Raiders looking for complete game in season finale after putting up gaudy stats
Randell Owens notes the irony in the box scores.
His Raiders lose 7-0 to Heritage in one game and then put up 35 points and 476 yards of offense in the next — a 55-35 loss to Apalachee last Friday.
“We’ve just got to play offense and defense on the same night,” Owens said. “We need a Heritage defensive effort and an Apalachee offensive effort on the same night.”
The Raiders hope that combination of forces surfaces in Friday’s season finale against Clarke Central at home at 7:30 p.m.
Madison County might have padded the stat column in the setback to Apalachee (as did the Wildcats who gashed the Raiders for 467 yards on the ground), but not the win column.
The Raiders fell to 2-7 on the season and are in danger of suffering their first 2-8 season since 1999 unless it can upset Clarke Central.
The Gladiators are tied for the region lead at 8-1 but have won six games by eight points or less.
“They’re a good football team,” Owens said. “They’ve been winning a lot of really, really close games.”
The Raiders are 3-1 all-time versus their storied foes from Athens.
Owens is trying to use parts of last Friday’s performance — mostly the last two quarters in which Madison County scored 28 points — to build upon.
The coach said he challenged his team to win the second half of last weekend’s game after trailing 35-7 at the half.
“If you out-play them in the second half, I’ll be proud of you,” Owens said of his halftime speech.
Madison County responded with four touchdowns after intermission as Jacob Owens passed for a school-record 442 yards in the game while Al Allen and Jamal Cooper both eclipsed 100 yards receiving.
“They could have laid down and let down — a lot of people would — but they didn’t give up,” Owens said of his team.
The coach hopes that attitude persists in this Friday’s game with Clarke Central.
Though Madison County has lost six games in a row, Owens said all this team can worry about is the here and now. “Whether we win or whether we lose … to finish strong, to battle, to come out every day and work hard and play to the best of our ability and kind of make that your mantra for life,” Owens said.