Takeaways fuel Madisonville defense

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The Madisonville defense came away with a pair of fumble recoveries as well as an interception returned for a touchdown by Roderick Holiday to ensure another top performance by the unit in the win over the Rattlers.

“This unit handles adversity real well,” said defensive coordinator Randall Cherry after the win. “They are so easy to coach. They gave up a couple of big plays early on but came out in the second half and battled their tails off.”

In the first half, the Rattlers stayed in the game against the Mustangs thanks to two big plays to receivers Darius Randle and La’Darris Thomas. These were the only two blemishes of the night for the unit.

The first turnover came on an errant snap to Navasota quarterback Zack Dyer. Madisonville’s Asa Surface was able to fall on the loose ball, which eventually set up a field goal for Mauricio Aceves and an early 3-0 advantage.

The second fumble was also recovered deep in Rattler territory. It was Matthew Johnson who came away with the recovery this time and it set up another eventual Aceves field goal to give the Mustangs a 20-7 lead. The fumble was forced by Keyon Johnson.

Matthew Johnson also came away with one of two Madisonville sacks on Friday, a backfield tackle that went for an 8-yard loss. The other sack was recorded by Micheil Harrell. Surface, Marcus Dorman and Da’voszia Mock also disrupted Dyer with quarterback hurries.

The final turnover put an explanation point on an impressive performance by the defense. Holiday read a tipped Dyer pass into his hands perfectly and returned it 20 yards to the end zone for the final Madisonville score of the night.

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