Big plays spoil solid 'D' performance

Posted 10/15/19

Despite an 0-3 start against one of the most competitive districts in the state of Texas, the Madisonville Mustangs feel like they are far from out of it at the halfway point of their league slate.

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Big plays spoil solid 'D' performance

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Despite an 0-3 start against one of the most competitive districts in the state of Texas, the Madisonville Mustangs feel like they are far from out of it at the halfway point of their league slate.

“It is a three-game season,” said head coach Russell Urbantke immediately following the 34-17 loss at Connally. “We are not out of the hunt because this district is so crazy. We are right there. We believe it, the kids believe it, we just have to finish.”

Defensively, the Mustangs controlled the game up front for the most part but were again plagued by a handful of big plays. Connally was able to get off to a 13-0 lead in the opening quarter with two touchdowns that were made possible by a pair of long completions from quarterback Kavian Gaither.

“There were many times throughout the game that I felt like we controlled the line of scrimmage, whether it was our offensive or defensive linemen,” said Urbantke. “The results do not show it, but we probably played as well up front as we have all year long. We just have to bring that same intensity this week when we play (Robinson), it cannot be any different.”

Madisonville’s defense gave the team a quick spark in the second quarter when Tyrese Brown recovered a fumble that was caused by Michael DeBoisblanc and Nathan Chappell. The fumble, which was forced from the arms of Connally’s highly-touted running back Jay’Veon Sunday, would ultimately set up a field goal to cut the deficit to three points.

The big plays continued to hurt the Mustangs at the conclusion of the first half when Gaither found Je’Juan Forward to put the Cadets inside Madisonville’s seven-yard line in the waning seconds. Sunday finished off the drive with a short touchdown run as time expired in the half.

Another long Gaither completion to Forward set up Sunday’s second score after the Cadets forced a three-and-out to begin the third quarter. The 14-point swing gave Connally the momentum they would need to hold off the Mustangs the rest of the way.

Brown led Madisonville in tackles in the loss with nine and was closely followed by Asa Surface with eight. The Mustangs compiled three tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Surface was responsible for two while Corey Johnson earned the other.

The Mustangs will see a different offensive attack when they return to MHS on Friday to host Robinson. The Rockets have lost to Salado by a score of 31-28 and Lorena by a score of 42-21 to begin district play.

“(Robinson) likes to throw the football,” said Urbantke. “It will be a little bit different than what we saw last week. They are going to come in with (Quarterback Joseph McHenry) and they like to sling it around. That is going to be a test for our secondary.”

Two of Madisonville’s final three district contests will take place at MHS.

“The kids know what we have to do,” said Urbantke. “Every game is a playoff game from here on out. The kids know that our backs are against the wall this week.”

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