We have reached the halfway point of the regular season and the Mustangs are still a perfect 5-0 after Friday’s 39-36 Homecoming win over Lorena.
Madisonville will now travel to Rusk and try to make it six in a row against the Eagles.
“Rusk is very talented at the skill positions with good size up front,” said Madisonville head coach Rusty Nail. “We are very similar teams in terms of style and talent. They will make us better and challenge every aspect of our game.”
Nail has been adamant is saying his team is still yet to put it all together and play the best football they’re capable of. The win over Lorena was a tale of two halves; despite leading by 13 at the break, the Mustangs could’ve had more if it weren’t for an untimely turnover.
In the second half, the Leopards were able to convert on big plays down the field and refused to concede in Madisonville. The Mustangs made just the right amount of plays and held on late.
“We have to eliminate the turnovers in the red zone,” said Nail. “We also need to stop the penalties that halt our drives and allow them to continue for our opponents. I can recall several instances against Lorena where we extended their eventual scoring drives with a penalty rather than them converting a first down by play.”
No matter how they got there, the Mustangs are 5-0 for a reason. Friday’s win showcased Madisonville’s stellar rushing attack once again and proved just how difficult it is to stop. Cornelius Merchant was the ground game’s cover boy in week 5 with 162 yards and three touchdowns. All in all, the Mustangs picked up 567 yards on the ground. Kendell Moffett and Aaron Nellums were two and three for Madisonville in the stat sheet with 85 and 82 yards, respectively.
“Our running game is top-notch at the moment,” said Nail. “As long as all of our backs and lineman stay healthy and eligible we will be a challenge to anyone who tries to stop it.”
The sixth game of the season will be Madisonville’s final non-district opponent. The Mustangs will enjoy a bye week following the contest and the last four games of the season will feature district opponents.
This will be a Homecoming game for Rusk at Eagle Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.