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Cowboys exorcise Red Devils

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.

It is a standard that is becoming more and more of a challenge to meet. During practice sessions leading up to the game against Williston High School on Friday, Sept. 14, Madison County High School (MCHS) Head Coach Mike Coe challenged his team to play up to the standards they have created for the program. It didn't take the Cowboys long to do just that as they cruised to a 46-6 win over the Red Devils.

After the Cowboys' defense held the Red Devils to a three-and-out on their first possession, the Cowboys had the ball on their own 35-yard line. Then, on the Cowboys' first offensive play of the game, Cowboy quarterback Travis Jay hit receiver Daquarius "DT" Thompkins for a 65-yard touchdown pass. The point after touchdown (PAT) was unsuccessful and the score was 6-0 in the early moments of the first quarter. The next Red Devils drive stalled at the 30-yard line and a short punt set the Cowboys up at mid-field. The Cowboys quickly drove the ball inside the Red Devil five-yard line. Then Jay punched the ball over the goal line for the second touchdown of the evening for the Cowboys.  This time, Thomas Miller's PAT split the uprights and the score was 13-0 with 5:15 remaining in the opening period. The next Williston drive went three-and-out, and the Cowboys were on the move again. The next Cowboy drive was capped off by a 17-yard touchdown run by Jay. Another successful PAT made the score 20-0 with 2:15 still to go in the first quarter. The ever-stingy Cowboy defense held the Red Devils to another three-and-out, and the Cowboys' offense was again in business at the 45-yard line as the first quarter came to a close. Then, Melvin Brown made a catch on a long pass from Jay to give the Cowboys another first-and-goal at the Red Devils' five-yard line. Next, Vinsonta Allen found pay-dirt on a five-yard touchdown run. The PAT was good and the Cowboys now held a 27-0 lead just five seconds into the second quarter. Williston was held to another three-and-out on their next possession and the Cowboys had great field position at the Williston 22-yard line. The Cowboys' drive stalled and they attempted a 35-yard field goal. Miller's kick had plenty of distance, but sailed off to the left. The Red Devils took over at the Cowboy 25-yard line and were able to move the ball into the Cowboy end of the field before the Cowboys' defensive unit stiffened and stopped the Red Devils on fourth-and-one, forcing a turnover on downs. Then Jay turned the burners on as he tight-roped down the sideline for a 60-yard touchdown run. Another good PAT brought the score to 34-0 with 4:17 remaining until intermission. The Cowboys were not finished yet as Jay hit Brown for another touchdown pass. The score was 40-0 as the halftime show began.

The Cowboys received the ball to open the second half, but the drive stalled near mid-field and the Cowboys were forced to punt for the first time of the evening. The Cowboys' defense again held the Red Devils at bay and the Cowboys put together another scoring drive; this time capped off with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Caleb Watts to Derrion Staten. The score was 46-0 as the third quarter came to a close. 

Time passed quickly during the fourth quarter with a continuously running game clock. The Red Devils were clinging to life as the game clock was winding down and the Red Devils managed to complete a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with 20 seconds remaining in the game. With no time left on the clock, the Red Devils attempted a two-point conversion that was no good and the scoreboard read 46-6 in favor of the Cowboys with 00:00 on the clock.

Jay went six-for-seven through the air for the Cowboys for 192 yards and two touchdown passes. Jay added 120 yards on the ground on five carries and three rushing touchdowns. Caleb Watts went one-for-two for 10 yards passing with one touchdown. Watts ran for 18 yards on two carries. Thompkins was named the Offensive Player of the Game for the Cowboys for his 81 yards receiving and one touchdown catch.

Kelivon Oliver was named the Defensive Player of the Game. The Special Teams Player of the Game was Mike Gibson. The Offensive Hog of the Game was Zac Coe. The Defensive Hog of the Game was Eric Blackshear.

"All three phases played well all night and that's the definition of team," said Coach Coe after the game. "We now sit at 4-0 and have won 18 straight games and 30 straight regular season games. I hope our town can appreciate how special that is and how special our young men are! [We have a] big game at Columbia County next week as we take on the Tigers."

The Cowboys will be on the road again, Friday, Sept. 21, as they take on the Tigers of Columbia County High School. The undefeated Tigers are coming off a 42-37 win over Lee High School. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Columbia County High School, 469 SE Fighting Tiger Dr., in Lake City. The game will be the third "Touchdowns Against Cancer" game to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. To make a flat donation or to make a pledge for every touchdown the Cowboys score during the month of September, go to www.touchdownsagainstcancer.com. The game can be heard on the radio at 107.5 FM or online at talk1075.com.

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