Cowboys cruise past Tigers

Union County at Madison CountyBy Rick Patrick
Greene Publishing, Inc.

Madison County Carrier

The Madison County High School (MCHS) offense was in high gear on Friday, Nov. 10, as they racked up 322 yards of offense on their way to routing the Tigers of Union County High School (Lake Butler) with a final score of 50-6 in the first round of the Class 1A football playoffs.

The Cowboys (11-0) scored on nearly every possession in the first half as they quickly built a commanding lead.The game started with the Tigers on offense after receiving the opening kickoff.

The Tigers’ drive stalled at mid-field, and the Cowboys took over at their own 24-yard line. On their first play from scrimmage, Tre Adams tossed a hitch-pass to running back Derrick Staten, who was then off to the races and across the end-zone. The two-point conversion was no good and the score was 6-0 in favor of the Cowboys with 6:05 remaining in the opening period.

Union County (6-5) began their next drive on their own 20-yard line. The Tigers were unable to move the ball, and the Cowboys took over with great field position. The Cowboys quickly scored again with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Adams to Staten. The PAT was good, and the score was now 13-0 with 3:43 on the clock in the first quarter.

The following Tiger drive went three-and-out, and the Tigers were forced to punt. Rather than kicking the ball to the Cowboys’ dangerous return man Staten, the Tigers kicked away from him, and the ball went out-of-bounds at the Tigers’ 30-yard line. A couple of plays later, the Cowboys were again in the Tigers’ end-zone, thanks to a 15-yard touchdown run by Teryon Henderson. Drew Herring’s PAT went down the middle of the uprights, and the Cowboys were ahead 200 with just over a minute left in the first quarter.

During their next drive, the Tigers’ quarterback made a mistake that many opposing quarterbacks have made. He threw a pass in the vicinity of Cowboy defensive back Travis Jay. Jay made them pay for that mistake with an interception and another “pick-six” return for a touchdown. The PAT was good, and the score was 27-0 as the seconds ticked down to zero in the first quarter.

Courtesy of FloridaHSFootball.com

Courtesy of FloridaHSFootball.com

The stingy Cowboy defense held the Tigers to another three-and-out, and the Cowboys took over at mid-field. Staten scored his third touchdown of the evening on the ground with a 37yard run. The score was 34-0 with 9:24 remaining in the second quarter. Cowboy linebacker Zarkese Haynes earned his chance to wear the Cowboys’ new “turnover chain” when he recovered a Tigers’ fumble. This set up another Cowboy scoring drive that was capped off by a Marcus Ghent touchdown run. The score was now 41-0 with 6:47 remaining until intermission.

The ball changed hands a couple more times as the first half drew to a close. The Tigers attempted a field-goal late in the half that sailed off to the left. The score at intermission was 41-0.

The Cowboys took their opening drive of the third period from their own 40-yard line into Tiger territory before the drive stalled. Herring then came onto the field and showed off his much improved kicking leg by drilling a 39-yard field goal. The score was now 44-0 with 4:56 remaining in the third quarter.

Chalon Howard was the next Cowboy to don the “turnover chain” when he intercepted a Tiger pass at the 25-yard line. This set up the final Cowboy scoring drive of the evening. With several young players in the game, Cowboy quarterback Caleb Watts capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

The Tigers managed to get on the scoreboard with three minutes remaining in the game with a 35-yard touchdown pass. This brought the score to 50-6, which remained until the end of the game.

Ghent led the Cowboy rushing attack with 62 yards on seven attempts and one touchdown. Henderson had 52 yards on six rushing attempts with one touchdown. Staten had 37 yards on the ground with one rushing touchdown and two receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Watts had two yards rushing with one touchdown. Vinsonta Allen added 30 yards to the Cowboy rushing total.

Adams went three-for-four passing for 131 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

The Cowboys move on to face the Dixie County Bears in the regional final game on Friday, Nov. 17, at Boot Hill Stadium on the MCHS campus. The Bears (11-0) are also undefeated, and are coming off a 49-7 victory over the Hornets of Lafayette County.

Admission is $8 per person. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.