Madison County football turns season around

Madison County football turns season around

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Madison County football turns season around

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As previously a 4A team, Madison County loaded its schedule up with tough opponents as in years past, despite dropping to Class 1A this season. The Cowboys are 8-3 and a win away from reaching the state semifinals for the fifth time in six years.

As previously a 4A team, Madison County loaded its schedule up with tough opponents as in years past, despite dropping to Class 1A this season. The Cowboys are 8-3 and a win away from reaching the state semifinals for the fifth time in six years.

Madison County football coach Mike Coe, seen here in 2012 with former player Ira Denson, has seen his Cowboys team respond from 0-3 to 8-3 thanks to a commitment to hard work.

Madison County football coach Mike Coe, seen here in 2012 with former player Ira Denson, has seen his Cowboys team respond from 0-3 to 8-3 thanks to a commitment to hard work.

Madison running back Patrick Brown has rushed for 1,122 yards and 12 TD this season as the Cowboys recovered from 0-3 to reach 8-3 and a get one win away from the state semifinals.

Madison running back Patrick Brown has rushed for 1,122 yards and 12 TD this season as the Cowboys recovered from 0-3 to reach 8-3 and a get one win away from the state semifinals.

When Madison County started the year 0-3 (0-4 if you count a pre-season loss to Suwannee), there was naturally a question as to how steep would the drop off be from last year’s senior laden team to this year.

After a six-point regular-season opening loss to Rickards Cowboys coach Mike Coe said, “I guarantee no one else in 1A is playing this schedule.”

And after a 37-0 defeat at the hands of Wakulla (9-1) in Week 3, things could have gone further south. But then Madison County came up with a 14-10 win over Florida High.

“The first two games against Suwannee and Rickards we could have just as easily won,” Coe said. “The next two games we had five or six starters out against really good football teams. But I’m glad we played those games. The speed of the game was fast and it showed us where we were weak at. We made changes in personnel and it showed our guys how hard they were going to have to work.”

Madison County running back Patrick Brown has gained 1,122 yards on the ground this season and the Cowboys have won eight games in a row and are a win away from reaching the state semifinals.

Madison County running back Patrick Brown has gained 1,122 yards on the ground this season and the Cowboys have won eight games in a row and are a win away from reaching the state semifinals.

Eight weeks later, the Cowboys are winners of eight in a row and are coming off a 65-12 shellacking of previously 9-1 Lake Butler Union County.

“Winning cures a lot,” Coe said. “You learn how to prepare. You learn what you can’t and can’t do. It showed us who was going to stick it out and who wasn’t. Their confidence never wavered. Once we got the first one, it just steamrolled from there.”

Madison’s question mark over who would make up for the 2,873 combined yards of rushing offense from graduated quarterback Akevious Williams and running Eric Bright got answered along the way.

Perhaps even more so.

Senior running back Patrick Brown has 1,122. Hamilton County transfer quarterback Kentwan Daniels has 969, while sophomore back Teryon Henderson’s 732 has eclipsed Brown’s 600-range total from last year, bringing in the possibility of three 1,000-yard rushers.

“I knew after the Wakulla game we’d be OK, because those kids practiced hard and played hard, especially our quarterback,” Coe said. “Kentwan would break through (into the secondary) and (safety) Keith Gavin would be there to tattoo him. But he just kept running and kept fighting and he kind of won our team over in that game.”

Madison County coach Mike Coe has his Cowboys on the verge of a fifth state semifinal appearance in six years, and the team has gone from 0-3 to 8-3 this season.

Madison County coach Mike Coe has his Cowboys on the verge of a fifth state semifinal appearance in six years, and the team has gone from 0-3 to 8-3 this season.

After the preseason game, in which it came out in a wing-T option as Madison has been known for in previous years, the Cowboys went back to the Auburn zone read that worked so well last year during an 11-4 season that got Madison to the Class 4A state semifinals.

The Cowboys (8-3) are a win over Fort White (9-2) away from reaching that point again, which would mark the fifth time in six years reaching the state semifinals regardless of classification.

“I think we’re peaking at the right time,” Coe said. “Fort White plays a physical brand of football. They like to run the ball and control the clock. We’re going to have to go play dirty football and earn it.”

The Madison County football team has regularly made deep trips into the playoffs, including 2012 when it reached the state title game. With a win over Fort White on Friday night, the Cowboys would reach their fifth state semifinal in six years.

The Madison County football team has regularly made deep trips into the playoffs, including 2012 when it reached the state title game. With a win over Fort White on Friday night, the Cowboys would reach their fifth state semifinal in six years.

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