The Mansfield Sr High Tigers were in dire need of a big game in a short period of time. Unfortunately, Charleston was next on the block last night as the black and gold Tigers came into Mansfield’s jungle. With Charleston coming off of a close win against Cedarville last week, they could come in banged up giving Mansfield a shot at the upset. The bad news is that wasn’t the case as the Tigers dropped their third straight conference game 42-7.
The first quarter was something that no one expected, Charleston included. Mansfield went down on the scoreboard early when Charleston’s physical downhill run game gashed the Tigers for a touchdown. On the Tiger’s next possession, Mansfield fumbled the ball and Charleston scooped up the ball and scored again with 7:45 left in the first quarter. Down 14-0, Mansfield could have just laid down but they didn’t. When the Tigers offense walked onto the field, they had a chip on there should. A chip or a Chick. Codi Chick took a handoff and was immediately met by white jerseys. Chick shucked the Charleston defenders aside and screamed downfield for a 73-yard touchdown. The Tigers split the extra point and brought the game to a 14-7 tight score at the 7:27 mark.
Whatever it was got into the offense spread like a pandemic to the defense. The Mansfield’s defense started chopping down Charleston’s powerful offense with explosive hits also creating negative yardage tackles. Mansfield forced a fumble towards the end of the 1st quarter and the offense went back to work. The Tigers gained some good yardage but couldn’t punch it in as the quarter ended with Mansfield only down by seven points 14-7.
The second quarter was where things turned though. Mansfield’s offense sputtered with dropped passes to the left and right. Noticing this, Charleston began to stack the box and rush the backfield every play. Sending six, seven, and sometimes more at a time, Mansfield’s offense didn’t have enough bodies to stop the onslaught of pressure. Running backs Randy Claude, Austin Carlton, and Tyler Woolbright were able to find some gaps in the flood of Charleston defenders but couldn’t break out the big runs. Mental mistakes kicked in as the Tigers her hit by flags and turnovers giving Charleston a short field to work with. The Tigers were able to keep Charleston on their ties with some great defensive plays including a fumble recovery but would score twice more on two passes and a run leading the way into halftime 35-7.
Although Mansfield’s offense continued to struggle to put points up in the second half of the game, the defense definitely deserves some major pats on the back. Players like Bri Sanderson, Jared Schmid, Braxton Byers, and Shaddon Moore were able to hold Charleston to just seven points in the last two quarters. “I feel that our boys played hard with a lot of energy, they did not quit, they did everything I asked them to do, and they fought their tails off and our defense played exceptionally,” explained coach, Tim Cothran.
“The final score was dictated by the lack of offense on our part. We did some things well that we have not been doing, but we didn’t execute to perfection. There were too many mistakes that cost us, then when you find yourself down multiple scores late in the game along with play-calling changes and their defense knows it. I was most impressed with our players’ heart and passion. They played extremely passionate football, other than winning and they did exactly what I wanted them to do which was play with heart, play with passion, and play with determination.”
Up next for the Mansfield Tigers on October 16 they will face the Wolves in Lincoln. “We will get it going. We just have to build on the foundation that was laid last night. If we will continue to play with that same type of energy and fire, good things will come our way. We will have another great week of practice, continue to search for and nurture those things that are working, and get lots of reps working on improvement. I don’t think we need to shake things up to take on the Wolves. We just need to make sure everyone is on board.”
“Our seniors stepped up huge last night so hopefully the underclassmen will follow their example for our game with Lincoln. we obviously rely on our seniors, but our playmakers are Randy Claude, Codi Chick, and Austin Carlton. As they go, the team goes. Zayne Dugan will continue to improve and Bri Sanderson and Jared Schmid are playing some great ball.”