Mustangs shutout Shepherd in district opener

Posted 10/9/20

Madisonville’s defense recorded three takeaways in a 28-0 shutout over the Shepherd Pirates Friday to open district play while the offense cruised to four rushing touchdowns in the win.

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Mustangs shutout Shepherd in district opener

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Madisonville’s defense recorded three takeaways in a 28-0 shutout over the Shepherd Pirates Friday to open district play while the offense cruised to four rushing touchdowns in the win.

“Do your job,” said Madisonville defensive coordinator Heath Brittain after the win. “That was our motto (during the bye week). We didn't run a lot of blitzes and didn't have to. We just got back to the basics and we did our job. I am so proud of these guys.”

The Mustangs recovered two fumbles on the night, one courtesy of Cody Borgfeld and the other Patrick Brazzell. Ryan Kinsey also came away with an interception when he wrestled a wobbly pass from a Shepherd receiver’s arms in the second quarter.

“We have been preaching takeaways from day one, and it worked out for us tonight,” said Brittain.

“These last two games, we had been slacking on defense,” said linebacker Andres Lopez. “But this past week (of practice) was great. We have been executing and busting our butts off. We got to bring it into next week.”

Offensively, Armando Juarez scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first quarter to build an early advantage. His scoring runs came from 21 and 15 yards out.

Leading 7-0 in the first, the Mustangs were faced with a fourth down just inside Shepherd territory when head coach Russell Urbantke decided to leave the offense on the field. Juarez was able to connect with a streaking Jermal Holland on a backdoor pass, who advanced inside the red zone to set up the second touchdown.

“That was real big for us,” said Juarez. “We got good blocking up front from the offensive line. I just like the way we executed. I was really excited to get out here and play (after the bye).”

“We are always going to have several plays like that,” said Urbantke on the fourth down conversion. “We had a few others tonight that we missed on, but man, it is huge to be able to execute like that.”

The Mustangs never looked back. Offensively, they put together a pair of second half drives that culminated in scores from James Randle and Brazzell to extend their lead. Defensively, Shepherd did not enter the red zone until their last drive of the night.

In the final minute of the contest, the Pirates advanced the ball down to the Madisonville six-yard line and seemed poised to break the shutout in the final seconds. The defense, however, stepped up to push them back outside the 10 and keep them out of the end zone.

“That is one of the proudest things about this game,” said Urbantke. “We got down there towards the end and knew we were going to take their best shot because it meant a lot to (Shepherd), to try and get into the end zone. The defense bucked up and held strong right there at the end.”

“With a young group like that, it was really big for us," said Brittain on maintaining the shutout in the final seconds. “That was important to me and I know it was important to them.”

The Mustangs will seek to make it two straight in district when they travel to Rusk next week. Rusk dropped their first league matchup to Jasper Thursday 42-21.

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