By Megan Hecox
Wow. Just wow. That sums up the monumental event that took place last night with the Mansfield Tigers and the Hackett Hornets. You could say it was an edge of your seat kind of game but I’m fairly positive no one was sitting. With the sound of the final buzzer, the score read Mansfield 28, Hackett 26.
Getting off to a slow start, it was the 46-yard touchdown pass from Mansfield quarterback Ethan Stovall to Tyler Holmes that put the Tigers on the board 7-0 with a little over a minute remaining in the first quarter. Early into the second quarter, Hackett recorded their first two-point safety bringing the score to 7-2. With just under five minutes on the clock, Stovall plowed through Hackett’s defense scoring a touchdown for the Tigers. Layton Howard then caught a Stovall pass for a two-point conversion bringing the score to 15-2. Around the two minute mark, Hackett linebacker Mathew Carter picked off a Tiger offense pass and blazed 18 yards for a Hornets score. Tacking on a two-point conversion, the Hornets closed the gap to 15-10. Not to be outdone, the Tigers quickly marched downfield scoring with five seconds left in the half. Kicker Max Lovelace tacked on the extra point, closing the first half with a score of Mansfield 22 and Hackett 10.
Mansfield head coach Craig Bentley said “I’m proud of how we were able to control the first half of the game. We have to continue to take advantage of opportunities as the season progresses.”
The Tigers and Hornets went back and forth in the third quarter until Hackett tailback Cooper Shipman gave the Hornets the only touchdown of the quarter. With a two-point conversion assist from Pacey Mcbride and Hackett quarterback Brady Hester, the score was brought to 22-18. But it was the intense nail-biting fourth quarter that had the fans on their feet. The Tigers started off rough with a bad offensive snap resulting in a safety. The Hornets then capitalized off of a free kick with a Hester 15 yard sprint to paydirt putting the Hornets up 26-22 with only a minute left to the game. Game over right? Wrong! The Tigers miraculously returned to life. On the ensuing kick return, Jaicy Griffin cut through the Hornets’ nest for a 35-yard run. With merely seconds left on the clock, Tiger quarterback Ethan Stovall hit an open Colton Stipins for a jaw-dropping touchdown to end the game 28-26. Hackett head coach Lonnie Hester says “Hats off to Mansfield. They didn’t give up. Neither team quit. The boys gave it all they had and that’s all a coach could ask for.”
The Mansfield Tigers will host the Waldron Bulldogs on August 31st at 7:00 pm while the Hackett Hornets travel to Pocola on August 31st at 7:00 pm to face the Indians.
So could this be an annual rivalry game between Mansfield and Hackett?
………To Be Continued