WEIRTON - Madonna rode a 21-point second quarter to capture a 49-6 homecoming victory last night over Fort Frye at the new Jimmy Carey Stadium.
Juniors Will Bowser with three interceptions and a touchdown as a receiver and Ross Comis, who rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns and passed for another 166 yards led the Blue Dons. Another junior, Elliott Nero gained 69 yards on the ground and had two touchdowns.
On top of that, the Blue Don defense stymied the Cadets allowing just 87 total yards on the ground and 67 through the air and another junior, Travis Brown intercepted a Cadet pass.
"It was an overall team effort tonight," said Madonna head coach, Doug Taylor, whose team was winning its second game in three starts. "We've been playing well defensively all year. We work hard to take the run game away. The old saying is we want to stop the run and tackle the pass and that's what we did tonight."
The Blue Dons didn't show any rust from having a week off as they took the opening kickoff in play at its own 30 and marched down the field in three plays for a touchdown. Comis kept the ball for 20 yards on the first play of the game then Nero got three yards and broke free for 38 more to the Fort Frye nine. On the next play, Comis slid down the line to his right and picked a hole outside of his right tackle and plowed into the end zone taking a couple of Cadet defenders with him.
It took the Dons just two minutes and four seconds to score as sophomore kicker split the uprights giving Madonna the early lead. Green was a perfect seven for seven in extra point kicks.
Madonna scored again early in the second period when Nero sliced between his right guard and tackle into the end zone from four yards out.
Bowser set up the scoring drive returning a Justin Massey punt from his 27 to the 42. The drive was a quickie again taking just six plays. Two Comis passes highlighted the drive. He found junior Nate Guio for 24 yards and senior Garrett Hypes for 13.
The Cadets put a damper on Madonna's touchdown parade for awhile driving on its next possession for 67 yards and a touchdown. The score came on a six-yard pass from Chandler Lang to Terren Huck. Lang's extra point kick missed leaving the Blue Dons with a 14-6 lead midway through the second period.
"They scared us a little there because we knew this team could score points in bunches with their speed," Taylor said. "We had our moments there in the second quarter where our offense kind of sputter a bit. It think that was because we had the layover where we didn't play last week.
"I knew the kids would pull together and they did with a couple of touchdowns before the half. Then we got into the locker room at halftime and made some adjustments. I thought we played a lot better in the second half."
Bowser's first interception set up the next Madonna score. He picked off a Chandler Lang pass at the Madonna 46 and returned it back to the Fort Frye 43.
On the first play from scrimmage, Comis broke through the line on a keeper and scampered to pay dirt relieving the pressure a little with a 21-6 score.
The Cadets got caught deep in their own territory on their next possession and Massey was forced to punt from his own 12-yard line. The ball rolled dead at the Fort Frye 39 and four plays later, Nero blasted up the middle from four yards out for his second touchdown that gave the Blue Dons a commanding 28-6 halftime lead.
Early in the third period, Comis got loose for what appeared to be a 70-yard touchdown run, but it was called back by a holding penalty at the line of scrimmage.
An outstanding catch of a Comis pass by Marcello Biondillo for a 30-yard gain set up the score.
After the halftime homecoming festivities during which Taylor Pavan was crowned homecoming queen, Brown's interception set up a touchdown. He picked off the pass at the Madonna 44 and returned it all the way to the Fort Frye 23.
Madonna stayed on the ground with this drive except for a Comis to Bowser 80-yard pass and scored when Comis kept the ball on third down at the Cadet 1 and plowed in for the score. That made it 35-6.
Once again, the Cadets were forced to punt from deep in their own territory after the drive on their next possession sputtered.
The Blue Dons set up shop at their own 48. Comis hit Bowser for a nine-yard gain and Bowser made an outstanding catch by leaping over a defender at the Fort Frye 20 yard. He was able to gather in the football, keep his balance and dash to the end zone.
"Will is an outstanding athlete and tonight he got to showcase his talent," said Taylor.
Bowser wasn't done, though as he snagged his third interception of the game off of a tipped ball from a Cadet receiver to set up Madonna's final score.
Junior Gabe Hypes was inserted at quarterback and he led 11-play scoring drive taking it in himself on a one-yard keeper.
"Our kids played hard and to the best of their ability, but sometimes you run into a team that has size and ability," said Fort Frye coach, Eric Huck, whose team record dropped to 2-2. "Madonna played well and executed tonight. We haven't had a problem with tipping the ball all season. We'll have to clean that up and just make better throws and better catches."
Madonna 49, Fort Frye 6
Fort Frye 0 6 0 0 - 6
Madonna 7 21 7 14 - 49
M: Comis 9 run (Green kick)
M: Nero 4 run (Green kick)
FF: C. J. Huck 6 pass from C. Lang (kick failed)
M: Comis 43 run (Green kick)
M: Nero 4 run (Green kick)
M: Comis 1 run (Green kick)
M: Bowser 43 pass from Comis (Green kick)
M: Gabe Hypes 1 run (Green kick)
RUSHING: Fort Frye: 31-87 (S. Lang 12-39, Shilling 7-13, Massey 2-7, Yates 1-3, C. Lang 9-25). Madonna: 51-240 (Gabe Hypes 7-34-1TD, Nero 11-69-2TD, Biondillo 1-2, Maus 2-7, Comis 13-128-3TD)
PASSING: Fort Frye: 8-20-67-1TD-4INT (all by C. Lang); Madonna: 11-18-170-1TD (Comis 10-16-166-1TD, Gabe Hypes 1-2-4)
RECEIVING: Fort Frye: Huck 3-18-1TD, S. Lang 3-30, Shuster 1-9, Massey 1-11; Madonna: Guio 1-24, Garrett Hypes 1-13, Nero 1-9, Ewusiak 1-5, Biondillo 2-46, Bowser 4-69-1TD.
FIRST DOWNS: Fort Frye 9, Madonna 13.
FUMBLES: Fort Frye 1-0; Madonna 2-1
PENALTIES: Fort Frye 2-10, Madonna 4-35