— See a photo gallery from Friday night's football game and homecoming ceremony on The Madison County Journal Facebook page.
By Dallas Bordon
Chris Smith had his first ice bath as head coach of the Madison County Red Raiders Friday.
His squad battled back from an 11-point deficit late to defeat Walnut Grove 32-31 on homecoming night. After the game was over, Smith was hit with the Gatorade cooler of ice water by two of his players. He walked off the sting of the cold water, smiling.
“It was worth it,” he said of the cold shower.
Smith said Friday's win was important for the Red Raider players and community.
“Our kids really needed this win,” said Smith. “They’ve been battling all year. The breaks have gone against us all year, then we get down 11 points with five minutes left to go in the game — to come back and win that way, that’s big. They didn’t quit. They kept battling and they found a way to win.”
TJ Skelton had a huge night for the winning team. He scored on a run from 65 yards, passed for a 15-yard touchdown to Reshawn Gresham, and also had a receiving touchdown of 62 yards on a halfback pass from Malik Freeman.
The Raiders fell behind 31-20 with 9:34 left to play, but battled back with a 2 yard touchdown run from Keidrick Curry with 5:31 remaining.
Kyle Metts then recovered a Raider onside kick at Walnut Grove’s 43 yard line and the Raiders punched the winning touchdown in with 3:03 left on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Skelton to a wide open Reshawn Gresham.
Madison County stopped a final Walnut Grove drive with an interception by Malik Freeman at the Raider 5 yard line with 51 seconds left.
Madison County crowned their 2012 Homecoming Queen Katie Jane Phillips and Princess Isabel Edwards at halftime.
— See the Nov. 8 edition of The Madison County Journal for more quotes, stats and photos of the dramatic Red Raider win.
Madison County football players stood on the sideline and held their helmets high in front of the MCHS band Friday after the game as the band played "Amazing Grace."
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