As we get ready to turn our calendars to November, high school football season is coming to an end. For some teams, that means playoffs are just around the corner. For other teams, it means the players will get a lot more free time to spend on homework.
Madison County High School and North Oconee High School are both hoping to be in that first category, as both teams are fighting for their playoff hopes this Friday night. But the playoff pictures for these two teams could not be any more different.
Madison County (6-2) is in the driver’s seat for its playoff birth. It’s simple: the Red Raiders need to win one of their last two games and they secure the fourth seed in their region.
North Oconee (0-8) isn’t quite eliminated from playoff contention, but the Warriors need to win each of their last two games, and need some favorable losses from the teams ahead of them
But playoffs won’t be the only thing on the players’ minds when they take the field. For the seniors on each team, this will be the last home game they play in their high school careers.
North Oconee Senior wide receiver Chase Trest is hoping that a win on senior night can jump start the team for their playoff push.
“Senior night is always a big deal for every class, but especially with the year we’re having, I’d love to get our first win and start a win streak on senior night so we can keep it going through playoffs,” Trest said.
Madison County head coach Chris Smith is hoping that above all else, his seniors take in the moment of playing their final high school game in front of the home crowd.
“It’s their last opportunity to put the Red and Gray on, go out and play on their home field in front of their fans. And you always want that to be a memorable game for them. To go out with a win would be huge for these guys,” Smith said.
KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH:
For North Oconee, head coach Terry Tuley said that running back Jermaine Browner is the guy to watch on Friday night. According to Tuley, Browner has over 500 kickoff-return yards, over 500 receiving yards, and just under 400 rushing yards this season.
“We’ve got a young man who literally flies under the radar, because he’s only about 5’4″…I’d say watch Jermaine Browner because he’s a lot of fun,” Tuley said.
For Madison County, the X-factor player will be senior quarterback David Metts. The dual-threat QB has thrown for 753 yards and rushed for 610 yards, leading the team in both categories. He’s also responsible for 10 of Madison County’s touchdowns this season.
Metts has been fighting some back spasms this week, and was held out of practice on Wednesday. But when coach Smith was asked about Metts’ status for Friday’s game, he had a very simple response.
“He’ll play,” Smith said.
-By Cam Gaskins