Madison County High is very good at the game of football. But now they're playing another game -- the waiting game.

Madison, ranked No. 1, is in the Florida Class 2A state championship game against No. 2 Hollywood Chaminade. The Cowboys are just one win away from their ultimate goal, a state championship. They will get their chance at 1 p.m. next Friday, Dec. 12, at Florida Field in Gainesville.

But that game is still seven days away. Because Class 2A was split into two classifications last year, Madison and Chaminade, as well as Class 2B finalists Union County and Pahokee, had one less playoff game than the other classes. That means an off week this week, so that all the championship games can be played on the same weekend.

To Madison coach Frankie Carroll, that wait is a mixed blessing.

"The hardest part is the wait," Carroll said. "In a way, I wish we were playing this week, but in a way we're glad we've got another week to prepare for Chaminade. They're good. They do so much stuff on offense, we could use another week to get ready. I don't know how it will affect us. But it has helped us get some bumps and bruises healed."

The Cowboys, though, will be happy to play whenever they're scheduled to play.

"They're real excited," Carroll said. "This is a big opportunity for us.

"We've had some great practices this week. We've worked on fundamentals this week, hitting and tackling. We'll get into our gameplan on Monday."

It has been a memorable year for Madison County. What was supposed to be a rebuilding year has been anything but. The Cowboys have gone 12-0-1, the only undefeated team in 2A, with wins over 4A powers Tallahassee Lincoln and Lake City Columbia, among others. Last week, they beat Bradford 43-11 in the semifinals.

"It's been a good season," Carroll said. "We've been blessed. We've got a great group of kids. They've worked hard all year. But they're not done yet. We still want to win one more game. We want to be state champions."

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