HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Primetime Performer: Maddux Madsen Fills Void Left By Boone Abbott

Aug 29, 2019, 2:54 AM | Updated: 9:29 am

AMERICAN FORK, Utah – Last year, the American Fork Cavemen were nearly unstoppable on offense scoring over 37 point per game. This year features some new faces, but the Cavemen offense is still rolling.

Through the first two weeks of the season, they lead 6A in scoring at 42.5 points per game. They’re led by sophomore quarterback Maddux Madsen who is a first time starter at the varsity level.

“I’ve really liked it,” said Madsen. “It’s just fun to compete at a higher level than what I’ve been competing at.”

Madsen has big shoes to fill. He follows Boone Abbott who threw for 4,479 yards and 48 touchdowns in 2018. Madsen hasn’t skipped a beat throwing for six touchdowns and leading the Cavemen to wins over Lehi and Timpview.

“Last year as a freshman, he was the number two,” said head coach Aaron Behm. “It was a fairly smooth transition for him this year to come out and compete and he’s done well the first two weeks.”

His teammates have noticed a similarity between the two players.

“‘Mad Dog’ has watched Boone a lot and he’s aggressive [like Boone],” said wide receiver Tanner Holden. “It’s awesome to see him pick up after Boone and just sling it.”

Abbott’s play isn’t the only thing Madsen is trying to replicate.

“He taught me how to be a leader [even if I’m not a captain],” Madsen explained. “Our captains are great, but being a leader of an offense is a whole different thing.”

He’s getting some help with the transition by a talented group of receivers. The Cavemen lose Chase Roberts but return three starters at wide receiver: Devin Downing, Holden, and Peyton Wilson.

“It’s nice to have guys you can trust and just be able to know that when you throw a ball that they’re going to catch it,” said Madsen.

Downing hauled in 79 catches for 1,298 yard and 15 touchdowns as a junior and draws a lot of attention from defenses giving opportunities for the other receivers.

“He’ll get double-teamed several times which leaves Tanner open on the other side. It’s nice to have two guys who can ball,” said Madsen.

Developing chemistry in the off-season has helped them come a long way.

“Me and Devin have worked with him all season, all spring, all summer,” said Holden. “Our coaches have been helping us work on timing, making sure that when we break that he’s ready to throw the ball.”

The work is showing on the field. Against Timpview on Friday, Madsen and Holden connected for four touchdowns.

“I think that was one of the best games of my life,” said Holden.

It was a big win for the program who suffered back-to-back heartbreaking losses against the Thunderbirds the last two seasons.

“I felt like they rallied around each other and said ‘we’re just gonna play as hard as we can and whatever happens, happens’ and good things happened,” said Behm.

The Cavemen hit the road again this week traveling to Nevada to face Arbor View High School on Friday night.

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