Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
The Madison County High School Cowboys racked up over 300 rushing yards on their way to a 50-20 win over the Lafayette High School Hornets in the Class 1A, Region Three semi-final game at Boot Hill on Friday, Nov. 16. With the win, the Cowboys move on to the Region Three championship game with the Indians of Chiefland High School.
The game started as a defensive struggle when the Hornets went three-and-out on the first offensive possession of the game. The Cowboys took over at the 46-yard line and moved the ball, but an errant pass was intercepted by the Hornets at the Hornets' 10-yard line. The Cowboys' defensive squad went into action and sacked the Lafayette quarterback in the end-zone for a two-point safety with 6:43 remaining in the opening period. The Cowboys returned the Hornets' kick to the 15-yard line. The Cowboys looked poised to extend their lead, but a fumble at the goal line was recovered by the Hornets in the end-zone, giving them the ball at the 20-yard line. The Cowboys were able to hold the Hornets to a three-and-out. On the ensuing punt, Vinsonta Allen raced through Hornet defenders to the end-zone for a Cowboy touchdown. Tommy Miller's point-after-touchdown (PAT) kick was successful and the score was 9-0, with 3:58 left in the first period. The Hornets began their next drive at their own 20-yard line. Travis Jay picked off a Hornet pass and returned it for a "pick-six" touchdown. The PAT was good and the score was 16-0 with 3:35 remaining in the opening quarter. The first quarter ended with each team trading three-and-out possessions.
Early in the second quarter, the Cowboys moved the ball deep into the Hornets' territory and Allen capped off the drive with a five-yard run into the end zone. Miller's PAT was good and the score was 23-0 with 9:53 remaining until intermission. The Hornets' next drive stalled at their own 35-yard line. After a short punt, the Cowboys took over at their own 35-yard line. Then the Cowboys gave the Hornets a big dose of Robert Hiers running the ball. The drive was finished with Hiers crossing the goal line for another Cowboy touchdown. The PAT was good and the score was 30-0 midway through the second period. The Hornets were not ready to call it quits just yet and moved the ball down the field and into the end-zone for the Hornets' first score of the evening. With a successful PAT, the score was 30-7 with 1:20 remaining in the first half. The half ended with the Cowboys moving the ball down the field before turning the ball over at the 20-yard line. The score remained 30-7 as the halftime show began.
The Cowboys began their first possession of the third period at the 45-yard line and moved into Hornets' territory before throwing another interception that was returned to the Madison 25-yard line. A big tackle in the backfield by Melvin Brown on third-and-short ended the drive. Brown wasn't finished as he ran the ensuing punt 75 yards for another Cowboy touchdown. The PAT was good and the score was 37-7 with 7:55 remaining in the third period. The Hornets responded by returning the ensuing kickoff down the field to the end-zone for their second score of the contest. The Hornets' PAT was off the mark and the score was 37-13 with 7:40 still to play in the third quarter. The Cowboys quickly responded by moving the ball down the field with Allen running the ball out of a Wildcat formation. Allen capped off the drive with the second of his two touchdown runs. The PAT was good and the score was 44-13 with 5:13 remaining in the third period. The third quarter ended with the Hornets turning the ball over on downs at the Cowboys' 23-yard line, and the score 44-13. The next Cowboy drive featured more strong runs by Hiers. This drive was capped with an 11-yard run into the end-zone by Marcus Ghent. The PAT was off its mark and the score was 50-13 with 8:55 remaining in the contest. With time running out, the Hornets showed great determination by moving the ball down the field and scoring another touchdown as time ran out. The PAT made the final score 50-20.
Allen led the Cowboy rushing attack with 204 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Hiers had 117 yards rushing on 12 carries and one touchdown. Ghent ran the ball for 21 yards on four carries with one touchdown.
The Cowboys, now 10-1, will host the Indians of Chiefland High School for the Class 1A, Region Three championship, on Friday, Nov. 23. The Indians now have a record of 10-1, after defeating the Dixie County Bears, 47-6 in their Region semi-final game. Kick-off for the Region Three championship game is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Boot Hill Stadium, on the MCHS campus.