Defense stiffens late

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Despite allowing 41 points to Salado on Friday night, the Mustangs came up with just enough plays when they needed them most down the stretch to ensure the last laugh in a back-and-forth district shootout.

After holding the Eagle point total at 35 through the majority of the final quarter, Madisonville allowed a late scoring drive following a game-tying touchdown from Tyrese Brown. This could have sucked all of the momentum out of Mustang Stadium, but Marcus Dorman blocked an attempted extra point that would ultimately decide the contest.

“The extra point block by (Dorman) was a big momentum shifter as all of our kids could do the math and knew if we scored and protected ours that Mauricio would put it through the uprights,” said Madisonville head football coach Rusty Nail.

When Uriel Willis tied the game and Aceves gave Madisonville their first and only lead of the night with a covered extra point, the Mustang defense came up with a big stop to clinch the victory.

The Eagles were progressing up the field slowly but surely, but hit a wall as they entered Mustang territory and would need to convert a fourth and seven. Salado quarterback Hutton Haire frantically looked for somewhere to go with the ball on the do-or-die occasion, but ultimately decided to keep it himself. He was able to work up the field and get close to the first down marker, but a group of Madisonville defenders wrapped him up and dragged him down just a yard short of the line to gain.

Defender Marcos Lopez came up with a key tackle in bounds earlier in the series to keep the clock running and apply added pressure on Salado. Lopez also fell on a fumble earlier in the quarter that would set up the game’s tying score. The bar was jarred free by Da’voszia Mock.

Lopez and Roderick Holiday led the defense with 12 tackles apiece on Friday night while Brown and Dorman were each tied for second with 10.

Before the game, 19 Madisonville senior football players were honored on the field with their families along with 23 band members and four cheerleaders.

“This senior class has been a steady group for us in my three years,” said Nail. “There are not many outspoken leaders in the group but as a group they show up each day ready to work and get better.”

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