When the Hackett Hornets and the Mansfield Tigers get together, fans across the area know there’s going to be an epic showdown. With a rivalry that dates back decades ago, the Jr High Hornets and Tigers were up first to get things started for the 2019 football season. Mansfield landed in black and gold territory on Tuesday, August 27 and as expected, a supernova pigskin battle ensued.
The Hornet captains for the night were Nate Gordon, Cole Ketchum, Cameron Rundel, and Tyler Pittman. The first quarter of the game saw evenly matched action between Mansfield and Hackett. But by the second quarter, the Hornets were warmed-up and the action was in full bloom. Eli Slavens set the field on fire during this round with a running total of almost 50 yards. Nate Gordon got in his own 15-yard run and at the two-minute mark, Cameron Rundel was the first Hornet to slap a touchdown on the board putting Mansfield and Hackett into halftime with a 6-0 score.
After a Tiger steal for a touchdown put the score at 13-6 Mansfield, the Cole Ketchum quarterback dynamism was set into motion. Securing a 36-yard carry on the Tigers kick return, Ketchum keeps the ball for another Hornet touchdown. With the added two-point conversion, the score is brought to 14-13 Hackett and the fourth quarter gets underway.
With four minutes left in the game, Ketchum scored one more Hornet touchdown and the game ended with the scoreboard reading 20-13 Hackett. The Hornets defense was over the top with their colossal blocks and their precise prevention in allowing the Tigers very little scoring opportunity.
“I thought we played well at times,” stated Coach Michael Meador. “We need to be more consistent at executing on offense and defense. The best thing about the Jr. High last night was how we battled back after adversity. We had a chance to lay down but we didn’t. We kept on fighting the entire game. Our coaching staff thinks this team has a bright future if we continue to bring a great attitude to practice and work hard!” The Jr High Hornets will next hit the road to face Heavener on Thursday, September 5.