Pictured is Dominic Shores
The Mansfield 7th Grade Tigers traveled into the land of archers as they clashed with the Lavaca Golden Arrows on Thursday, October 22nd. Mansfield didn’t travel alone though. The Tigers brought with them a 3-1 conference record, a focused mindset of dominance, and a quiver packed full of high-powered players. But this was against a solid Lavaca team so nothing would be a guarantee.
Lavaca took their offense to the field first and wasted little time showing the Tigers that their archery skills were on target as the Golden Arrows ran a play-action quarterback run to hang points on the board first. Although the Golden Arrows fumbled the snap on their extra point, they still held a 6-0 lead and definitely gained Mansfield’s attention. The Tigers took their offense out aiming to settle the score. Dawson Robinson took a handoff and rolled downfield 30 yards before being taken down. The takedown though was costly as Robinson seemed to have tweaked his ankle on the fall but recovered quickly. For some team, losing a key player to an injury can be crippling, but not to Mansfield’s 7th Grade. Traevin Copeland stepped up and took the next handoff and dipped, dived, twisted, and turned his way 26 yards for another Mansfield big gain. As the drive ensued, the Tigers had a pass picked off shutting down their touchdown hopes.
Mansfield’s defense began to step up to the plate and zero in on the Golden Arrows game plan. With Lavaca running to the outside each play, the Tigers spread their linebackers out wide and went to work. Zander Walters was the defensive wrecking machine on the right side of the field and a rejuvenated Robinson was back slashing down the Golden Arrows to the right. With the run game beginning to fall short, Lavaca went to the air. Unfortunately for Lavaca, that is the territory of Logan Newman and Dominic Shores and they are very, VERY territorial. Shores and Newman ate up any and all receivers in their area shutting down the Golden Arrows pass game. That left Lavaca with only one option left. Punt. With time running out in the half and still down 6-0, the Tigers leaned on their tried and true run game to get back into the match. With 4:39 left in the half, Zander “Z-Dog” Walters plowed his way 47 yards to the endzone as Arrows hung off his back. The extra point attempt was stuffed, and the game stood at 6-6 even. The Tiger D bowed up again shutting down Lavaca’s comeback bid, and Mansfield took over with less than a minute left in the half. Cooper Edwards took the final play and scrambled past purple jerseys looking for an open receiver and as he was being taken down tossed the ball to Shores who made an awesome come back to the ball to catch it. The pass and catch effort weren’t enough to score though as the Tigers went into the half tied with Lavaca.
With a slow start to the first half, questions arose as to how the second half would play out. Walters answered every question and then some as he took the first snap 70 yards for a quick score. Traevin popped past the goal line for the two-point conversion jumping the Tigers ahead 14-6. But not so fast. Lavaca jumped right back into the mix scoring again to close the gap. Desperate to tie the game up, Lavaca tried some old school trickery for their two-point conversion. How old school? China Wall old school. The Golden Arrows pulled off the trick play and tied the game up 14-14. At that, the National Weather Service put Lavaca put on a “Walters Watch”. Walters blew through the Golden Arrows defense two more times in the game with a 50 yard and 14-yard touchdown. Traevin added on one of the two extra-point attempts to pump the Tigers up and ahead 28-14.
The Tiger Defense were the showstoppers for the rest of the game. Team tackles and flying to the ball was the name of the game from that point on. Cooper Edwards, Dominic Shores, Joey Fildes, and Logan Newman held steadfast against the pass game and locked down the Golden Arrows air raid. Defensive Linemen James Bausley, Logan Ore, Kanon Fisher, and Wyatt Boyd barricaded any running game attempt with thunderous hits. And Walters and Robinson picked off any stragglers who dared to slip out. The final score was 28-14 as the 7th Grade Tigers doubled up on Lavaca. With no rest for the weary, the Tigers will only have time to mark down the W on the schedule and get back to work as they prepare to host a plunderous Pirate squad from Cedarville on Thursday, October 29th.