Pictured is #6 Austin Oldham
“There can only be one”. The quote from the 1980s Highlander movie has been used with undefeated teams for years. Well, after Thursday nights game, apparently there can be two in some circumstances. Both the Mansfield Tigers and Lamar Warriors 7th Grade squads walked into their match with a clean record of zero defeats. And both teams walked off the field with the same unblemished record as the ballgame ended with a 20-20 tie.
The Tigers were outsized and outnumbered as Lamar suited up 26 giants. To add to the games stipulations, Mother Nature made sure to provide plenty of wind, rain, and cold temperatures. Did that create an excuse for Mansfield to lay down for the Warriors? Heck no! Lamar was loaded for bear, not Tigers. Mansfield gave the soon to be 4A team everything they could handle and then some.
Lamar struck first in the game with a smooth counter play busting downfield for a quick 8-0 lead. The Warriors seemed to be all that they were hyped up to be, but so were the Tigers. Mansfield drove the ball downfield mixing up their run and pass game to confuse the Lamar defense. Jeremy Strozier zipped a 13-yard play-action pass to Austin Oldham to put the Tigers on the board. After tacking on their extra points the score read 8-8.
Mansfields defense began to lay down the boom on Lamars running backs making pops that echoed off of Poteau Mountain. Trey Powell and Strozier became all-out head hunters with vicious form tackles. Once the Tigers got the ball back, it was showtime. Strozier again connected with Oldham but this time for an impressive 91-yard touchdown giving the Tigers a 14-8 lead going into halftime.
As the weather got colder heading into the second half of the game, the Tigers decided to warm things up. Mansfields defense again held nothing back. Brandon Raynor, Winston Allison, Toby Towe, Leland Powell, and Eli Garner waged war against the Warriors creating a massive disturbance in Lamars game plan. During one play, the Tiger D pounced on one of the Warriors big running backs but couldn’t bring him down. In what could be called a David and Goliath moment, Boston Elmore flew in at Mac5 speed and….BOOM finished the job in awesome fashion. The Tigers took over on offense and it was the Trey Powell show from there on out. Trey took a handoff and broke every ankle on the Lamar defense on his way downfield for 66 yards.
Powell topped it off with a 1-yard power run for a touchdown giving the Tigers a 20-14 score with just minutes left in the game. Lamar quickly answered with a score of their own tying the game 20-20. After a Tiger turnover, Lamar looked to put the game away. The Warriors had the ball at the 14-yard line but threw a pass short and was struck by some “Powell Power” as Trey intercepted the ball to end the game with a 20-20 final.
The Tigers played a close one for sure but showed tremendous poise by not being intimidated or giving up when things got a little soggy. With only one game left, Mansfield will travel north to face off against the Cedarville Pirates on Tuesday, October 29th at 5:30 p.m. The 7th Grade Tigers are fully aware that anything can happen but will prepare hard to complete their 2019 season with a big ol’ goose egg in the loss column.