Mustangs fall short in non-district finale

Posted 9/25/20

The Madisonville Mustangs turned the ball over twice in the red zone in the second half Friday and fell to Livingston by a score of 21-16. They conclude non-district play with a 2-3 record entering their bye week.

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Mustangs fall short in non-district finale

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The Madisonville Mustangs turned the ball over twice in the red zone in the second half Friday and fell to Livingston by a score of 21-16. They conclude non-district play with a 2-3 record entering their bye week.

“That is the most athletic football team we have played all year,” said Madisonville head coach Russell Urbantke on his opponent after the game. “Our defense played awesome and did what they could. I am super proud of them.”

Despite the costly turnovers, Madisonville appeared to come away with a key interception off Livingston quarterback Damian Ruiz that would have put them back within striking distance for the lead in the fourth quarter.

Jeramiah Burns came away with the floating pass after Ruiz let it go under immense pressure near the goal line on third down, but was flagged for pass interference. The ball appeared as if it may have been tipped in the process, which, by rule, would have rendered the pass interference call ineligible.

The result was instead an automatic first down for the Lions, who would then kill the remainder of the clock with a pair of first downs.

Urbantke was unsure whether or not the pass that led to the critical, overturned interception was tipped.

“(The officials) did not say anything about it being tipped,” said Urbantke. “They just said (Burns) pulled his jersey while the ball was in the air. I will have to go back and look at that on video.”

Previously in the fourth quarter, quarterback Armando Juarez fumbled at the 10-yard line as he attempted to scramble inside the red zone. A critical three-and-out inside the Lion 15 for the Madisonville defense beforehand helped set up the offense with strong field position. Patrick Brazzell helped bring the Mustangs inside the red zone before the fumble.

“Offensively, we got to get better in the red zone,” said Urbantke. “The turnovers in the red zone are killing us.”

Brazzell also helped setup Madisonville’s lone second half scoring drive with a long run near the end of the third quarter. Burns would ultimately find the end zone, but the team’s two-point attempt to cut the deficit to three was unsuccessful.

While the game was ultimately defined the final minutes, Livingston created separation early in the second half. Trailing 14-10 to start the third, Madisonville fumbled the kickoff to set the Lions up at the 11-yard line, resulting in a quick score and a two-possession game.

A pair of Brazzell carries set up the Mustangs for a retaliatory score on the ensuing possession, but the drive would be foiled by miscues. Juarez was first intercepted inside the five-yard line, but the Lions immediately fumbled the ball and gave it back to the Mustangs at the 10.

Three plays later, another Madisonville fumble was recovered by the Lions to end the threat and keep the score 21-10 at the time.

Madisonville also settled for a 25-yard Vladimir Morales field goal inside the red zone in the first half. It was set up by a 28-yard pitch and catch from Juarez to Doug’kyrn Johnson down the sideline.

Defensively, the Mustangs managed to contain Livingston’s explosive offense for much of the contest. In the first quarter, Cody Borgfeld stripped the ball inside the Livingston five-yard line. It was recovered by Konner Atkins and would ultimately lead to a two-yard touchdown carry for Juarez to break the ice.

“Contain the quarterback, do not let him outside of you, keep the ball and get as many takeaways as we could get,” said Borgfeld when asked about the team’s defensive game plan. “I just think we need to tweak up the little things. We will be ready for district. We are going to get it after this week.”

Borgfeld also recorded a sack in the contest.

Morales help set up the early scoring sequence with a perfect punt to the Livingston one-yard line.

The Madisonville defense recovered a pair of fumbles in the first quarter, the other courtesy of Ronaldo Willis.

The Mustangs will be idle next week before beginning district play at MHS Oct. 9 against Shepherd.

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