MadVille drops district opener after early deficit

Posted 10/1/19

The Madisonville football team scratched and clawed their way back into their district opener in Mexia on Friday, but were defeated 37-30 by the Black Cats despite mounting a fierce comeback.

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MadVille drops district opener after early deficit

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The Madisonville football team scratched and clawed their way back into their district opener in Mexia on Friday, but were defeated 37-30 by the Black Cats despite mounting a fierce comeback.

“We had a good film session on Saturday, we are trying to learn from our mistakes,” said head coach Russell Urbantke. “We just dug ourselves such a deep hole that it was tough to get out of it. I was really proud of our guys and the way they came back and fought. They showed great character with their backs against the wall.”

Offensively, the Mustangs brought out their punting unit at the conclusion of their first two drives and were down 22-0 before they could find any sort of rhythm. After a long kick return, they were finally within striking distance and began chipping away at Mexia’s defense.

The Mustangs would outscore Mexia 30-15 the rest of the night. Despite playing from behind, the offense dealt a strong, balanced attack for the remainder of the game. Quarterback Armando Juarez threw for 110 yards while Madisonville’s backs added 143 on the ground.

Tyrese Brown led the team in rushing with 47 yards on 11 carries (4.3 YPC) and was followed by Roderick Holiday with 41 yards on 11 carries (2.9 YPC). Holiday scored three of the four Madisonville touchdowns in the contest.

“(Mexia) was just about as big as Navasota up front, and our offensive line settled in,” said Urbantke. “The couple of things that got us in certain situations were the holding penalties. When you go up against talented defensive ends like that, it can pose a lot of problems.”

Juarez would also connect with Matthew Johnson in the end zone in the third quarter. This gave Madisonville their only lead of the night at the time.

Trailing 37-30, the unit had one last chance to at least tie the game in the final minutes after the defense got the ball back with a fumble recovery. A pair of first-down carries for Brown put the Mustangs in positive territory. It appeared as if a Holiday run would get them even closer, but it was called back due to a holding call.

“Offensively, we need to get rid of the penalties,” said Urbantke. “Every time we talk after a tough game like this, we are talking about penalties. So we need to get better up front for sure.”

Madisonville could not overcome this particular holding call. They were able to work it back to a fourth-and-seven, but Juarez could not find anywhere to go on a last-ditch effort with his legs.

“We were trying to slip someone up the sideline,” said Urbantke on the game’s final play call. “We felt like we could get them to chase us across the field to open up that wheel route. It was something we had not run in any of our previous games, but their defense did a nice job of sitting on it.”

After Mexia’s first quarter onslaught, they scored just two touchdowns the rest of the way. One of these came on an errant snap on a punt attempt early in the third quarter. The snap got away from Madisonville punter Juan Polanco and the Black Cats were able to pounce on the loose ball in the end zone.

Mexia’s second touchdown of the game also came on a botched punt attempt. Polanco was able to fall on this loose ball himself, but it set up the hot Black Cats offense with a short field. They immediately marched down to take a 15-0 lead in the first quarter.

“We had a bad snap and a punt blocked when a breakdown in protection happened,” said Urbantke. “We will be working hard this week to correct those things.”

Despite an 0-1 start to district play, the Mustangs can find solace in the way they played throughout the game’s final three quarters. They will return to MHS on Friday for their district home opener against Fairfield, who defeated Lorena 41-21 in their first district bout of the season.

“That is how we need to start the game Friday against Fairfield,” said Urbantke, referring to the way the team played in the last three quarters in Mexia. “It is the same defense that we have played the last couple of years. We know what it is going to be, so it will just come down to execution.”

Friday’s matchup against Fairfield will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at MHS.

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