Despite Madisonville’s shaky start on the offensive side of the ball in Friday’s 10-7 loss to Bellville to open the season, the team is focused and prepared to host a strong Woodville team in week two’s Homecoming matchup at MHS.
“(Woodville) will be the best opponent we face all year, so we better strap up and play hard or we will get embarrassed in front of a huge crowd,” said Madisonville head football Coach Rusty Nail. “Everything’s concerning on offense, so we need to keep getting better everyday. Our defensive effort is what allowed us to stay in the game against Bellville.”
Defensively, the Mustangs held the Brahmas to 188 rushing yards on 46 carries and just two receptions for 46 yards. Senior running back James Wiley took 28 of those carries for 154 yards. The second completion of the night for Bellville’s Jake Harris, a 17-yard connection with Grayson Mays in the end zone, would prove to be the winning score.
Junior linebacker Roderick Holiday led Madisonville with 13 tackles on the night. Marcus Dorman and Da’voszia Mock were tied for second with eight. Dorman also recorded two tackles in the backfield for the Mustangs.
Junior Tyrese Merchant blocked a field goal attempt in the third quarter.
The Brahmas would retaliate and block a field goal attempt by Mauricio Aceves later in the game. Aceves had a busy night for Madisonville with seven punts. He was able to place one inside the 5-yard line and also saved a potential safety while punting from his own end zone.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Mustangs were never able to find a rhythm against Bellville and struggled with penalties from start to finish. The one scoring drive for Madisonville came in the second quarter when quarterback Tyrese Brown escaped for a 45-yard run to the Brahma 5. After a false start, Brown cruised to the end zone for a 10-yard score, the unit’s first of the season.
Thanks in large part to that scoring drive, Brown led all Madisonville rushers by far with 104 yards on the ground. Uriel Willis was next in line with 63 yards on 13 carries. All told, the Mustangs averaged 5.6 yards per carry in the opener with 186 yards on 33 touches.
With many long yardage situations as a result of penalties, the Mustangs threw 20 times with Brown in his first start. The junior completed 10 of his attempts for a total of 66 yards. Brandon Larson was the team’s leading receiver with 24 yards on three receptions, closely followed by Keyon Johnson with 23 yards on three receptions.
“If we protect that field goal and do not let it get blocked, we probably win that game,” said Nail. “If we stay mentally tough and do not get those personal fouls inside the 10-yard line late, we score and win the game. Everything is fixable, and we began to get that cleaned up on Saturday."
The Woodville Eagles won their opening day matchup against Little Cypress-Mauriceville by a score of 40-8. Last season, the Mustangs took down the Eagles 30-22 in Woodville. The Homecoming game will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. at MHS.