During the third quarter of Friday's non conference matchup between Madison and Skyline, Madison quarterback Jordan Porter — with his pristine, white jersey riddled with grass stains and dirt — was knocked down by the Grizzlies front seven and looked up at the backline judge.
As his pass went over the head of his intended target, the senior quarterback threw his hands in the air in discontent.
It's an important image: Skyline is winning ugly. And in the win column, winnin' ugly looks the same as winnin' pretty.
Historically a slugfest between the two programs, Friday night at Ravsten Stadium was no different.
A defensive slugfest that saw just one score during the first 40 minutes, Skyline eventually halted a late Madison drive to win 13-6 after Brayden Jensen picked off Porter around the midfield line.
The win helps Skyline finish its regular season 7-2. The loss puts Madison at 6-3, as both teams prepare for their respective playoffs.
"It was our last game at Ravsten so it was a big deal for us to just find a way to get the win," Jensen said.
Brigham Castillow — who caused a fumble and interception Friday — said Madison's locker room was "disciplined" and determined after Friday night.
The Bobcats were held to just 242 yards of total offense and turned the ball over three times. Madison's six points scored were the least amount scored since last year's matchup with Highland.
Skyline, meanwhile, walk away prepared for a playoff grind, Grizzlies coach Scott Berger said.
"We weren't 'oh, let's get ready for Minico.' No, we wanted to beat Madison," Berger said. "We wanted to beat Madison because guess what, if we got a game to play, we gonna play."
Despite the game having no bearing on either team's postseason, Madison ramped up its defense — causing turnovers and holding Skyline's offense mostly in check.
The Grizzlies finished with 207 total yards and turned the ball over twice — eventually leaning on junior running back Luke Ruiz to maintain control in the second half.
Ruiz finished with 48 yards on 21 carries, 13 of those carries coming during the final 24 minutes.
"Our defense has always been good and Skyline's defense has always been good, so every year it's been a battle," Castillow said. "Same thing this year: defensive battle."
When asked about his big hit on Connor Maloney during the first half, which halted a Skyline drive deep in Madison territory and caused a fumble, Castillow said: "I just showed him who's daddy, you know?"
Maloney would eventually get the last laugh on "dad", though.
The sophomore wideout caught a fourth down, 13-yard pass from Easton Taylor with 1:42 left in regulation to put Skyline up a touchdown. It was Maloney 16th of the year.
The ensuing Madison drive, Jensen picked off Porter to seal Friday's win.
Despite scoring a combined 66 points during the final four weeks of the season, Skyline is winning any way possible.
"Like I told them two years ago, beating Bishop Kelly, I don't care if it's 50-49 or if its 2-0, let's just find a way to get her done," Berger said. "And that's gotta be the mindset here right now."
Madison — losers of two-straight — are looking for its offense.
"I think it was good for our defense ... we played with energy, we stopped them. I mean, I guess it hurts when were on the field so much but I think once our offense gets going, we'll start winning games," Castillow said.
Skyline plays Minico at Holt Arena next week to start the 4A state playoffs.
Madison, as of the Post Register's deadline, is scheduled to host the No. 12 at-large bid team in 5A.