There’s high school football and then there’s Mansfield versus Cedarville football. Cedarville held Mansfields number the past two years defeating the Tigers in back to back close overtime games. This year though, the Mansfield Sr High Tigers would have nothing of the sort as they set the Cedarville Pirates flag ablaze en route to a 43-26 victory.
The Tigers and Pirates started off the game trying to get a feel for what each other could do on the field. Mansfield fired off the first shot as Tyler Holmes snagged a pass from Ethan Stovall for a go-ahead 16-yard touchdown putting the Tigers up 6-0. Cedarville quickly answered with their powerful run game scoring points of their own to tie the game 6-6. Stovall would not be shown up though as he showed the Pirates that the Tigers can run the ball too. So he plowed his way into the end zone with a QB keeper for 12 yards and a touchdown. The first quarter ended with a 12-6 Tigers lead.
As the second quarter got underway, Cedarville stuck to their run game and drove the ball downfield inside Tiger territory. The Tiger defense stood tall holding the Pirates off forcing them to pass the ball. Mansfield senior, Clay James, knew what was coming when the Pirates pass was released picking off the ball in the Cedarville endzone zipping his way for 36 yards downfield. Mansfield capitalized on the turnover when Stovall aired it out to Jaicy Griffin for a huge score jumping the Tigers up to an 18-6 lead. The turnover game wasn’t over yet though because the Pirates went to the passing game again and again Mansfield was ready. Stovall snatched an interception deep in Tiger territory leading the Tiger offense to yet another touchdown with a pass to, surprise surprise, Griffin. Mansfield went into halftime with a commanding 25-14 lead.
Mansfield continued their title wave of dominance into the second half with Tyler Holmes exposing the Cedarville defenses weakness and screaming downfield for 43 yards to set up a Stovall 1-yard touchdown run. Cedarville would make it a game though as they scored two unanswered touchdowns closing the Mansfield lead to 31-26 in the 3rd quarter. At that point, the Tiger defense had enough. With devastating hits and team tackling, the Tiger defense created a Red Sea that even Moses himself couldn’t part. That’s when the Mansfield high octane offense finished off the Pirates. Stovall ran in for 32 yards for a touchdown extending the lead to 37-26.
Game over right? Wrong. This was Senior Night in the jungle. Senior, Tyler Holmes, picked off yet another Cedarville pass with 2:08 left in the game and with some holy moly moves, set the Tigers up with great field position. With merely five seconds left on the clock, it was a senior spotlight play when Ethan Stovall passed the ball to a double-covered Clay James who made a “Miracle In Mansfield” catch for a touchdown ending the game with a final score of 43-26.
The Tigers are still in it to win it as they sit with a 6-3 total season record and 3-3 in conference play. With one game left on the schedule, Mansfield will face the 1-5 Paris Eagles on Friday, November 8th at 7 p.m. in Paris.