Five things to know as Madison visits Polk County for the opening game of the 2023 football season.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. The game will also air live on NFHS Network.
Streaking: Madison will roll into G.M. Tennant Stadium looking to break a pair of long streaks.
The Patriots have not won a season opener since the 2013 season, when Madison nipped Smoky Mountain 14-12 in overtime. The Patriots have also not defeated Polk County since the 2012 season.
Wolverine dominance: Polk County has largely owned the series between the two schools, winning 24 of the 27 meetings to date between the programs.
The teams last met in March 2021, the COVID-delayed 2020 season, when Polk County rolled to a 53-7 win in Marshall. Angus Weaver rushed for 197 yards and four touchdowns and scored another receiving in that win.
Two-way wonder: Expect to see a lot of Levi Shelton on Friday.
The Madison senior is the team’s top returning rusher and tackler. He gained 567 yards on 117 carries last season and recorded 83 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss.
Two if by air: Madison will be looking to either sophomore Dallas Bartlett or sophomore Zane Bucker at quarterback to helm its spread attack.
Senior Cade Woody will be a popular target for whoever takes snaps, and look for Madison to get senior Eli Teague involved in the offense as well.
New-look backfield: Polk County’s offensive backfield will definitely feature a number of new faces.
No player on the roster has thrown a varsity pass, and the team’s leading returning rusher is wide receiver Keaundrae Green, who carried three times for five yards. Polk returns just eight combined rushing attempts from last season.
Receiving? Another story – the Wolverines return a combined 75 catches for 1,472 yards.