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Fort Smith
Monday, April 15, 2024

7th Grade Tigers Freeze Pirates Sea


Pictured is Jacob Delp and Cadien Ore

The Mansfield’s 7th-grade crew has been a force to be reckoned with all season. The group has held their own against their non-conference 4A opponents and has rolled in all but one of their conference games this season. With only two games left, the Tigers were ready to play back-to-back rivals Cedarville and Hackett. With Pirates first on the list, the 7th grade Tigers proved that they will be the unstoppable force AND the immovable object in the future as they planked Cedarville 36-6 Thursday night.

Zander “Z-Dog” Walters

The Tigers started off on defense which has been one of their strong points all season. The Mansfield defense made their presence felt as they tore down the Pirates sails leading to a three and out on Cedarville’s opening drive. With Mansfield now in possession of the football, it was ground and pound time. If you’ve followed Mansfield 7th grade football this year, then you already know that “Ground” is running back Dawson Robinson, and “Pound” is running back Zander Walters. Walters took the first handoff and pounded his way 12 yards. Robinson grounded the Cedarville defense the next three plays with lightning speed giving the Tigers two more first downs in the process. With Mansfield’s drive putting them at the five-yard line, it was Robinson who took the handoff blowing past Pirate defenders en route to a Tiger touchdown. Walters tacked on the two-point conversion and just like that, Mansfield was up 8-0.

Dominic Shores

The cold weather didn’t seem to affect the Tiger’s defense as they were on fire. Cadien Ore was the match that started the fire for Mansfield as he racked up tackle after tackle in a monstrous performance all game. With Ore shutting down the Pirates power run game, Cedarville took the ball outside the box. That wasn’t any better for the Pirates though due to the presence of Dominic Shores, Cooper Edwards, and Alex Hecox. The trio clawed down any runners in their territory forcing Cedarville to punt again. Like clockwork, Robinson and Walters took over from there with the pair driving downfield with three big runs and Walters capping it off with a 16-yard touchdown run. Robinson punched in the extra point and it was the Tigers up 16-0. Mansfield’s defense continued to punch holes in Cedarville’s ship with James Bausley, Kanon Fisher, Hecox, and Ore creating havoc in the backfield. With the defense succeeding doing their job, Mansfield took over offense again and it didn’t take long to light up the scoreboard. Cooper Edwards telegraphed a perfect pass through heavy coverage to hit Walters for a 35 yard touchdown. Although the Tigers didn’t get the two-point conversion, they headed into halftime with a commanding 22-0 lead.

#13 Dawson Robinson

The second half was the same book in a different chapter. Mansfield started off with Robinson taking back-to-back handoffs before quarterback Edwards pulled the ball on a play fake to gain big yardage. If it works, why stop? Mansfield did the exact same plays again except this time Edwards took the Cooper Keeper all the way for an 11-yard score. Joey Fildes caught the two-point conversion pass and the Tigers increased the score to 30-0. The Tigers offense is loaded with talent and they have a full stable of running back studs. This was evident for all to see when the Tigers coaches pulled Walters and Robison out for a rest.

Ethan Martin

This put Ethan Martin and Traevin Copeland in the backfield. If Cedarville thought this was a second-string for Mansfield, they were dead wrong. Martin and Copeland showed the Pirates that there aren’t strings on Mansfield’s team, instead, there’s merely a rotation. Martin struck a few powerful runs and then Copeland exploded 62 yards rushing for another Mansfield score which set up a 36-0 lead for the Tigers. Charlie Collier showed out in the second half compiling solo and assisted tackles to the left and right as the Tigers continued to shut down the Pirates offense. The pure effort award in the second half would go to Jacob Delp as he battled much bigger Pirate players but held his own very well. Delp was so pumped that his legs never stopped moving even after the plays ended while he ran in place waiting to line up again. Mansfield did slip once though giving up a Pirates score but they made up for it when Martin ripped down the Pirates running back to stop the two-point conversion. With time running out in the game, Edwards ran three consecutive keepers to run out the clock landing the Tigers with the 36-6 victory.

#35 Alex “Ax-Man” Hecox

The win sets the 7th grade Tigers with a 6-3 overall record and a 5-1 record in conference. The record is quite impressive since most of Mansfield opponents this season have been forced to play 8th graders on their 7th-grade squads due to low 7th grade numbers. Mansfield will travel to Hackett next week for a Sebastian County Showdown. The game will be played on Tuesday, November 3rd instead of the normal Thursday night match. Mansfield vs Hackett is the game both teams have had circled on their calendar since the 2020 schedules came out.

Logan Ore, Kanon Fisher, Ethan Martin, and Joey Fildes
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