just feet short of the goal-post.
Churubusco then took over.
Six plays and 80 yards later, Jason Nicodemus scored on a 10-yard run and the game was tied at seven.
The teams then took turns attempting to give the other’s offense opportunities to score.
Madison-Grant had a turnover-on-downs; Nicodemus made them pay with a 51-yard touchdown scamper.
The Argylls took the next possession 63 yards in six plays and Young also got his second touchdown of
the night with just under two minutes left in the half.
‘Busco had it’s full array of time outs to work with, but fumbled the ball and Madison-Grant took a knee, leaving the game knotted 13-13 at halftime.
The Eagles took the second-half kickoff but were halted at the Argyll 20-yard line.
Parker Conrad connected on a 37-yard field goal to give ‘Busco the lead, 16-13.
They would not trail or be tied again.
“(At halftime) we simplified things a little on defense,” said Churubusco Head Coach Lee Etzler. “We knew they were good. Anyone who sees No. 23 (Presley) carry the ball once, you understand he’s a tough kid to bring down.”
Thanks top the running game, defense and clock management of the Eagles, Madison-Grant would only see the ball three times in the second half.
Those looks resulted in a punt, a lost fumble and late touchdown pass from Franklin to Douglas.
On consecutive sets of downs, Zolman converted — first to Corey Sarrazin and then to Nicodemus — third down passes to help ‘Busco keep possession for most of the fourth quarter.
Zolman earlier converted a third-and-thirteen to Sam Siddons in the third quarter to sustain another drive.
“It helped us on defense because we were able to settle down and control the ball a bit more in the second half,”
Miller helped chew fourth-quarter clock with four carries for 58 yards.
Josh LeFever also contributed significantly to the Eagle run game, rushing 11 times for 87 yards.
Nicodemus again carried a majority of the workload with the ground attack.
With a minute left in the third quarter, Nicodemus scored his third touchdown of the game.
Amist the clock domination of the fourth, he scored from seven yards out, giving him a total of four touchdowns to go along with his 22 carries and 203 rushing yards.
With under two minutes left in the game with the score 28-20, Madison-Grant’s last change came when they attempted an onside kick.
Fittingly, Nicodemus fell on it.
Churubusco will travel to Fort Wayne next week to face Fort Wayne Bishop Luers.