|VIDEO: Madison scores in final seconds, tops Lenape Valley in final|
A touchdown pass with just 15 seconds to play gave the Madison football team another championship to celebrate. Michael Kearney hit Matt Mulcahy with the 17-yard pass as the Dodgers pulled out a tough 13-7 win over Lenape Valley at MetLife Stadium in the North 2, Group II final.
Kearney led Madison 58 yards in less than two minutes to break a tie score that had held since the middle stages of the second quarter. The senior quarterback hit Mulcahy with a 26-yard pass two plays before the winning touchdown.
This final was a far cry from the first meeting between these two teams, which ended in a 45-42 Madison win in the season opener. This time, Lenape Valley broke on top on a Michael Josephs 32-yard run late in the first quarter.
Josephs also had an interception in the first period, but was injured in the second quarter and saw limited action the rest of the way.
Madison tied the game after recovering a Lenape Valley fumble in Patriots' territory. Kearney capped a quick two-play drive with a 13-yard run to tie the game.
On a windy night in the Meadowlands, neither team had any passing luck until the final moments. Lenape Valley never completed a pass, but did pile up more than 200 rushing yards.
Troy DuPont led the Patriots with 81 yards rushing, while Stevie Leyden had 65 yards and Khalid Dickerson added 34. Lenape Valley was hurt by a pair of fumbles, and also threw an interception on a desperation pass in the final seconds.
Kearney had 110 rushing yards, while going 3-for-8 passing for 52 yards. The Dodgers overcame a pair of turnovers that stopped promising drives in the first half.
It's the second straight sectional title for Madison, and its fifth championship in the last seven seasons. The Dodgers finished 12-0 this year and will ride a 21-game winning streak into 2017.
Lenape Valley finished 10-2, with both losses coming against Madison. The Patriots were looking to win their first sectional title since 1999 for veteran coach Don Smolyn, who wrapped up his 40th season coaching at the school.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school football state playoffs sectional final game, click play in the box at left.