Madison County felt the hurt. Now, they look to mend in the off week.
The Red Raiders lost Friday at home to Cedar Shoals, 27-20, in overtime, after giving up two scoop-and-score touchdowns to the Jaguars, who struggled offensively but pulled out the win with two defensive touchdowns.
Madison County (2-3) is off this week before hosting Chestatee on Homecoming Oct. 15.
“It definitely hurt,” said MCHS coach Chris Smith. “It was one of those games where we won in every phase except the scoreboard….We’ve got to get back to the fundamentals and get ourselves ready for Chestatee.”
Madison County jumped on top early Friday, marching 71 yards on its opening possession, with Logan Selk breaking free for a 19-yard score. The point after attempt was blocked and the Raiders led 6-0.
Cedar Shoals (2-2) answered with a 70-yard scoring drive on its first possession, capped off by a 24-yard scoring pass to go up 7-6. It was the only offensive score in regulation for the Jaguars.
“The defense played well enough to win,” said Smith. “They only gave up seven points in regulation. We held their running back to well under 100 yards. They only had 72 rushing yards in the game. And we held the kid in check.”
The Jaguars pulled ahead with 8:04 to go in the first half, returning a Raider fumble about 25 yards for a touchdown. The PAT attempt was blocked by Zahmerius Shiflet. And Cedar Shoals led 13-6, a score that held into intermission.
Cooper Brown hit Victor Hajdu on a 36-yard strike, setting up Camden Smith for a four-yard touchdown run with 3:49 to go in the third quarter, which knotted the score at 13 after the extra point.
Tyler Wright then intercepted a Jaguar pass and returned the ball to the Cedar Shoals 20 yard line with 9:41 to go in the game, setting the Raiders up for a potential go-ahead score.
But Madison County’s fortunes quickly turned as a Red Raider fumble was returned approximately 85 yards for a Jaguar touchdown, putting Cedar Shoals up 20-13.
However, Madison County wasn’t done. The team marched 73-yards to knot the score at 20 with Shiflet carrying the ball in from five yards out.
The Red Raiders took possession of the ball with 1:17 to go in the game at their own 43 and quickly drove to the Jaguar five yard line.
Smith opted to kick a field goal on first down with 15 seconds to go. That kick was blocked, but Madison County recovered and had a second field goal attempt, that was wide right.
The game then went to overtime with each team having a turn starting at the opponent’s 15 yard line. The Jaguar quarterback took the first snap in overtime 14 yards, then punched the ball in himself from the one, putting Cedar Shoals up 27-20.
Madison County struggled to move, with Camden Smith going down with a leg injury. And a pass to Hajdu on fourth down in the end zone was incomplete out of bounds, ending the game. Smith later said his son suffered a deep calf bruise and will be able to play against Chestatee.
He said he was proud of his team’s effort and attitude.
“The kids played hard and battled and I was proud of them,” said Smith later. “They could have easily laid down after the scoop and score but they battled back and gave themselves a chance to win. It just comes down to execution. Offensively, we put the ball on the ground twice and gave them 14 points. If we secure the football, we win.”
Smith said the team struggled in the red zone and he put that on the coaches.
“As coaches we have to do a better job at getting them in a position to be successful,” he said.
Trey Slayton led Madison County with 88 yards rushing. Smith had 57 and Selk finished with 20. Hajdu had four catches for 78 yards and Brown had 93 yards passing in his return from injury. Coach Smith said Shiflet played his best game of the year defensively, adding that Wright, “had a good game as usual.”