MadVille offense bounces back in big way

Posted 9/24/19

The Madisonville offense came back to life in Friday’s 43-21 victory over the Navasota Rattlers at MHS, putting the Mustangs back in the win column in their non-district finale on Homecoming.

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MadVille offense bounces back in big way


The Madisonville offense came back to life in Friday’s 43-21 victory over the Navasota Rattlers at MHS, putting the Mustangs back in the win column in their non-district finale on Homecoming.

“Our backs were sort of against the wall and we challenged our kids all week to come out and perform like we know they can,” said head coach Russell Urbantke. “I preached to them all week that this was our last tune up before district play. Hopefully, we got the train back on track.”

Armando Juarez and Tyrese Brown led the charge behind a stout performance by Madisonville’s offensive line in a five-touchdown showcase against the Rattlers. Juarez threw for 115 yards and added another 80 on the ground while Brown totaled 130 all-purpose yards to lead the team.

Despite an explosive second quarter, the Mustangs found themselves in a one-possession game late in the third after a special teams miscue and a pair of Navasota scores. But Brown set the tone for a much-needed scoring drive with five straight carries to put the offense within striking distance. Juarez then found Corey Johnson open in the end zone to reestablish a two-possession lead for good.

“Our offense showed a lot of resilience,” said Brown. “We faced adversity and came away with the win. That is what hard work gets you.”

“I was so proud of the way they faced that adversity,” said Urbantke. “We came out with two three-and-outs after they made some in-game adjustments at half, so we had to make some adjustments to get the offense back on track.”

Juarez, who connected with Brown for a 53-yard score in the second quarter, finished with a pair of touchdown passes. He also ran one in to cap off the team’s first scoring drive of the night.

“We had to score so we could put the game away,” said Juarez on the second half’s first scoring drive. “We are very confident now and feel like we can win and win a lot. We need to keep working hard in practice, the weight room and everything we do.”

Brown also found the end zone with his legs in the second quarter and appeared to do so again in the fourth, but was ruled to have fumbled the ball while lunging toward the goal line. Josh Griffin, who fell on the loose ball in the end zone, was credited with the score.

Madisonville’s Matthew Johnson broke a long run of 33 yards to contribute to the team’s 239 yards of total rushing. Corey Johnson ran for 39 yards to go along with his receiving touchdown while Roderick Holiday added 17. The volume was heavily in Brown’s favor (23 carries), but a diverse backfield could pay dividends for the Mustangs in district play.

“With our bye week coming at the end of the year, I think it is a very crucial part of our offense,” said Urbantke. “You cannot hone in on one of our backs. Having those four or five dynamic players feels like more of a threat when you have that kind of versatility in the backfield.”

Colby Sheppard and Doug’kyrn Johnson joined Brown and Corey Johnson in catching passes from Juarez. Sheppard hauled in two balls for 26 yards while Doug’kyrn Johnson caught a pair for 10.

Up front, Madisonville’s offensive line battled a strong Navasota defensive line to clear pathways and buy time for Juarez to throw. The unit was comprised of Konner Atkins and Ki’vycia Purvis at tackle, Alejandro Angeles and Tyrece Merchant at guard, and Juan Polanco at center. The line helped overpower the Rattlers in three goal line situations that resulted in touchdowns.

“We have kind of been shuffling some guys around, but I feel like the five or six guys that we settled in last week have made a big difference,” said Urbantke. “They have been a big part of our success, not only in the running game, but the passing game as well. We were able to protect a little better for (Juarez).”

Madisonville will open their district slate with a matchup against Mexia on the road. In 2018, the Mustangs defeated the Black Cats 35-28 at MHS. Mexia (1-2) has lost to C.H. Yoe (34-21) and Malakoff (17-14). Their win came in week two against Teague (49-22). Their final non-district matchup against Coldspring-Oakhurst on Friday was postponed due to weather.

“We are going to face another good defensive front,” said Urbantke. “The offensive line is going to have to play really well again. We have to go back to work (Monday). We had some really energetic practices last week, and I feel like that carried over when we came out on both sides of the ball. We have to do that again on Friday night. We are not going to be able to come out flat, we need to come off of the ball strong and win it in the trenches.”

It is the first of six straight district matchups to conclude the regular season for the Mustangs. The district opener is scheduled to kick off in Mexia at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.