Madden king Henry Leverette wins his fifth MCS title belt in Ultimate Wild Card tournament

By Nick Shook, Around the NFL Writer

The king is back on top.

Henry Leverette earned his fifth Madden Championship Series belt on Wednesday night in the Madden 23 Ultimate Wild Card tournament. With his victory, Henry reset the record for most title belts won by one player in competitive Madden history.

Henry secured his record-setting belt by fighting his way through the final eight of the Ultimate Wild Card tournament, reaching the championship game by taking down Cole, who made his first appearance in a final eight event. Another rising talent, Mr. Football 88, couldn’t pull off the upset over the greatest Madden player of all time.

After falling behind 14-3 in the first half, the underdog Mr. Football clawed his way back into the game, taking a 17-14 lead in the third quarter. Henry failed to capitalize on a prime opportunity to regain the lead, missing an open receiver up the seam inside the red zone before tying the game at 17-17 with a field goal to enter the fourth quarter in a deadlocked affair.

Mr. Football’s chance of victory evaporated on third-and-13 early in the fourth, tossing up a prayer into coverage where it was easily intercepted. From there, Henry drained the remaining clock, moving into field goal range to kick a game-winner to win the tournament and add another belt to his growing tower of hardware.

With his victory, Henry earned a $75,000 first-place prize and secured a first-round bye in the final — and most lucrative — tournament of the year, the Ultimate Madden Bowl. He also pushed his career earnings north of $600,000.

Henry reached the final four by taking down Astro in the quarterfinals, then found himself in a dogfight with Cole’s Chargers in the semifinals. After the two competitors traded interceptions, Cole took a 7-3 lead, then opened the second half with a fantastic touchdown drive to push his advantage over the top player in Madden to 21-13.

Experience paid off for Henry, though, with the three-time MCS belt winner responding with a touchdown and game-tying two-point conversion to apply pressure on his challenger. Cole crumbled under it, forcing a pass into man coverage for an interception. Henry finished things off by methodically driving down the field, converting a fourth-and-13 to set himself up for a 49-yard field goal to win, 24-21.

Both challengers to the throne gave their best to the king, and after falling short of a belt in the Ultimate Thanksgiving tournament (which was won by upstart 17-year-old Dez), Henry is back on top.

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