Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Leading up to the contest between the Cowboys of Madison County High School (MCHS) and the Bears of Dixie County High School, Cowboy Head Coach Mike Coe said the Cowboys would need to play “dang near perfect” if they were going to have a chance. “Dang near perfect” is exactly what the Cowboys played as they completely dominated the previously undefeated Bears with a resounding 62-7 victory on Friday, Nov. 17, at Boot Hill Stadium. The Cowboys were dominant in every phase of the game; offense, defense and special teams.
The game began with the Bears on offense. After a three-and-out, the Bears punted. Rather than punt the ball to Derrick Staten, the Cowboys' dangerous return man, the Bears punted the ball away from Staten, resulting in the Cowboys receiving the ball on the Bears' 35-yard line. On a fourth-and-two play, Cowboy quarterback Tre Adams found a running lane, and sprinted into the end-zone for the first Cowboy touchdown of the evening. After a successful PAT, the score was 7-0 with 7:40 remaining in the opening period. After another Bears three-and-out, the Cowboys had the ball on their own 30-yard line. Then the 3-11 shift went to work for the Cowboys as Adams connected with Ken Hawkins on a deep 57-yard touchdown pass. The score was 14-0 with 4:15 left in the first quarter. Dixie County responded with a touchdown drive that began at mid-field and cumulated with a touchdown pass. With 46 tics of the clock left in the first quarter, the score was 14-7. The next Cowboy drive started at mid-field and was capped off with a six-yard touchdown run by Staten. Drew Herring's PAT was good, and the score was 21-7 with 11:07 remaining in the second quarter. The next few moments brought a Cowboy scoring flurry that will likely be the source of conversation for years to come. The Bears were held to a three-and-out when they attempted a fake on the punting play. The pass was intercepted by Travis Fead, Jr., earning him the first “Turn-over Chain” of the evening. Fead returned the ball inside the Bears' ten-yard line setting up a touchdown run by Teryon Henderson. The score was 28-7 with 9:18 to go before intermission. On the ensuing kick-off the Cowboys tackled the Bears' return man at the Bears' one-yard line. That's when defensive lineman Terray Jones recovered a fumble, and earned his right to wear the “Turn-over Chain.” Adams punched the ball over the goal line, and the score was 35-7 with 8:55 left until halftime. On the next kick-off, kicker Herring recovered a fumble, setting up the Cowboys at the Bears' 18-yard line. The Cowboys quickly scored on a touchdown pass from Adams to Henderson, and the score was now 42-7 with 8:36 left in the first half. The next Dixie County drive stalled at their own 17-yard line. Then the Bears discovered why it is so dangerous to punt the ball to Staten when Staten returned the punt 40 yards to pay-dirt. The score was 49-7 with 6:46 remaining until half-time. The stingy Cowboy defense held the Bears to another three-and-out, and the Cowboys had the ball again near mid-field. Staten took a direct snap and sprinted 45 yards for another Cowboy touchdown. The PAT brought the score to 56-7 with 4:42 left until intermission. The score at halftime was 56-7, just four points short of a Florida record for points scored in a half. The second half opened with the Bears trying an unsuccessful onside kick, setting the Cowboys up at mid-field. The Cowboys moved the ball deep into Bears' territory with Travis Jay playing quarterback. Jay capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run. The PAT drifted off to the side and the score was 62-7. The only time the Bears sustained another drive, Issac Redding recovered a Bear fumble at the Cowboy 19-yard line, late in the fourth quarter.
Staten led the Cowboys in rushing with 105 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns. Henderson had 46 yards rushing on eight carries and one touchdown. Jay had one rushing touchdown. Adams went two-for-three passing for 76 yards and two touchdown passes. Adams also had 30 yards on the ground with two touchdown runs. Hawkins caught one touchdown pass for 57 yards. Henderson caught the other touchdown pass from 19 yards out.
The Cowboys will now face the Blue Devils of Pahokee High School in the State semi-final game. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Blountstown vs. Baker game in the State Championship game, in Orlando. Pahokee defeated Frostproof in the Region Four final with a 42-28 score. The State semi-final game between MCHS and Pahokee will take place at Boot Hill Stadium on Friday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $9 per person.