Madisonville (0-1) struggled to find a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball in Friday’s sloppy 10-7 loss to the Bellville Brahmas (1-0) at MHS to open the season.
“We are not a very good team offensively right now,” said Madisonville head football Coach Rusty Nail. “We struggled everywhere. We cannot protect a three-step drop, so we are going to have to run the football. But if you are as undisciplined as we were tonight, you will find yourselves in second and long or third and long situations.”
Penalties plagued the Mustangs throughout the opener on both sides of the ball. The Brahmas were assisted by two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties by offensive players on Madisonville in the fourth quarter.
“I am extremely disappointed in the penalties,” said Nail. “I thought we were more disciplined than that. You can hang that one on me.”
On top of the penalties, the game featured two blocked field goals. The first came in favor of the Mustangs when Tyrese Merchant stuffed a 38-yard attempt by Zach Hood to keep his team up four. The second was a Bellville block of a 31-yard try by Mauricio Aceves in the fourth quarter that proved fatal. Aceves was extremely effective in the opener as Madisonville’s punter, avoiding a possible safety on a loose ball while kicking from his own end zone on one of his many opportunities.
Madisonville’s defense made their presence known throughout the entire game and did not allow Bellville to find the end zone until late in the fourth. Up front, the defensive line made life difficult for the Brahma backs and showcased physicality throughout the game. They forced one turnover on the night: a fumble recovery by Da’Voszia Mock after a botched handoff attempt by Bellville.
“We fought hard tonight and stayed low on defense,” said senior defensive end and tight end Brandon Larson. “We need to get it together as a team and keep our composure. When something bad happens, we need to stay smart.”
In the secondary, Corey Johnson stood out with key deflections in big moments of the game, including a break up in the back of the end zone in the fourth quarter. However, the Brahmas were able to covert the winning score on the next play in the corner of the end zone thanks to an impressive catch by Grayson Mays.
The Mustangs posted their score midway through the second quarter thanks to an explosive run by junior quarterback Tyrese Brown, who made his first start Friday. Brown did not have much time to be effective throughout the majority of the game, but his rush of 45 yards followed by a 10-yard touchdown carry showcased his potential in the pocket.
“We just need to come off the ball better and work harder,” said Brown. “I felt comfortable out there, but there is a lot we need to focus on as a unit. It will come.”
“(Brown) gave tremendous effort,” said Nail on his quarterback. “He missed a couple reads and lost his footing once or twice, but we’ll check out the film and take care of it.”
Madisonville will once again play at MHS in week two when they welcome the Woodville Eagles to town. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. next Friday and will be a Homecoming matchup.