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Running for a milestone in Centennial

Cedric Madden has averaged nearly 120 yards per game.
Dickinson athletics photo by James Rasp

There is a proud tradition of running backs and dual-threat quarterbacks at Dickinson. The Red Devils led the Centennial Conference in rushing from 1988-1996 and again in 2000, 2001, 2008, and 2009. The team boasted a whopping 333.7 rushing yards per game in 1994. Yet, Cedric Madden has a chance to do something that has not been done at the school since 1992.

Through five games, the junior running back has amassed 106 carries for 596 yards and two touchdowns, and is second on the team with 12 receptions for 170 yards and a score. He leads the conference in rushing, by over 100 yards. Dickinson’s last 1,000-yard rusher was Alex Plomaritis in 1992. That is the longest drought in the conference. Only Franklin and Marshall (Andy Surtz, the program’s lone back to break the barrier, in 1996) comes close, as every other program has had at least one rusher eclipse the century mark since 2002.

“We expect our tailback to be a focal part of our offense,” said coach Darwin Breaux, who has coached several talented rushers – often at the same time – but has not yet coached a 1,000-yard rusher in his 21 years at Dickinson. “If it happens, it’s certainly something good for our offense.”

Until being contacted for this column, Madden was unaware of the program’s 21-year drought. He does know that he’s on track for 1,000 yards, a common goal for a starting running back. He last reached the mark in his senior season at Chestnut Hill Academy.

“It’s a goal that I’ve set for myself each year going back to high school,” said Madden. “It’s definitely a realistic goal now.”

This wasn’t supposed to be Madden’s breakout year. He was slated to again split carries with classmate Shawn Wilson, who led the team in rushing with 772 yards last season. Wilson went down with a knee injury in the spring and had surgery that will force him to miss the entire 2014 season. That shifted the burden to Madden, Wilson’s childhood teammate in Philadelphia.

“It’s not pressure, but it is a bigger responsibility,” said Madden. “I’m okay with that.”

The last Red Devil to lead the conference in rushing was Chris Hughes in 1995, with just 688 yards. Hughes was part of the 1994 backfield, along with Andrew Hinkel and quarterback John Tice, that amassed more than 3,000 rushing yards. Quarterback Ian Mitchell came close in 2009, finishing with 927 rushing yards.

This year, quarterback Cole Ahnell returned as the team’s leading rusher (517 yards in 2013, to Madden’s 340), and continues to be a running threat. He has carried for 301 yards...

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Columnist

Adam Turer

Adam Turer graduated in 2006 from Washington and Lee University, where he was a two-year starter at free safety. He lives in Cincinnati and covers area high school sports in addition to his full-time job as an attorney. Adam has contributed to D3football.com since 2007 and is in his third season as Around the Mid-Atlantic columnist.

2007-2011 columnist: Ryan Tipps
2003-2006: Pat Cummings
2000: Keith McMillan
1999: Pat Coleman 

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