Thursday, November 28, 2013
Going into the second round of the playoffs, North Augusta was looking for a strong performance from its defense. Senior Brandon Maddox brought one of his best games this season to his last home game, earning Star Player of the Week honors by racking up nine-and-a-half tackles and two-and-a-half sacks.
“I went out there and played as hard as I could,” Maddox said. “I didn’t have any problems with my injury, my knee. It felt good, and I was able to get after it out there.”
According to Dan Pippin, North Augusta’s head coach, Maddox has been playing all season on a torn ACL.
“He’s playing on one leg,” he said. “He tore his ACL in the spring and elected not to have surgery. He didn’t want to miss his senior year of football.”
During Friday’s game, the Jackets faced a run-heavy team in Beaufort, which required a huge effort from the defensive line, according to Joe Trahan, defensive line coach for North Augusta.
“He’s a leader for us on the line,” he said. “He’s always making his reads fast and reacts very quickly. He was able to take on his blocks very well and shed them to make plays. When he was needed to take on double-teams and stand up two guys, he did that as well.”
Pippin said shutting down Beaufort’s running game allowed the Jackets to advance to the next round.
“Stopping their running game was huge for us,” he said. “Forcing them to punt and then, later on, forcing them to throw made it a little bit easier for our offense.”
As for the next game, against undefeated Northwestern, Maddox is looking to put pressure on the quarterback to disrupt the offense.
“Normally, we play a team that runs the ball a little bit, but they (Northwestern) are only somewhat effective at running it,” he said. “Pass rushing wise, I think that we can all have good games. They’re not the Dallas Cowboys, I think we have a good chance at beating them.”
Trahan is hoping to see Maddox come through the same way he was able to against Beaufort, with a dominant effort to challenge the offensive rhythm of Northwestern.
“I’m expecting him to take on all blocks, play fast and make tackles for us,” he said. “He’s a leader for us, and we’ll need him on Friday.”