MadVille defense hangs tough in loss

Posted 9/29/20

The Madisonville defense forced a pair of early turnovers and helped give the team a chance at victory late in Friday’s 21-16 loss to Livingston at MHS.

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MadVille defense hangs tough in loss

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The Madisonville defense forced a pair of early turnovers and helped give the team a chance at victory late in Friday’s 21-16 loss to Livingston at MHS.

“I feel like our defensive line played as well as they have all year,” said head coach Russell Urbantke. “They were making noise up front and when you have an active defensive line and get some push up front, that is going to help the linebackers in turn.”

The defensive unit opened the game with two fumble recoveries in the first quarter, including a Cody Borgfeld strip inside the Lion five-yard line that Konner Atkins pounced on to set up first and goal. This led to the team’s first touchdown.

“Contain the quarterback, do not let him outside of you, keep the ball and get as many takeaways as we could get,” said Borgfeld when asked about the team’s defensive game plan. “I just think we need to tweak up the little things. We will be ready for district. We are going to get it after this week.”

Borgfeld recorded three tackles behind the line of scrimmage and five total. Jace Snook led the team with 11 tackles, two of which were in the backfield. He was followed by Jeramiah Burns with six and Jermal Holland with five.

Snook and Ronaldo Willis also stripped Livingston ball carriers while Jer’Tavius Brown fell on a loose ball.

Two of the three Livingston touchdown drives began inside the red zone. The Lions immediately responded to an Armando Juarez score to break the ice by returning the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Madisonville 10-yard line. Livingston running back Lynn Johnson then tied the game with a 10-yard score.

Trailing by four to begin the second half, the Mustangs fumbled the opening kickoff to give the Lions the ball at the Madisonville 11 yard-line. Johnson would then find the end zone again to extend Livingston’s lead to 21-10 less than a minute into the third quarter. The Lions would not score again.

Early in the fourth, the defense came up with a critical three-and-out to set up a Lion punt deep in their own territory. It gave the offense favorable field position and led to a touchdown, which cut the deficit to one possession.

Madisonville heads into their bye with two weeks to prepare for their district opener against Shepherd at MHS. It is a favorable time to receive the bye compared to their last two seasons, when their scheduled off-weeks each came on the last Friday of the regular season.

“We are going to get back to some of the fundamental stuff,” said Urbantke. “We will continue with our tackling drills and stripping the ball, our defense has done an amazing job of being ball hawks and getting those turnovers for us.”

Madisonville concluded their non-district slate with a 2-3 record with victories over Diboll and Teague and losses to Liberty, Lorena and Livingston. They have battled inexperience at a number of positions, but Urbantke is pleased with the group’s progress as they ramp up to run the five-game gauntlet in search of the postseason.

District play kicks off at MHS against Shepherd Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Shepherd picked up their first win Thursday over Hempstead and has dropped contests to Kirbyville, Coldspring-Oakhurst and Liberty. They will travel to Splendora Friday.

The team’s remaining district matchups at MHS following Shepherd include Center (Oct. 23) and Jasper (Nov. 6). They will travel to Rusk (Oct. 16) and Carthage (Oct. 30).

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