MadVille 'D' stifled in third quarter

Posted 10/8/19

The Madisonville defense could not slow down the rushing threat of Fairfield quarterback Justin Abram in Friday’s 31-15 home loss to the Eagles and allowed three touchdowns in a back-breaking third quarter.

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MadVille 'D' stifled in third quarter

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The Madisonville defense could not slow down the rushing threat of Fairfield quarterback Justin Abram in Friday’s 31-15 home loss to the Eagles and allowed three touchdowns in a back-breaking third quarter.

“(Abram) is a dynamic quarterback,” said head coach Russell Urbantke after the loss. “He is a running back playing quarterback. With the big boys they have up front along with their schemes, they executed really well in the third quarter. We kept them off of the field in the first half and that was the game plan going in.”

The Mustangs were able to follow their game plan and keep Abram on the sidelines for the majority of the first half. The defense started the game with a safety when Roderick Holiday brought pressure on Abram in the end zone, which ultimately resulted in an intentional grounding penalty and a 2-0 advantage.

With a defensive touchdown by Fairfield and a long scoring drive by the Mustangs, Abram and the Eagle offense were never allowed the time of possession to find a rhythm at the beginning of the contest.

The third quarter, however, was a different story. Abram broke a number of long plays against the Madisonville defense and scored three touchdowns in an eight-minute span. All told, he ran for 192 yards on 23 carries (8.3 YPC). He was responsible for all but 33 of Fairfield’s yard production in the game.

The Mustangs did manage to increase their turnover total on the season with an interception on Friday. Late in the first half, Abram took a shot deep downfield and appeared to find his man inside the five-yard line before Tyrese Brown wrestled away the ball in midair for the takeaway. The Madisonville defense has now recorded at least one turnover in every game this season.

Jace Snook led the Mustangs in tackles in the loss with a total of 12. He was followed by Asa Surface with 10, Andres Lopez with seven and Micheil Harrell with six. Holiday recorded the team’s only sack while Brown and Nathan Chappell each deflected an Abram pass attempt.

Fairfield did all of their damage on the ground against Madisonville. Abram completed just three of 10 passes during the game for a total of 53 yards. All three completions went to Dequann McWilliams.

Madisonville’s defensive unit will face another fierce challenge on the ground when they travel to Waco to face Connally in week seven. The Cadets are led by senior running back and University of Washington commit Jay’Veon Sunday, who has already compiled over 1,000 rushing yards this season.

“They are a run-oriented offense,” said Urbantke. “They run the running back and quarterback a lot, it is kind of like Fairfield. They do not do a lot of different formations or anything like that. They are going to line up, snap the ball and hand it to number four.”

Sunday will work behind right tackle Trent Pullen, who is one of two players on the team committed to play at Oklahoma State. Defensive back and wide receiver Korie Black will also play for the Cowboys collegiately.

The Mustangs will have their work cut out for them against the undefeated Cadets on both sides of the ball. Despite an 0-2 start, Urbantke knows there are still opportunities to be had in the deep district with four games still remaining.

“I told them that you got to believe that we are still in this thing,” said Urbantke. “It is not like (Connally) is pitching shutouts. There are people who have put up points on them and that is what we have to do. They have to believe that we can go in there and keep the ball away from their offense. That will be a big influence this week.”

Madisonville and Connally will kick off their contest on 7:30 p.m. on Friday night in Waco.

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