The Madison Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a 40-7 thumping of the Dakota Valley Panthers in the quarterfinal round of the Class 11A playoffs at North Sioux City on Thursday night.
Madison marched 75 yards in four plays to hit paydirt on its first possession of the game. Nate Ricke tossed a 41-yard scoring strike to Carter Bergheim to put the Bulldogs on top 6-0.
The Bulldogs added another touchdown late in the second period and held a 13-0 halftime advantage. Ricke tossed his second touchdown pass of the game to Dillon Bickett covering 20 yards. Trey Smith kicked the extra-point. The scoring drive covered 75 yards in 11 plays.
Madison stretched its lead to 33-0 after three quarters as the Bulldogs added 20 points in the period. Chris Reece broke loose for a 57-yard touchdown run with 9:34 left in the third quarter. The scoring drive covered 57 yards on one play.
The defense got into the scoring act midway through the third quarter when Mike Peters picked off a Chayce Montagne pass and returned it 64 yards to paydirt. Smith added the extra-point kick.
Madison was not done scoring in the third period. Late in the quarter Ricke broke loose for a 36-yard touchdown run capping off a five-play, 52-yard scoring drive. Smith kicked the extra-point.
Reece scored Madison's last touchdown early in the fourth period. Reece capped off a five-play, 29-yard scoring drive with a one-yard plunge with 9:04 left in the game. Smith added the extra-point kick as Madison held a 40-0 advantage.
Dakota Valley scored late in the game to avoid a shutout. Montagne tossed a 35-yard scoring strike to Evan Foster with 3:23 left on the clock. Foster added the extra-point kick. The Panthers scoring drive covered 77 yards in eight plays.
Madison racked up 344 total yards, 235 rushing and 109 passing. Ricke ended the game with 128 yards rushing on 15 carries. Reece added 80 yards rushing on eight attempts.
Ricke was 6-of-14 passing for 109 yards. Bergheim caught four passes for 54 yards while Mickale Dohrer caught one pass for 35 yards.
Dakota Valley had 239 total yards, 134 rushing and 105 passing. Kobey June had 77 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Montagne was 4-of-11 passing for 76 yards with two interceptions. June was 1-of-1 passing for 29 yards. Foster caught two passes for 64 yards.
Zach Whitlock led the Bulldogs defensive charge with 14 tackles (7 solo and 7 assists). Logan Allbee (6-6) and Smith (4-8) each had 12 tackles. Allbee had one sack.
Peters and Peyton Wolf each had one interception for the Bulldogs.
Hunter Beving had eight tackles (6-2) and one sack for Dakota Valley.
Madison (6-4 overall) will hit the road once again on Friday night as the Bulldogs will go to Tea to face the Tea Area Titans in the semifinals of the Class 11A playoffs.
Other quarterfinal round scores were Tea Area over Lennox, forfeit win; Canton 21, Milbank 10 and West Central 16, Dell Rapids 14.