A quick start led to a Madison Bulldogs' 34-18 win over the defending 11A champion Canton C-Hawks on Friday at Trojan Field in Madison.
The special teams of the Bulldogs helped Madison score two early touchdowns.
The Bulldogs blocked a punt on Canton's first punting situation. Three plays later, the Bulldogs hit paydirt. Nate Ricke tossed a 10-yard scoring strike to Carter Bergheim with 9:40 left in the opening period. Bergheim added the extra-point kick and the Bulldogs led 7-0. The scoring drive covered 25 yards in three plays.
The special teams came through for the Bulldogs on Canton's next possession. Trey Smith blocked a punt by the C-Hawks and Logan Allbee recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown with 7:07 left in the opening quarter. Bergheim kicked the extra point and Madison enjoyed a 14-0 advantage.
Madison scored twice in the second quarter. Ricke scored on a 54-yard run to cap off a 3-play, 64-yard drive. Bergheim booted the extra point and Madison led 21-0.
The Bulldogs added another TD with just one second left in the half. Ricke tossed a five-yard scoring strike to Bergheim to cap off a seven-play, 33-yard drive. The extra point was no good and Madison held a 27-0 halftime lead.
Canton outscored Madison 18-7 in the second half. The C-Hawks got on the board with 7:50 left in the third quarter. Luke Richardson capped off a five-play, 43-yard scoring drive with a three-yard scamper. The extra point was no good and the Bulldogs led 27-6.
Ricke hit Bergheim with 7:05 left in the third quarter. This time the scoring play covered 54 yards. Bergheim added the extra-point kick and Madison led 34-6. The scoring drive covered 54 yards in just two plays.
Richardson scored on one-yard plunge with 3:29 left in the third period. Seth Peterson tossed a 12-yard scoring strike to Payton Eben with 4:45 left in the game.
Madison had 206 total yards, 108 rushing and 98 passing. Ricke had 77 yards rushing on 15 carries. Chris Reece had 12 yards on four attempts.
Ricke was 5-of-15 passing for 98 yards. Bergheim caught three passes for 69 yards. Mickale Dohrer caught one pass for 22 yards.
Canton had 343 total yards, 167 rushing and 176 passing. Richardson ended the game with 64 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Peterson was 16-of-30 passing for 176 yards with one interception. Eben caught eight passes for 115 yards for the C-Hawks.
Smith ended the game with 16 tackles (7 solo, 9 assists). Allbee finished the game with 12 tackles (4-8). Zach Whitlock (7-3) and Peyton Wolf (4-6) each had 10 tackles and Bergheim had eight tackles (1-7). Whitlock had a pass interception.
Richardson had seven tackles (3-4) for the C-Hawks.
Madison (2-0) will host Dell Rapids at 7 p.m. on Friday at Trojan Field in a game that will feature two of the top Class A teams in the state.