Hanover Park Stuns Madison

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Hanover Park Stuns Madison

Max Lenz, Contributing Writer

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In a stunning and emotional loss, the win streak of the Dodger football team came to an abrupt stop on Saturday. The Dodger football team, fueled by its 39th consecutive win, walked onto Twombly Field, past the Ted Monica plaque, amidst cheers from fans. The tension was palpable as the Hanover Park football team walked onto the field. Hanover Park was met with dead silence, except for one Hanover Park fan that was shouting, “39 is enough.” The stands were packed with cheering fans and students playing the vuvuzela.

Dodger fans poured in, hoping to see the Dodgers extend their winning streak to 40 consecutive wins. It was even sweeter that to get to number 40, Madison would have to beat Hanover Park. Madison’s rivalry with Hanover Park is present among all sports, not just football. Madison and Hanover Park, or HP, have been at each other’s throats since the beginning.

So when Hanover Park opened the scoring, Madison fans and players were not very amused. The shouting grew louder, and it grew even more when Darnell Golson responded with a return to the 47-yard line. The Dodgers pushed forward, and it looked as though they would respond with a field goal. However, Madison decided to go for it on 4th and 10 instead of taking the easy three points. HP stuffed Madison, and things only went downhill from there. Two drives later, AJ Schmitz threw an interception and Hanover scored on the next drive making it 14-0.

It remained that way until the half, where a Madison High School alumnus said, “We’re going to lose this game.” Dodger fans were losing hope, and getting frustrated at a lack of what should have been easy plays to execute. In the 3rd quarter, Hanover Park received, and on the first drive of the second half scored, making it 20-0. There was a semblance of hope when HP failed to convert the extra point and two drives later Noah Gertler evaded numerous tackles to score, making the score 20-7. Dodger players started to get frustrated, they were making mistakes they should not have made, and were conceding far too many penalties.

AJ Schmitz was taken off the field with a problem in his leg and Sam North took over.  Both teams traded possession until the 4th quarter where Hanover Park scored after a series of excruciating first downs. Some Madison fans were leaving early, not able to watch the record-breaking streak break down. Senior Ovi Ortiz summed up the loss saying, “It was like a nightmare and you ask yourself this can’t be happening, please let this be a dream.”

The game ended with a final score of 27-7 and Hanover Park broke Madison’s stunning streak. While the end of the streak was devastating, it was good to see that Madison lost just as it wins, with class. Hanover Park players were running all over the field, taunting Madison fans and players. However, Madison held their heads up high and lined up to shake hands with the Hanover Park players and coaching staff, never once saying or doing anything that would not accurately reflect the character of Madison and its community. Madison will enter their next game with a chip on their shoulder, needing to prove that they are as good as they were the last two years.