It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up. After a heartbreaking last-minute loss to Charleston last week, it can be said that the Mansfield 7th Grade team was down in the dumps a little. They knew they were better than that game. But how would they prove it? Well, would demolishing a Lincoln Wolves team from the first snap until the final horn count? If so, consider the Tigers to be standing back up roaring louder than ever after their 34-14 victory over the Wolves.
Starting out on offense, the 7th Grade Tigers knocked off the chip on their shoulder quickly as Zander Walters took the first handoff and ran directly into the Wolves for 12 yards. On the very next snap, Dawson Robinson left Lincoln chasing their tails as he burnt downfield for a 55-yard touchdown. It took only two plays and 27 seconds for Mansfield to pull ahead to a 6-0 lead. The offense stood up, but what about the Tigers defense that gave up big passing plays and 22 points last week? Consider that question answered on Lincoln’s first play as their quarterback reared back to pass the ball but was chopped down by Alex “AxMan” Hecox. The Tigers sent Lincoln back to the sidelines after a quick three and out as Mansfield’s offense took over. Lincoln was so focused on Walters’ powerful ground and pound game, that they forgot all about Robinson. With a play-action fake to Walters from QB Cooper Edwards, Robinson took the handoff and, yet again, took off on a Dawson Dart for 44-yards and another touchdown. On the two-point conversion, the Wolves packed the box to shut down the Tigers dynamic duo only to be fooled when Cooper Edwards pulled the ball and lasered a pass to Dominic Shores for the extra points putting Mansfield up 14-0.
Mansfield’s defense took one on the chin when the Wolves struck with a deep pass for a touchdown, but that might have just made the Tigers mad. When your hot, your hot, but Dawson Robinson was downright nuclear Thursday night. Here’s how it worked. Handoff to Walters for a first down. Repeat that play as Lincoln takes the bait. Then hand the ball to Robinson, kick back, and watch the fireworks as Robinson set Mansfield’s police departments radar guns crazy going for another top speed touchdown this time for 43-yards. The Tigers defense must’ve been in competition with their offensive counterparts. It was Tiger turnover time as Mansfield’s Dominic Shores, Joey Fildes, and Ethan Martin swatted down passes like pesky fly’s while James Bausley, Hecox, Walters, and Robinson applied pressure on the Wolves’ backfield. Like an old cassette tape, the Tigers offense hit rewind and sent Robinson into the endzone with another big run of 36-yards. Traevin Copeland snatched an Edwards pass to tack on the two-point conversion sending the Tigers into the half with a commanding 28-8 score.
Mansfield’s defense started the second half on defense and the Tigers made the best of that opportunity. Right out of the gate, Copeland nearly intercepted a Wolves pass as the Tigers forced a three and out. Mansfield’s offense uncharacteristically turned over the ball on a fumble which put their defense right back on the field but not for long. Mansfield forced a fumble on the ensuing play and Ethan Martin snatched up the ball and did a “Martin March” on his way to 57-yards downfield for a defensive score. After the score, the Wolves offense came back on the field but to no avail. Wyatt Boyd smeared Lincolns running back on their first play and was followed up by Robinson doing the same thing but this time to the Wolves’ quarterback. Lincoln pulled off a touchdown run with 1:45 left in the game to bring the score to 34-14. As the Tigers defense started the game with a Hecox quarterback sack, they would end it in the same fashion as Hecox ran down the Wolves quarterback and finished the game as it started. The final score after the dust settled was Mansfield 34 Lincoln 14.
The 7th Grade Tigers now stand at 3-1 in conference play. The game against Lincoln showed great balance on both sides of the ball as well as the player’s impeccable abilities under pressure. With Lavaca on the slate for next week, Mansfield will take the upcoming week practicing with quick feet and fast reaction timing as they travel to Lavaca and aim to dodge the Golden Arrows on Thursday, October 22nd.