By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The Madison County High School Cowboys proudly brought home the title of Florida 3A State Runners-Up following their heartbreaking defeat on Saturday, December 10 against Delray Beach American Heritage. The two teams were competing in the Florida 3A State Championship, played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
Competition began at 1 p.m. and the balmy Orlando weather, combined with the nervous anticipation of the game, had both teams sweating. The Cowboys opened up the game kicking off to American Heritage. The defense stayed strong and held American Heritage to a score of 0-0 for the first half of the game.
In the second half, American Heritage kicked off to the Cowboys. With about 11 minutes left in the third quarter, American Heritage scored, bringing the score to 7-0. Madison quickly responded with a field goal to bring the score to 7-3. American Heritage would score two more times in the third, to bring the score to 21-3.
Until the end of the fourth quarter the Cowboys were able to prevent American Heritage from scoring. Then, with about a minute left on the clock, American Heritage was able to score both a field goal and a touchdown. Due to a missed point after attempt, the final score of the game was 30-3.
While the outcome of the game did not turn out the way that both the Cowboys and their fans had hoped, that did not lessen the pride felt by everyone watching. The Cowboys finished their season with a national ranking of 173, no small feat for a school of Madison’s size. The Cowboys fought hard and remained a team throughout the game, truly living up to their “FAMILY: Forget About Me, I Love You” mindset.
During the awards ceremony following the game, the Cowboys were awarded with the title of Florida 3A State Runners-Up. The seniors were called to the podium and were presented with a trophy recognizing this prestigious honor. Each player also received a medal recognizing that they had competed in the State Championship game.
The Cowboys finished the season 13-2, with no losses at home. Few would have expected their record to be so strong following the loss of their first regular season game against Colquitt County. This was their first and only loss during the regular season.
The Cowboys would rebound from that loss by defeating their next 13 opponents. During the regular season they defeated Suwannee 40-8, Jefferson County 42-7, Trinity Christian 27-7, Taylor County 55-14, Providence 47-0, Pine Forest 42-21, Pensacola Catholic 49-6, Gainesville 21-17 and Florida High 39-13.
In the first round of play-offs, they defeated Episcopal 45-3. In the second round they trampled Trinity Christian 42-0. They then beat Trinity Catholic 14-0 in the third round of playoffs.
During regular season the Cowboys scored a total of 382 points, but only had 112 points scored on them. During playoffs the Cowboys scored 104 points against their opponents, but only had 33 points scored against them, 30 of which came from American Heritage.
Congratulations on a great season Cowboys, and on being named the Florida 3A State Runners-Up!