Yorktown postgame huddle

Yorktown High School head football coach Bruce Hanson talks to his team after it defeated host Madison in a region semifinal game with the scoreboard displaying the 25-10 final in the background. (Photo by Dave Facinoli)

With a semifinal victory led by an efficient, effective, confident and productive short-passing attack, the No. 3-seed Yorktown Patriots will next play for a region championship.

Led by senior quarterback Grant Wilson completing 22 of 30 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns, Yorktown (11-1) knocked off the No. 2-seed and host Madison Warhawks, 25-10, Nov. 22 in a 6D North Region Tournament semifinal high-school football game. The win was Yorktown's ninth in a row.

Next up, the Patriots face the undefeated, defending champion and host Westfield Bulldogs (12-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 in the region final, with the winner advancing to the Virginia High School League Class 6 state playoffs.

"We really embraced the underdog role for this game," Wilson said about facing Madison. "Our strategy on offense was to hit short passes in the flats, to have long drives, get first downs and score. Our offensive line allowed us to do that, and they never adjusted on defense."

Yorktown never trailed, taking a 6-0 lead on 33 and 31-yard field goals in the first and second quarters by Jonah Garufi. The score grew to 12-0 in the second period on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Max Patterson (seven catches, 111 yards and two TDs).

Madison (8-4) cut the score to 12-10 early in the third quarter. Yorktown responded with touchdowns on its next two possessions, the first a 45-yard fourth-down pass to Patterson and the second a one-yard Pius Atubire run, with Garufi making one conversion.

Atubire's TD came four plays after Madison fumbled and was stopped on fourth down in its own territory. Patterson's 45-yarder was a play called by Wilson at the line.

"They converted that fourth down for a touchdown, then we fumbled on fourth down on our next possession. Those two plays were the game," Madison coach Justin Counts said. "We knew we would keep fighting, but they answered back after we scored in the third quarter. Yorktown made more plays than we did, and we didn't tackle well."

Yorktown's scoring drives covered 12, eight, seven, seven and four plays, consuming a combined nearly 18 minutes.

Yorktown only gained 36 yards rushing.

"We were hoping we could run a little more than we did, but we figured we could move the ball throwing short. We were going to live or die with Grant passing," Yorktown coach Bruce Hanson said. 

Atubire had 35 yards rushing for Yorktown. Brendan Rindfusz had eight catches for 61 yards, Seth Roberts four for 32 yards and Evan Rotker three for 31. A 38-yard Wilson-to-Rindfusz pass set up Atubire's TD.

On defense for Yorktown, Sam Keenan had multiple tackles for losses with two sacks and broke up a pass; and James Brady, Charlie Rowe, Aidan Burnside, John Pius, Colby Distaso and Blake Burchert had multiple tackles, some for losses and sacks.

Madison had 212 total yards, only 76 passing.

NOTES: The region playoff meeting was the third between Madison and Yorktown since 2003. Madison blanked Yorktown, 20-0, in the 2003 Northern Region championship game, then downed the Patriots, 28-7, in a 2008 early-round contest. Since 2003, the teams had met eight times – including regular season and playoffs –  entering the Nov. 22 contest, with Madison holding a 6-2 edge in victories . . . Yorktown’s last victory over Madison prior to Nov. 22 was a 42-0 regular-season win in 2010.

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