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Cowboys Gameday: Facing a familiar hurdle

Rick Patrick

Although the two schools are on almost opposite ends of the state, there is a certain familiarity between the Blue Devils of Pahokee High School and the Cowboys of Madison County High School (MCHS). Tonight, Nov. 29, at Boot Hill Stadium, the two teams will face off for the third time in four seasons in the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A State Semi-final game. In their last meeting, the Cowboys soundly defeated the Blue Devils, 28-10, on Boot Hill in 2017, on their way to the first of back-to-back state titles. The Cowboys are hoping another win over the Blue Devils will set the stage for a first-ever "Three-peat" for the Cowboys.

This year, the Blue Devils are bringing a 6-5 record and are the Region Four Champions. MCHS Head Coach Mike Coe knows this Pahokee team is probably much better than their record indicates. The Blue Devils have played a challenging schedule, with an opponent's winning percentage of .644. The Blue Devils are led on offense by dual-threat quarterback, Jermaine Roberson. Roberson has the speed and potential to make a big play each time he touches the ball. He has averaged nearly 130 yards per game of total offense. Defensively, Senior Defensive End Frankie Burgess averages 2.2 sacks per game. Burgess is quick and has an ability to get off blocks and wreck havoc in opposing teams' backfield. The "Hawgs" of the Cowboy offensive line will have to play at a high level in order to keep Burgess from disrupting the Cowboys' offensive game plan. The Cowboys' defense will have to play very disciplined football in order to keep Roberson contained. If the Cowboys can manage to accomplish that, Chalon Howard, Zarrion Robinson, Octavious Davis and the rest of the Cowboys' secondary could have a big game. Roberson has thrown seven picks this year.

"[This is a] typical Pahokee football team," said Coach Coe. "Very big upfront on both sides of the ball. Long and athletic on the edges and speed everywhere. Their QB is electric with the ball in his hands."

The winner of tonight's game will face the winner of the Blountstown vs. Baker game for the Class 1A State Championship in Tallahassee, on Saturday, Dec. 7. Tonight's game is set to be a "blackout" and Cowboy fans are encouraged to wear black. Due to FHSAA regulations, the game will not be streamed on Facebook, but can be heard live on WJHC 107.5 FM or online at Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Boot Hill Stadium, on the MCHS campus.

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