Pictured is #18 Andrew Pettigrew
On Thursday, October 17th the Mansfield 7th Grade Tigers traveled to Booneville to test themselves against the mighty Bearcats. Booneville has been the standard for football at every grade level statewide for decades. Mansfield is merely an up and coming program getting their feet under them. The game was played at Booneville which is notoriously a hard venue to play at. But none of that matted to Mansfields 7th Graders though as they stepped onto the field unintimidated and focused on the task at hand. This was their chance to change how Mansfield Tiger football is seen by other teams.
The game started off as a defensive stalemate as neither team could seem to get the ball moving at first. After a few drives, the Tigers were able to get Boonevilles’ defensive strategy figured out. Quarterback Jeremy Strozier whipped a quick pass to Trey Powell who screamed downfield for a 48-yard touchdown allowing the Tigers to jump to a 6-0 lead. The Bearcats soon tacked on a score of their own tying the game up at 6-6. The Booneville score sent the Tigers into a put up or shut up situation. Could Mansfield really go toe to toe with the Bearcats? Mansfield answered that question when Strozier passed to Austin Oldham for a massive 76-yard touchdown. When Booneville took over on offense again, Brandon Raynor intercepted a Bearcat pass and rumbled with the ball for a big return. Going into the half, the scoreboard read Mansfield 14 Booneville 6.
If there were any doubts as to if the Mansfield 7th Grade is really that good, those doubts were set ablaze in the second half of the game. Trey Powell took the ball with a combination of power and speed shredding the Bearcat defense for a 68-yard score jumping the Tigers up 22-6. Mansfields defense physically decimated the Booneville offense the entire second half. Defensive linemen Dakota Deer, Eli Garner, and Andrew Pettigrew had Boonevilles quarterback paranoid on every play. With great perimeter coverage by Austin Ruiz, Winston Allison, and Boston Elmore, the Bearcats literally had nowhere to go on the ground so they were forced to pass the ball. That is exactly what the Tiger defense was baiting them to do. The Tigers teed off and put the hurt on the Bearcat receivers. Strozier picked off one of those passes and it was time to close the game out. The game started off with a Trey Powell score and it would end with a Powell 54-yard touchdown securing a Mansfield Tiger 30-6 victory.
With only two games left in their season, the Mansfield 7th Grade Tigers remain UNDEFEATED 7-0. If that’s not enough, they have achieved that feat against year in and year out great football programs. But the Tigers aren’t looking back at their current success. They’re just zoned in on the next game. That particular next game will be against the Lamar Warriors on Thursday, October 24th at home starting at 5:30 p.m. Nothing that has happened before Lamar and nothing that happens after Lamar matters to these 7th Grade Tigers. Lamar is their only focus!