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Cowboys leash Bulldogs on Senior Night

Rick Patrick

rick@greenepublishing.com

The Madison County High School (MCHS) Cowboys wrapped up their regular season in style with an impressive 34-13 victory over the Bulldogs of Crestview High School on Friday, Nov. 1, at Boot Hill Stadium. With the win, the Cowboys finished their regular season with an 8-2 record and a number one seed going into the Region Three playoffs.

The contest began with the Cowboys on offense. The Cowboys put together an 80-yard touchdown drive that was capped off when Vinsonta Allen ran the ball into the end-zone on a five-yard quarterback keeper. The point-after-touchdown (PAT) failed and the score was 6-0 with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter. The Bulldogs were fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive and responded with a quick 85-yard scoring drive of their own. The Bulldogs' PAT was good and the score was 7-6, in favor of the Bulldogs, with 3:48 still to play in the first period. The Cowboys struck back quickly, when Allen connected with Zarrion Robinson on a 20-yard touchdown pass. After a successful two-point conversion, the score was 14-7 with 2:44 remaining in the opening period. The Bulldogs began their next drive on their own 24-yard line, but the drive was cut short when the Bulldogs attempted to go for a first-down on fourth-and four at their own 30. The stingy Cowboy defensive unit stopped the Bulldogs and the Cowboys took over at the Crestview 30-yard line. The Cowboys took advantage of this fortunate field position when Allen avoided a quarterback sack and scrambled 19 yards to the end-zone. Thomas Miller's PAT was good and the score was 21-7 with 10:18 still to play before intermission. The next Bulldog drive ended when the Cowboys' defense stiffened and forced a turn-over on downs at the Madison County seven-yard line. The Cowboys went three-and-out and punted to the Bulldogs, who began their drive at the Cowboys' 46-yard line. The Bulldogs showed they were not ready to throw in the towel just yet and drove down the field and scored their second touchdown of the evening. The Bulldogs' PAT attempt failed and the score was 21-13 as the first half drew to a close.

There was a slight delay in opening the second half when the lights inexplicably went out at Boot Hill Stadium, just as the two teams were lining up for the second half kickoff. Once lighting was restored, the Bulldogs were pinned deep inside their own 10-yard line. The Cowboy defensive unit created a turnover when Rodderick Williams recovered a fumble at the Bulldogs' 18-yard line. The Cowboys took advantage when Allen hit Derrion Staten with a touchdown pass. Miller's PAT was good and the score was now 28-13. Neither team was able to move the ball successfully on their next pair of drives as possession moved back and forth. In the latter moments of the third period, the Bulldogs attempted a fake punt near mid-field, but the alert Cowboys' special teams unit snuffed it out and stopped the Bulldogs at their own 45-yard line. The Cowboys struck quickly when Allen hit Zechariah Jones as he was falling back in the end-zone for a 35-yard touchdown pass. This brought the score to 34-13, as the third quarter ended. The final period saw the Cowboys' defense making big plays in order to prevent a Bulldog come-back. On the Bulldogs' first drive of the fourth quarter, Robinson picked off a Bulldog pass at the Cowboys' 25-yard line. The Cowboys' next drive stalled near mid-field and the Bulldog's offense took the field again at their own 33-yard line. That drive was put to a halt when Todd Brown recovered a fumble at the Crestview 49-yard line. The Cowboys drove deep into the Bulldog's end of the field. In a display of sportsmanship, the Cowboys chose to simply run the clock out, rather than put more numbers up on the scoreboard.

"If anyone had told me we would be 8-2 at this point, after the schedule we've played and the injuries we've had to deal with, I would have been pleased," said Cowboy Head Coach Mike Coe to the team after the game. "Not that I'm not disappointed in those two losses, but I am really proud of you guys. Remember these moments, because you can never get them back. Now, the real fun begins."

Allen went 10-for-14 in the passing department , tossing the ball for 185 yards and three touchdown passes. Allen also toted the ball 21 times for 122 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Staten was Allen's top target catching the ball three times for 84 yards and one touchdown catch. Defensively, Ke'Shaun Mitchell led the Cowboys with 18 total tackles, including two tackles-for-loss, one quarterback sack and a forced fumble. Greg Mitchell was named the Offensive Player of the Week for the Cowboys. Robinson was the Defensive Player of the Week. The Special Teams Player of the Week was Rodderick Johnson, Jr.

The Cowboys will have a week off after earning a first-round bye in the Class 1A State Championship playoff tournament. The Cowboys await to host the winner of the Hilliard vs Branford game, on Friday, Nov. 15. Kickoff for the region semi-final game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Boot Hill Stadium, on the MCHS campus.

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