The Crestview High School football team (5-5) lost its regular season finale to reigning 1A state champion Madison County (8-2) on the road Friday in Madison.
MADISON — Tim Hatten didn’t mince words: "We got another little butt kicking."
Just one week after dropping a six-score game to Navarre, Crestview finished out its regular season Friday with a 34-13 loss to Madison County on the road in Madison.
Turnovers were again the culprit, said Hatten, the Bulldogs’ coach. Playing without starting quarterback Chase Moulton, who was out with a concussion, Crestview (5-5 overall) gave away two fumbles, two interceptions and one turnover on downs.
Meanwhile, Madison County (8-2), the reigning 1A state champion, was as advertised.
The Cowboys led just 21-13 at the half but pulled away quickly with a touchdown in the first minute of the third quarter, holding Crestview scoreless the rest of the way.
"They’re the second best football team we’ve played all year behind Escambia," said Hatten, referencing the Bulldogs’ 32-0 loss to the Gators in Week 2. "Escambia’s just a little bit better than them, but they’re definitely the second best football team we’ve played.
"They’ve got athletes all over the field, and we needed to have scored 40 points to win that game and we just couldn’t get it done."
Cowboys quarterback Visonta Allen proved the biggest difference-maker Friday, converting four times in third-and-long situations, including a third-and-22 that went for a touchdown.
"We couldn’t have tackled him in a phone booth," Hatten said. "We just couldn’t get ’em off the field and it put a lot of pressure on us to score."
STAT OF THE NIGHT: Seven
If there’s one silver lining Friday, it’s that Crestview’s loss really didn’t matter in terms of the playoffs. The Bulldogs seem guaranteed a playoff spot when the brackets are revealed Sunday.
Crestview ranked sixth overall in the region with a .578 RPI in Tuesday’s standings update, though it will be slotted down one spot in the playoffs given Winter Springs (6-4) claimed District 4-7A title and will receive the fourth seed by rule despite its .475 RPI.
"We really didn’t feel like we were playing a game that we had to win because of the points," Hatten said. "By my calculations and everybody else’s, we seem to think it didn’t matter what happened; we’re still gonna play for that seventh seed."
With that in mind, Crestview opted to just get out of the game healthy, though Hatten did say he was concerned about how healthy his team is mentally after two straight losses to end the regular season.
OFFENSIVE MVP: Taylor Scarbrough, Crestview
Loss aside, running back Taylor Scarbrough still put on show, Hatten said, the senior teaming with Chris Johns to score Crestview’s only touchdowns.
"Taylor had a big night," Hatten said. "I don’t know how many rushing yards he had, but it was a bunch."
Scarbrough had 1,279 yards and 16 touchdowns going into Friday’s game.
DEFENSIVE MVP: Madison County
In taking the ball alway five times, the Cowboy defense sure gave its offense plenty of extra opportunities.
At 5-5, Crestview’s regular season has not met the lofty standards the Bulldogs set during their previous three years by winning 30 games. That said, the playoffs are still in sight, so Friday’s loss to Madison County …
"It aint the end of the world," Hatten said.
If Crestview does in fact claim the seventh seed and all things stay the same at the top of the rankings, the Bulldogs will get a rematch with No. 2 Niceville on Friday night at Eagle Stadium.
After dropping four straight to Crestview in recent years, the Eagles finally bucked the trend with a 24-13 victory against the Dawgs in Week 4.
If Crestview falls to the eighth seed, however, it might have to travel to Orlando to play top-ranked Edgewater (9-1).
"Hopefully we get the chance to play 20 minutes from home against one of our rivals," Hatten said. "It should be easy to get the kids ready to play and that’ll help us a little bit."