BELLVILLE — Madisonville clinched the regular season district title with another convincing win on Friday night, this one coming against the Bellville Brahmas, 31-21. The Mustangs now have one regular season game remaining before the playoffs, which will be a senior night showdown at home against the Tarkington Longhorns.
“It’s very exciting for the kids to be District champions after beating a great Bellville team at their place,” said Madisonville head coach Rusty Nail. “Staying focus to close out the season won’t be a problem since we always take it week by week regardless of the situation. These kids handle that very well.”
The crucial contest went back-and-forth for the entire first half and the Mustangs even trailed until Ben Phillips led a key scoring drive before the break. Phillips connected with Kasey Williamson for two key completions to give the drive traction and Cornelius Merchant finished it off in the end zone. Madisonville pulled away in the second half.
Merchant led the lethal Mustang ground attack once again on Friday night with three touchdowns and 127 yards. Johnny Simpson added 35 yards and Kendell Moffett found the end zone.
“Our effort was great on Friday and that was the difference against Bellville,” said Nail. “We answered the call every time they scored and took momentum back.”
The Brahmas did most of their scoring in the opening half. In fact, the Bellville offense found absolutely no answers against the Madisonville defense in the second half with the exception of one drive. Bellville was able to get over 20 with a garbage time touchdown as the clock ticked fell 2 minutes. Simpson led the unit with 12 tackles and Merchant was right behind him with 11. The Brahmas were pressured all game by Mustangs such as Chris Scott and Zach Poe, who each recorded a sack.
The only thing standing between Madisonville and a first-round playoff game to think about is senior night this Friday. Seniors Phillips, Merchant, Moffett, Simpson, Williamson, Scott, Poe, Daniel Hernandez, Efren Garza, Joey Gonzales, Baylen Mills, Brad Roundtree, Deion Crittenddon, Joey McIver, Bryan Deleon and Tommy Holiday will be honored before the game against Tarkington.
“Senior nights are always emotional for the players and they always want to go out of their stadium victorious for the last time,” said Nail. “All we need to do is execute well offensively and tackle well on defense and we should be fine. They have struggled to score points all year.”
Regardless of what happens on Friday night, the Longhorns will not be qualifying for postseason play. Madisonville has a chance to go undefeated in the District play and polish off their impressive season with an overall record of 9-1. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Mustangs Stadium, but be sure to get there early to root on the seniors.