Big plays fuel Lorena


After a strong start in Lorena on Friday, the Madisonville defense could not slow down the Leopard offensive attack and found themselves in a huge hole early after a number of big plays.

Defensive back Jeremiah Gilbert picked off Lorena quarterback Bradley Lina around midfield on one of his first throws of the game to set the offense up in prime position. When the Mustangs were halted inside the Lorena 5-yard line without any points, the floodgates opened.

After the goal line stand, Lina hit wide receiver Ben Craig in stride for a 97-yard catch and run to the end zone to put Lorena ahead. After a Madisonville three-and-out, Lina found Craig again deep downfield just passed the outstretched arms of defensive back Tyrese Brown for a 50-yard score.

Big plays, which plagued Madisonville throughout the year, continued to do so during the game on Friday. A Brown touchdown brought the deficit back to one possession early in the second quarter, but Lorena running back A.J. Bell retaliated with a rushing score of his own from 57 yards out just minutes later.

After a Mustang turnover on downs, the Leopards took a commanding first half lead that was set up by yet another long connection between Lina and Craig.

The Madisonville offense led a promising drive to begin the second half in an attempt to bring the deficit back down to two scores. However, a fumble recovered by Lorena would set up the final blow in the third quarter. Lina led another scoring drive capped off by a Ty Moore touchdown to make the lead all but insurmountable.

The Leopards would add another score to their total late in the third to get to 40. Madisonville surrendered at least 40 points in three of their final four games of the season. In their first six matchups, they allowed opponents to post 20 or more points only twice.