— See The Journal Facebook page for a photo gallery from Friday night's win
Make it two for two. Madison County is perfect so far in 2013.
The Red Raiders downed neighboring Franklin County 28-14 in Danielsville Friday night. The home team wasted little time jumping on the scoreboard scoring on a 26-yard pass play from Cade Hancock to Ethan South with 5:05 showing in the first quarter. Prior to the scoring play, South broke away with a 99-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper, but a block in the back by the Raiders negated the play.
“The hole just opened up and I just ran and I know it got called back, but we make mistakes,” said South. “But we get back and we fight back and we do what we got to do to score again.”
The Raiders added their second touchdown early in the second quarter after Garrison Harris put several moves on the Lion defenders on a 68 yard run to the end zone.
“I saw my players blocking for me and then I saw the opening in the defense and I just broke through,” said Harris. “I had a few players grab at me but they didn’t wrap up and I just took advantage of it.”
The Lions posted their first score on their next drive to cut the lead to 14-7, but Cade Hancock had an answer for the Lions’ score on the next Raider drive. Hancock hit Cameron Stevenson with a short pass and Stevenson did the rest by racing 66 yards for a touchdown. Madison County held a 21-7 halftime advantage until Harris struck again on a one-yard touchdown run just inside the front corner of the end zone. The drive was made possible after Chase Boyette blocked a Franklin County punt at the Raider 39-yard line.
Franklin County posted a final score midway through the final quarter. The Raiders had yet another stellar night on defense. Madison County stalled a Franklin County fourth down and two yard conversion early in the game inside the Raider five-yard line and held two more times on fourth down attempts. Linebacker Dustin Howard said the team’s off season work has helped the guys have a strong showing in the trenches.
“That just comes from hard work and dedication,” said Howard. “Our whole attitude has changed this year. We’ve been working hard in the off season and we’re going to do it all season long.”
South said the offensive line is doing a good job for the Red Raiders.
“Our line has really been working hard at practice and in the weight room,” said South. “We were really young last year. But we’re starting to get more knowledge about the game and just everything else is just coming together.”
Stevenson sealed the win with an interception of a Lion pass near midfield.
“We played with a lot of heart tonight,” Stevenson said of the defensive play by the Raiders. “I made a lot of mistakes on defense early on. I dropped a pick that could have sealed the win early, but I was lucky enough to get a pick at the end. It was really all due to the guys in front of me.”
Red Raider head coach Chris Smith addressed his team after the win.
“It don’t get much better, men,” said Smith to his guys as they took a knee around him. “That was a great win. That’s the way to get after it. We cherish it over the weekend and we have fun with it. But come Sunday, we hang that up on the shelf.”
Smith said the team should now turn its focus to North Oconee, which topped Madison County in lopsided fashion.
Howard said North Oconee is good, but added that the Red Raiders have something to show, too.
“They (North Oconee) are going to be tough, but we’re a lot tougher too,” said Howard. “So I think it’s going to be a good game.”
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