Panthers wear down Mustangs

Posted 9/8/20

The Madisonville defense came away with two turnovers but surrendered 259 rushing yards in Friday’s 23-10 loss to the Liberty Panthers in their home opener at MHS. The Mustangs managed the physical offensive unit well in the first half before they were overpowered down the stretch.

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Panthers wear down Mustangs

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The Madisonville defense came away with two turnovers but surrendered 259 rushing yards in Friday’s 23-10 loss to the Liberty Panthers in their home opener at MHS. The Mustangs managed the physical offensive unit well in the first half before they were overpowered down the stretch.

“We had them in the (first half) but my boys got tired, we needed to be a little more physical,” said defensive lineman Jer’Tavius Brown Friday, who spoke in front of the team in the postgame huddle following Urbantke’s sentiments. “I just told them I take that loss on my back because I should have been on them more at practice. I should have been on them more because I am the leader of the defense.”

Brown recorded five tackles in the loss with one behind the line of scrimmage. Jace Snook led the team with 11 tackles and was followed by Patrick Brazzell and Jeramiah Burns with nine apiece.

“I thought our defense did a very good job in the first half, they just wore us down in the second,” said head coach Russell Urbantke Monday. “(Liberty’s) offense is predicated around three yards. They are going to keep doing it over and over and that is when, up front, we need to get a stop. Of course, they had a size advantage on us and took advantage of it.”

The Mustangs picked up where they left on in week one in the turnover department with two defensive turnovers in the first half and another through special teams. Burns recorded his second interception of the season in the first quarter and Ronnie Mosley recovered a fumble deep in Panther territory.

“(Defensive Coordinator Heath Brittain) harps on that in practice,” said Urbantke. “We work on it daily in our practice sessions and the defense has to get so many turnovers each day and, if they don’t, there is a consequence. (Brittain) and the defensive staff have done a great job.

“We need to continue doing that and we need to turn them into points. Offensively, if we don’t do anything with the turnover, it didn't help us out.”

Mosley’s fumble recovery set up the Mustangs with first and goal at the Liberty nine-yard line, but they would ultimately settle for a field goal. The offense was also unable to capitalize on a fumble recovery on a punt by Ryan Kinsey, which put the offense at the Panther 28-yard line midway through the opening quarter.

“I was super proud of how our kids showed up early,” said Urbantke immediately following the loss Friday. “(Liberty’s offense) is very methodical. It is based around three yards and a cloud of dust. They had about a 50-pound advantage on us, their offensive line and our defensive line. I knew that pounding would eventually take a toll on us.”

The Mustangs will return to MHS Friday and attempt to rebound as they host Teague in their homecoming matchup. Teague has dropped both of their first two games to start the regular season with a loss to Mart in week one (34-7) and Lago Vista Friday (22-7).

“We need to get back to the basics and what we did well in week one,” said Urbantke. “We need to get rid of the penalties, that is a big focus. We need to keep the ball between the chains offensively. Defensively, we need to sure up our tackling. I didn’t feel like we tackled well at times (Friday), we were diving at legs and not wrapping up and taking them to the ground.”

Friday’s homecoming matchup is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. at Mustang Stadium.

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