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Madison Heights

November 7, 2012

Madison football season ends after playoff loss to Detroit Consortium

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Madison quarterback Nick Wallace looks to pass the ball during the Eagles’ opening-round playoff loss to Detroit Consortium. Although they only returned four starters from last year’s squad, the Eagles found a way to finish the season with an overall record of 8-2.

Madison Heights Madison’s football season has come to a close after an 8-3 loss to Detroit Consortium in an opening-round playoff game Oct. 26.

Despite his disappointment that the season ended sooner than he would have liked, coach Drake Wilkins can look back on the Eagles’ campaign with a positive perspective.

In spite of only returning four starters from the 2011 team, Madison finished with a regular- season record of 8-1, won seven consecutive games prior to its loss to Consortium and captured a Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title.

Running back Juan Johnson, a player Wilkins was relying heavily upon to help carry the Eagles’ offensive load, was one of those returning starters. When he was lost in Week 4 with a season-ending injury, Wilkins learned a few things about his young team.

“They’re just fighters,” he said. “It’s (as) simple as that. A lot of times, we were on the field with teams that probably was much more talented than we were. But we were fighters, and you could see that in several of the games. In a lot of games, we had come-from-behind victories. We believed in each other. (The players) believed in the coaching staff, and the coaching staff believed in the players.”

With this season now completed, Wilkins has already started to think about next year. He has an idea as to what he would like to see from his team as it attempts to build on its accomplishments.

“Taking care of both rooms,” Wilkins said. “That’s the classroom and the weight room. As long as we do that, we won’t lose anybody for academic reasons. We get in the weight room, we become bigger, stronger, faster. The talent is going to take care of itself — put the work in.”

Taking to the field with such a young squad, Wilkins admits that he wasn’t expecting the kind of success this year’s Eagles had until next year. But with some experience now under their belt, and the expected return of Johnson to the lineup, his expectations will be vastly different entering next season.

“The future’s bright,” he said. “You still have to get the job done, but it looks a lot more promising than it did this year starting out.  We’re a step ahead of the pace. We should be a team to be reckoned with next year.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.