It starts up front

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After a non-district win at Mustang Stadium to start the season, it doesn’t get any either for Madisonville as they travel to Woodville on Friday to meet the Eagles. This will be the season opener for Woodville.

“We need to make sure we have enough fortitude up front to stand in against their huge offensive line and their punishing double-wing rushing attack.” Said head Mustang football coach Rusty Nail on his next opponent. “We must attack their will up front and make them earn every single yard. It will be a test of physical and mental toughness for us.”

Madisonville certainly dominated the front lines in their week 1 win against Teague. Four different Mustangs recorded a sack in the season opener and the unit as a whole registered four traditional turnovers, two interceptions and two fumbles recovered. They also forced a key turnover on downs deep in their own territory.

“I was very pleased with our performance up front and I thought we really took it to a much bigger, stronger and experienced offensive line from Teague,” said Nail. “We put good pressure on the passer and forced them to roll out and held strong against the run.”

Even with a 24-0 shutout victory to start the season, Nail knows there’s much to improve on if the team hopes to remain successful moving forward. The Mustangs were plagued by penalties throughout Friday’s win, especially early on when they were trying to establish a foothold in the first half.

All told, Madisonville lost more than 150 rushing yards due to holding penalties on their wide receivers, the majority of which came on a would-be 90-yard rushing touchdown by Kendell Moffett.

Nail also stressed the need to make better decisions in the passing game, where they turned the ball over two times against the Lions. But the head coach stressed the need to improve his team’s game off of the field as well.

“We need to improve our nutrition. Our players were cramping up a lot early in the game so we need to be properly conditioned and hydrated,” said Nail. “We talked to the players about taking good care of their bodies and not skipping meals.”

Woodville begins their season as the top contender in their district according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. Returning running back Zack Martin as well as a hefty offensive line will lead their potent ground attack. In 2016, the Eagles were a perfect 6-0 within their district.

Madisonville took to the practice field on Labor Day and get back to a regular schedule for the rest of the week as they prepare for Woodville. Week 2 will kickoff at Eagle Stadium in Woodville on Friday at 7:30 pm.

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