New Mad-Ville offense up and down in opener

Posted 9/3/19

A new-look Madisonville offense had their work cut out for them on Friday against a highly-touted Bellville Brahma squad defined by defensive prowess.

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New Mad-Ville offense up and down in opener

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A new-look Madisonville offense had their work cut out for them on Friday against a highly-touted Bellville Brahma squad defined by defensive prowess.

The Mustangs came in with an experienced offensive line but a number of new faces in the backfield. They were also led by junior quarterback Armando Juarez, who was making his first start at the position for Madisonville.

“Their defensive front is really good and we did not handle them very well,” said head coach Russell Urbantke. “I felt like we got discouraged and maybe a little tired towards the end of the game. When we miss blocks up front, those are big plays for the defense. Those were some of the big errors that we are addressing.”

Madisonville was able to find the end zone twice in the first half. Their first score came on a fourth-and-long screen pass from Juarez to Roderick Holiday for a 24-yard touchdown. Holiday dodged multiple Brahma defenders on his way to the pile on.

Holiday handled the bulk of carries in a busy backfield with 11 touches for 86 yards (7.8 yards per carry). Matthew Johnson was a close second with nine carries for 45 yards (5.0 yards per carry). Tyrese Brown, who handled the quarterback duties for the Mustangs in 2018, played a more versatile role and recorded seven touches. This included the team’s second touchdown after a fumble recovery put them in striking distance.

Juarez completed eight passes in 14 attempts in his first start for 73 yards and a touchdown. Doug’kyrn Johnson was his favorite target on the night, hauling in five passes for 38 yards. Juarez also competed passes to Holiday, Colby Sheppard and Donovan Young.

“(Juarez) distributed the ball very well and made all the reads we asked him to make,” said Urbantke. “He was right on target. He led us in the right direction but we did not get it done up front.”

The Madisonville offense failed to build a sizable lead after multiple Bellville turnovers in the first half. They were kept off of the field for the majority of the third quarter and did not score in the second half of the 18-15 loss.

Madisonville kicker Juan Polanco connected from 24 yards out in the first half to give the Mustangs a 15-7 lead, but also missed an extra point and a pair of field goals down the stretch. One of the missed tries came from 40 yards away in overtime to conclude the game after a false start penalty.

“I have all the confidence in the world in (Polanco),” said Urbantke. “A couple of those were bad snaps and we did not get the ball down properly. The fans in the stands will see a kicker miss a kick, but it is not always just on the kicker. We will get it figured out. We practice field goals, of course, but it is just not the same as in a game. It is just about more repetition.”

The next challenge for Madisonville will be Woodville’s defense, a unit that five starters up front and in the linebacking corps. Woodville gave up 21 points in a week one loss to Little Cypress-Mauriceville on Friday.

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