The old cliché of “taking it one game at a time” has never had quite this much power, as schools across the state face the constant possibility of cancellations in 2020 due to the coronavirus.

But Madison County’s home football game with Apalachee Friday is a go — at least as of Tuesday.

The Red Raider matchup with Holy Innocents’ had to be canceled last week, since 30 Madison County players were being quarantined for exposure to COVID-19 and the squad didn’t have enough members to form a competitive team.

But Raider head coach Chris Smith said the number of quarantined players is down two 12, with just two upperclassmen, he said.

The coach acknowledged that this year “has been awful” in terms of dealing with COVID-19 and quarantines. The team lost two weeks of practice before the season due to a coach testing positive for the virus and then lost last week’s first home game of the year. But he said the players have been taking each circumstance as it comes with maturity.

“They’re a good group,” he said. “They were disappointed (in last week’s cancellation), but they understand the situation.”

Smith said his team has been taking a “next man up” attitude this year, realizing that a player can face quarantine at any moment and that the next player needs to be ready to fill the position.

The coach said the game with Holy Innocents’ will not be rescheduled. However, Smith is looking for another team that has the same open week as the Raiders who may have also faced a cancellation.

Madison County Middle School also had to cancel its football game last week. The Mustang game for this week is also canceled.

Apalachee is 0-2 this season, losing to Winder, 34-27, on Sept. 4 and to Habersham Central, 56-35, Sept. 11.

Madison County lost on the road to Habersham Central, 27-6, Sept. 4.

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