And the Red Raiders will crash through the banner at Raider Field Friday night and into the 2012 season.
Madison County’s season opening opponent is Oconee County, a Class AAA squad that finished 2011 at 5-5 and is coached by Mitch Olson.
Red Raider coach Chris Smith will also lead his alma mater for the first time as the head man. He has scouted his first opponent.
“I think we match up well with them skill wise,” he said. “Up front it’s hard to tell. They run a spread offense and throw around 30 times a game. They’re very pass-oriented and their quarterback is pretty good.”
A large contingent of Madison County supporters watched the Red Raiders scrimmage at Athens Christian Friday night, outscoring the Eagles 14-0. Smith said he was impressed with his team’s defense.
“They played well as a unit — all 11 of them,” he said.
Smith said the offense “did some good things in spots,” but he wants to see improved blocking and the elimination of turnovers.
“We can’t put the ball on the ground,” said Smith.
A LOOK AT OCONEE
Here’s a summary of the Warriors according to Friday Night Football Georgia 2012, an 84-page pre-season publication mailed to local media:
“The Warriors are experienced at the wideout slot with senior receivers Grant Williams, Keenan Brown, Nolan Mattingly, Joshua Hood, Isaac Searcy, JC Whitehead and Matthew Hansford,” read the Friday Night Football synopsis. “This strong receiving core will be led by senior QB Conner White. White has had his opportunity to grow and improve alongside this talented group of receivers and will have his chance to make many downfield hook-ups in 2012. He will have sufficient time to find his receivers thanks to a strong offensive line made up of seniors Andrew Kinnard, Casey Haynes, Matthew Kinnard and Billy Seward.”