The orange and blue sign hanging on the Cedar Shoals press box read, “The Jags are going to Craft a Victory,” a reference to Tommy Craft, Madison County’s principal, who used to wear the Jaguar orange and blue.
Well, the Cedar squad got its victory, 25-6, but the game was not well crafted on either side — particularly in the first half when the Jaguars committed 10 penalties and the Raiders turned the ball over five times.
On the evening, Madison County lost the ball six times, with four picks and two lost fumbles. Three of the turnovers — two interceptions and a fumble — were returned for lengthy touchdowns, though one of the touchdowns was called back on a penalty.
While Raider fans witnessed a dismal evening, the game opened with promise. Madison County struck first blood on a 17-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter from Jacob Owens to Al Allen. The PAT failed. But the Raiders showed the ability to move the ball on their lone scoring drive of the night, with the key play coming on a two-lateral gadget call in which Owens connected with Allen for a 33-yard gain.
The Raiders gambled on the ensuing kickoff, recovering an onside kick, but Owens threw the ball over the middle to Cedar Shoals’ Deunta Jennings, who returned the interception nearly 80 yards for touchdown. Madison County blocked the PAT and the score was knotted at six.
The Jaguars tacked on two field goals by Joseph Harrison from 48 and 33 yards to pull ahead 12-6 in the second quarter.
But Madison County moved the ball down the field in the waning moments of the first half, aided by two Cedar penalties. On fourth and one, Al Allen pushed forward for a first down at the Jaguar 41, with a host of stout Cedar lineman ripping his helmet off as he fell backward.
The visiting squad seemed poised to take a 13-12 halftime lead.
But the Raiders fumbled on the Cedar Shoals 20 with less than a minute to go in the half. And the Jaguars’ Kerry Barnett scooped up the loose ball and raced to the end zone, giving the Jaguars a commanding 18-6 halftime lead.
Madison County forced a punt on Cedar’s opening possession in the third quarter. And Owens found Claude Johnson for a 40-yard gain to the Cedar 22. However, Owens threw his fourth pick of the night at the Jaguar 12.
Moments later, Cedar back Dede Lattimore rumbled in from 20 yards out to ice the game for the Jaguars, 25-6.