MadVille can't keep stride with surging Rockets

Posted 10/22/19

The Madisonville football team remained winless in district play with a 55-35 loss to the Robinson Rockets at Mustang Stadium on Friday, dropping their league record to 0-4 with a pair of matchups remaining.

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MadVille can't keep stride with surging Rockets

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The Madisonville football team remained winless in district play with a 55-35 loss to the Robinson Rockets at Mustang Stadium on Friday, dropping their league record to 0-4 with a pair of matchups remaining.

“We have a couple more opportunities to go out and play hard,” said head coach Russell Urbantke. “I talked to the seniors about finishing their high school careers on a positive note and that is what I am preaching this week. We want to go out and give everything we got in these last couple of games.”

The loss makes Madisonville the only winless team in one of the state’s most competitive districts with matchups against Salado and Lorena remaining to conclude the season.

“We still have to get better every week,” said Urbantke. “(Salado) is another tough opponent and a really good football team. We have to match their intensity or it will be another long night.”

The Mustangs got off to a hot start in Friday’s loss to the Rockets with a three-minute touchdown drive after the opening kickoff. Tyrese Brown, who manned the quarterback position throughout the opening drive and at various times throughout the contest, capped off the first possession with a touchdown run from over 30 yards out.

Madisonville’s offense enjoyed success throughout the night, especially on the ground. Brown rushed for 184 yards on 23 carries against Robinson (eight yards per attempt) and found the end zone three times. This included a 65-yard touchdown run in the game’s final minute. All told, the Mustangs compiled 219 yards on the ground.

“We were moving the ball pretty well,” said Brown after the loss. “We had some good runs and a couple of mess-ups, but those are all fixable. We need to step it up on defense, we needed more stops tonight and we did not get those. They executed everything. Passing is what they do best, we just could not find a way to stop it.”

After the opening drive, the Madisonville offense spent most the night playing from behind while Robinson’ continued to score points. They were able to get back within one possession in the third quarter when Roderick Holiday returned a safety kickoff for a touchdown. Including the safety that set it up, the Mustangs picked up nine straight points in less than 30 seconds.

“Those guys on the kick return team were awesome,” said Urbantke. “We pinned them deep, got the big safety and kind of had the momentum shift our way. We just struggled to make a stop in critical situations.”

The strong rushing attack also set up occasional success through the air for Madisonville’s offense on Friday. Brown completed three passes for a total of 36 yards, which included a long completion to Corey Johnson in the first half. Quarterback Armando Juarez completed four of his eight attempts for a total of 75 yards. Juarez connected with Nathan Chappell up the middle of the field in the second half for 50 yards and one of the team’s scores.

“Offensively, I thought we had a well-balanced attack,” said Urbantke. “We took a couple of shots down the field and their defense allowed us to do that. If you can balance things out, it makes an offense much tougher to defend. We will continue that this week against Salado in trying to balance the run-pass ratio.”

Madisonville’s offense will likely have less chances to work with in this week’s matchup at Salado. The Eagles lead long and methodical offensive drives that are dominated by the ground game, which constantly keeps the clock moving and their opponents’ offensive personnel on the sidelines. Salado has surrendered just 77 points this season as a result, just four less points than district-leading Fairfield’s 73.

“They are going to limit your offensive possessions,” said Urbantke. “They will take long drives, huddle and milk the clock. You may only touch the ball two or three times during a half and that is the emphasis this week. When we have the ball, we have to produce. They are just going to play keep away from you.”

Salado (5-2, 2-1) is coming off of back-to-back victories over Robinson and Lorena by scores of 31-28 and 35-21, respectively. The game will kick off at Eagle Stadium in Salado on Friday at 7:30 p.m. It will be Madisonville’s final road game of the season.

Madisonville’s district finale and Senior Night will take place at MHS against Lorena on Nov. 1.

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