The Lorena Leopards refused to go away as they took Madisonville down to the very last minutes in the 39-36 Homecoming thriller.
“We’re 5-0 and we’re yet to put it all together,” said Madisonville head coach to his team after the victory.
The Mustangs had just enough to withstand a second half run by Lorena after they lead 20-0 early in the second quarter. Lorena turned the ball over twice on their first three plays to dig a deep hole.
“That’s a good football team,” Nail said of his opponent. “If you let them hang around then their kids are going to battle. Our defense carried us for most of the first half and our offense picked them up in the second half. We need to just keep doing what we’re doing and get better every week.”
The Mustangs let the momentum shift when they were on the verge of punching it in and building a four-possession lead. On first and goal from the ten, Lorena’s defense recovered a huge fumble before it got ugly. From there, they would outscore the Mustangs 36-19.
Madisonville continues to strike fear in the hearts of opposing defensive coordinators with a brutal and versatile ground game. As usual, all the backs made major contributions in this win. Tonight, however, Cornelius Merchant was the star and found the end zone three times in the victory.
“It was my last homecoming so I had to let it all out tonight,” said Merchant after his impressive performance. “We came out and saw so much support from our fans and this crowd so it felt good to pick up another win for them.”
While Madisonville allowed an uncharacteristic amount of big plays on defense, they were able to come up with big stops when the game was just one-possession to go along with three turnovers in the first half. They have still produced at least takeaways in every game this season.
While this was far from their most complete game all around, the Mustangs are still 5-0 with some of their best football ahead. They will hit the road again and visit Rusk next week at 7:30 before their bye. They will not return to Mustang Stadium until Oct. 27.