Madisonville defense stiffens late

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Trailing 35-28 with just over two minutes to play, Mexia had a chance to come all the way back from 21 down and tie Madisonville on Friday at MHS before Micheil Harrell of the Mustangs dragged down quarterback Jaden Proctor twice on third and fourth down to ensure their first district win of the season.

“I had to push through and fight for my team when we needed it most,” said Harrell. “We had to stop them and we got after it.”

The plays helped Madisonville persevere despite a 28-14 advantage for the Black Cats in the second half. Mexia was able to convert on a number of big plays in the final 24 minutes to scare Mustang coaches.

“They did not make many adjustments, we just could not tackle,” said Madisonville Defensive Coordinator Randall Cherry after the win. “We were just doing too much grabbing and too much diving. But I always say this is a resilient group, and we got the stop that we needed in the end.”

The Mustangs did not record a turnover in the win over Mexia, but Marcus Dorman did come up with a blocked extra point in the second half. Dorman also led the charge on the defensive side of the ball for Madisonville with 10 tackles on the night. Desmond Walls and Harrell each recorded tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including one of Harrell's final stops at the end of the game.

The Mustangs took advantage of a number of Mexia penalties, especially early. This allowed them to shut out quarterback Jaden Proctor and the offense throughout the first half, but Mexia’s speed and talent would catch up with them eventually.

“(Mexia) has tremendous skill and we saw that in the open field in the second half on Friday,” said Rusty Nail. “We had a lot of trouble catching them and finishing tackles.”

On the special teams side, Mauricio Aceves did not attempt a field goal, but was perfect on his five extra point attempts throughout the game. He also recorded six kickoffs and two punts in the win.

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