Miscues cost Mustangs non-district finale

Posted 9/29/20

The Madisonville football team concluded their non-district season with a 2-3 record Friday after a 21-16 loss to the Livingston Lions at MHS. The Mustangs turned the ball over twice inside the red zone in the second half to drop the highly competitive contest entering their by week.

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Miscues cost Mustangs non-district finale

Posted

The Madisonville football team concluded their non-district season with a 2-3 record Friday after a 21-16 loss to the Livingston Lions at MHS. The Mustangs turned the ball over twice inside the red zone in the second half to drop the highly competitive contest entering their by week.

“I know it didn't turn out the way we wanted Friday night, but that was a very athletic team,” said head coach Russell Urbantke. “I thought, overall, we handled (pre-district) very well. It is an old coach’s cliche, but we just need to keep getting better.”

Despite the costly turnovers, Madisonville appeared to come away with a key interception off Livingston quarterback Damian Ruiz that would have put them back within striking distance for the lead in the fourth quarter.

Jeramiah Burns came away with the floating pass after Ruiz let it go under immense pressure near the goal line on third down, but was flagged for pass interference. Since the pass came out wobbly, it appeared as if it may have been tipped, which would have by rule rendered the interference call ineligible.

Urbantke, however, confirmed Monday that the ball was not tipped and that the officials made the correct call.

“I felt like (the officials) did a great job all night and no, it did not appear that the ball had been tipped (after watching the game film),” said Urbantke. “When you go back and look at the video, there was contact made (on the receiver).”

After the automatic first down, Livingston went on to use the remainder of the clock with their offense on the field.

Previously in the fourth quarter, quarterback Armando Juarez fumbled at the 10-yard line as he attempted to scramble inside the red zone. A critical three-and-out inside the Lion 15 for the Madisonville defense beforehand helped set up the offense with strong field position. Patrick Brazzell helped bring the Mustangs inside the red zone before the fumble.

“When we get inside the red zone, we need to come away with points,” said Urbantke. “We will be working on our red zone offense this week as well as basic fundamentals. The plays are there, we are just not executing to the point of success inside the 20-yard line.”

Brazzell also helped setup Madisonville’s lone second half scoring drive with a long run near the end of the third quarter. Burns would ultimately find the end zone, but the team’s two-point attempt to cut the deficit to three was unsuccessful.

While the game was ultimately defined the final minutes, Livingston created separation early in the second half. Trailing 14-10 to start the third, Madisonville fumbled the kickoff to set the Lions up at the 11-yard line, resulting in a quick score and a two-possession game.

A pair of Brazzell carries set up the Mustangs for a retaliatory score on the ensuing possession, but the drive would be foiled by miscues. Juarez was first intercepted inside the five-yard line, but the Lions immediately fumbled the ball and gave it back to the Mustangs at the 10.

Three plays later, another Madisonville fumble was recovered by the Lions to end the threat and keep the score 21-10 at the time.

“It is a simple game,” said Urbantke. “You got to block, you got to tackle ad you got to take care of the football. If we get good at those three things, we are going to be successful. But we need to do all of those things on the same night.”

Madisonville also settled for a 25-yard Vladimir Morales field goal inside the red zone in the first half. It was set up by a 28-yard pitch and catch from Juarez to Doug’kyrn Johnson down the sideline.

The Mustangs compiled 120 yards on the ground in the loss and were led by Brazzell with 66 on nine carries (7.3 yards per carry). Juarez racked up 26 yards while Burns added another 22.

Juarez was 5-for-10 through the air with 70 passing yards and an interception. Johnson led Madisonville receivers with 46 yards, including a 39-yard reception, while Devin Wheaton added nine.

The Mustangs lost two fumbles on offense and another on special teams.

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