Rockets burn Mustang 'D'

Posted 10/22/19

The Madisonville defense’s big-play woes continued Friday as the Mustangs could not slow down a surging Robinson Rockets offensive attack in a 55-35 loss at MHS.

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Rockets burn Mustang 'D'

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The Madisonville defense’s big-play woes continued Friday as the Mustangs could not slow down a surging Robinson Rockets offensive attack in a 55-35 loss at MHS.

The Mustangs failed to make critical tackles in space throughout the night, leading to a number of long gains for Joseph McHenry and the Robinson offense.

“We tackled some superior athletes the week before against Connally, and they both did some of the same things to us,” said head coach Russell Urbantke. “It is a difficult game, but it is also a simple game. Tackling, blocking and limiting turnovers are the things you need to do. We had several opportunities to make tackles and we just did not do it very well. Of course, the end result was big plays by their offense.”

Robinson scored quickly on their last drive of the first half as well as their first drive in the second half, giving them a 28-13 advantage early in the third quarter. A Juan Polanco punt on the ensuing possession pinned the Rockets at their own one-yard line, setting the stage for Madisonville’s defensive highlight of the night.

Mustang defenders Roderick Holiday, Jertavius Brown and Da’Voszia Mock all converged on McHenry, forcing him to let the ball fly to no target in particular for an intentional grounding call in the end zone. Holiday the returned the safety kickoff for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to six points at the time.

On the following possession, however, Robinson’s Ethan Linder took a screen pass from McHenry over 50 yards to put the Rockets back up by two possessions. Another long screen to Malik Ford would go the distance near the end of the third quarter to give Robinson an insurmountable lead.

Statistically, Jace Snook led the Mustangs in tackles in Friday’s loss with 13. He was followed by Michael DeBoisblanc with eight and Tyrece Merchant with six. Snook also recorded a tackle in the backfield and Holiday was credited with a sack on the safety.

Holiday’s touchdown on the kick return went for 65 yards while Corey Johnson totaled 52 return yards on four opportunities. Polanco punted four times for a total of 112 yards and was a perfect three-for-three on extra point attempts.

Madisonville’s next offensive opponent offers a completely different style than that of Robinson’s, where the passing attack was a constant threat. The Salado Eagles will keep the ball on the ground and control the game with their running backs in an attempt to limit their opponents’ chances.

“(Salado) is a lot like Bellville, they are a slot-T team,” said Urbantke. “They run the ball 95 percent of the time. All they are looking for is three yards every time they run the football and they only throw it when they have to. Even in long yardage situations, it is not a guarantee that they will throw. They have two really fast backs that they like to hand the ball to on the edge.”

Madisonville allowed 200 rushing yards on 55 carries (3.6 yards per attempt) in their 18-15 loss to Bellville in overtime to open the 2019 season. They also recorded three tackles in the backfield and recovered five fumbles on the night.

Salado averages just over 12 points per game due to their slow-moving offensive attack that consumes much of the clock. The Mustangs will look to hold a district opponent to under 30 points for the first time this season.

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