The visiting fans clapped and stomped while the band’s instruments bellowed as the Mustangs’ defense came up with the winning stop on fourth and two inside their own territory.
It was the last of four turnovers, two of which were on downs, Madisonville would force off Woodville on the night. The other two turnovers came off of fumble recoveries.
“Outside of the first play of the second half our defense was perfect for the last 24 minutes,” said Mustang head football coach Rusty Nail after the 30-22 win. “Game ball goes to the defense in the second half.”
Offensively, the Mustangs didn’t turn the ball over once and saw scores from Phillips, Simpson and Moffett. Moffett’s score came just after the first turnover on downs and gave Madisonville their final offensive highlight and an 8-point lead. The senior now has four touchdowns on the young season.
Madisonville won the fight for field position all night long, thanks in large part to junior kicker Mauricio Aceves. Three of his kickoffs found their way inside the five-yard line and one was even a touchback. He also set up the defense nicely with a couple of booming punts inside the 20.
While both offenses stirred early, there was an explosion of points in the second quarter. After being outscored 16-7 and losing the lead, another special teams play would put Madisonville on top before the halftime break.
Cornelius Merchant bobbled a short kickoff around the 30-yard line before he weaved his way in and out of traffic and finally broke into the open field. His breakout return showed how versatile the Mustangs are in all aspects of the game.
“The blocking was there, I was able to get a good cutback and take it to the house,” said Merchant. “We need to keep doing what we’re doing and take it to Caldwell next.”
The win means the Mustangs are 2-0 to start off the year and will play another home game on Friday night to try and push it to 3. The Caldwell Hornets took down Franklin on Friday night an posted over 50 points.
“We’re moving into the third week of the season,” said Nail. “We need to continue to work and continue to get better. We need to keep building confidence off of wins.