Pictured is Isaac Cothran
One fact about this football season is that the Mansfield Sr High Tigers have had zero shortage of fierce programs to compete against on their 2019 schedule. One such program is that of the Booneville Bearcats who the Tigers were tasked to host for Friday nights match-up. Although the Tigers ended falling to Booneville 48-27, the night still delivered plenty of excitement and success.
One thing Mansfield should be extremely proud of is that they definitely made the Bearcats nervous and start to doubt the idea that the Tigers were going to be an easy win. In Booneville’s last three conference game victories against Paris, West Fork, and Greenland, their opponents only managed to rack up a combined 18 points between the three of them. So the mere fact that the Tigers slammed 27 points on the Bearcats says a lot about Mansfield.
Captains for Mansfield were Dustin Holland, Dru Buckner, and Noah Crane. The Tigers earned 529 all-purpose yards with 213 of those yards stemming from receptions and 102 yards from rushing. Quarterback Ethan Stovall nailed 15 passes for 213 yards and executed eight rushes for 27 yards and one Tiger touchdown that was earned in the fourth quarter. Layton Howard was uncatchable pulling in a 78-yard kickoff return for a Tiger TD. And the man of the hour was Tyler Holmes with his game starting interception and with a minute left before the half, his two, yes two, Tiger touchdowns. Holmes was perfectly placed each time for Stovall to get the ball to him and the beauty of it all was that the second TD was achieved with one second left on the clock in the second quarter sending the game into halftime with Booneville ontop 28-20.
Another crowd-cheering stand stomping moment for Tiger fans was when in the blink of an eye, Will Meadows forced a Bearcat fumble allowing teammate Bri Sanderson to recover it and hightail it downfield for a 12-yard sprint. Jaicy Griffin set the field ablaze with his 61-yard kickoff return while also kicking three successful PATs and Cameron “Makin’ em Hurt” Macon followed suit with a 75-yard kickoff return. The Tigers defense was steadfast all game trying to keep the Bearcats off of the offenses’ heels leaving no time for the line to rest. Helping to dole out steel blocks, solid tackles, and gutsy sacks were Meadows, Macon, Isaac Cothran, Randy Claude, Jacob Brown, and Zach Lowe.
For now, the door has shut for the Tigers and the Bearcats to face each other again. In the 2020-2022 football season, Booneville along with Paris will be moving up to the 3A-4 division. Mansfield will stay put in their current division but will see the new conference faces of Hackett, Lavaca, and Lincoln. With three games left to play, the Tigers sit in the fifth seed out of eight teams in the 3A-1 conference standings with their 2-2 record. Mansfield is 5-2 in total season play. Up next for the Tigers will be an away game against the 3-1 Lamar Warriors on October 25 at 7 p.m.