Mustangs scorch Lumberjacks to start season

Posted 8/29/20

Quarterback Armando Juarez led the Madisonville Mustangs with four rushing touchdowns Saturday and Patrick Brazzell found the end zone on both sides of the ball in the team’s 49-20 rout of Diboll at a scorching Lumberjack Stadium.

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Mustangs scorch Lumberjacks to start season

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Quarterback Armando Juarez led the Madisonville Mustangs with four rushing touchdowns Saturday and Patrick Brazzell found the end zone on both sides of the ball in the team’s 49-20 rout of Diboll at a scorching Lumberjack Stadium.

“I am so proud of our kids and their mental toughness,” said head coach Russell Urbantke. “There were so many factors. It was 100 degrees, crazy humidity. The kids blocked all that out and the effort was relentless.”

Diboll threatened to cut the deficit to one score with just under nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter when Brazzell ripped the ball away and broke free into the open field for a 95-yard touchdown return, securing the team’s victory.

“In the first half, I fumbled, so I had to redeem myself and get my team back because I felt like I let them down,” said Brazzell. “I was looking for the right moment. I saw it, hit the mesh, stripped it away and took off.”

The score put the Mustangs up 42-20 at the time. They extended their lead with one last score on a late punt return for a touchdown by Jeremiah Burns.

The Mustangs rebounded quickly from a nightmarish start to the afternoon. Diboll returned the opening kickoff deep into Madisonville territory before scoring on their first play from scrimmage.

The offense would march down the field to retaliate with the first of four rushing touchdowns on the afternoon from Juarez, which came on fourth-and-goal.

“That is what we preach,” said Urbantke. “When things happen to us, we need to respond. The offense came right back and put it in the end zone after seven plays. I am more proud of that than anything.”

“I felt like our QB blast play was working pretty good for us,” said Juarez. “That is what most of the touchdowns came off of. My (offensive line) did amazing, my receivers did amazing holding their blocks. Everything was working. We had great execution, great blocking, great schemes, everything.”

Juarez reiterated how pleased he was with the offensive line, which is comprised of a number of underclassmen experiencing their first official varsity action.

Trailing 14-8, the Lumberjacks appeared to be marching right back down the field for another score and a possible lead on their third possession. But quarterback Jaylon Willis had to retreat in order to handle the first of many errant snaps on the day on a third down inside the Madisonville 30.

After picking up the loose ball and tossing it downfield, Willis’ pass was intercepted by Burns at the 22. The turnover would lead to the Madisonville’s first two-possession lead of the game.

The Mustangs scored 21 unanswered points in the first half following Diboll’s opening score. They took a 13-point lead early in the second when Juarez found Brazzell along the sideline for a 50-yard catch and run to the end zone.

“We work on (the route) in practice a lot,” said Brazzell on the score. “The only thing I can say about that is execution. Practice, execution. (Wide receiver Doug’kyrn Johnson) brought the corner in, the safety didn't pick me up, so I took off and caught the ball. It was a perfect pass.”

The Madisonville defense forced two turnovers (not counting turnovers on downs) against the Lumberjack offense and allowed just 14 points as a unit. Diboll’s final score of the game came late in the third quarter on an interception return for a touchdown deep in Mustang territory.

The Mustangs are next scheduled to host Liberty in their home opener at MHS Sept. 4 at 7:30.

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