The Mansfield Sr Tigers have faced quite a bit of adversity this season. After starting off with a bang-up 41-0 victory over Magazine, the Tigers have dropped four straight games in reverse fashion of their only win. Friday nights game was no exception to this trend as Mansfield sank under the weight of the Greenland Pirates 47-16.
Mansfield came into the game with an 0-1 conference record after losing to West Fork as did Greenland who lost big to Charleston the week before. Both programs were pretty equal on paper, but paper is where the similarities ended. Greenland came out canons blazing and punched the Tigers right in the mouth by hanging a quick 21 points on Mansfield in the first quarter. The Tigers offense on the other hand wasn’t as on target. Randy Claude was able to use pure effort to make a few good runs on the Pirates, but Mansfield couldn’t hold off the Green Wave of Pirates defenders as Greenland flooded the backfield.
The Tigers defense stepped up a little bit more in the second quarter holding Greenland to 13 points, but the offense still was not in sync. Plays that should’ve worked weren’t executed properly or were swallowed up before they could they even had a chance. Tiger running backs found open holes but were caught from behind. Miscommunication between players and an ever-present pressure of the Pirates kept Mansfield from getting any rhythm going into the half down 34-0.
Going into the second half the Tigers pushed back against Greenland. The Tigers defense took it upon themselves to get Mansfield back in the game as they began to swarm the Pirates with vicious hits and team tackling to the point Greenland coaches called a time out to get on to their offense. The Tiger defense only allowed one touchdown in the third quarter but the damage on the scoreboard had already been done as the Tigers went into the fourth quarter down 40-0.
Mansfield’s offense and special teams turned on the lights and came to life in the fourth quarter. Austin Carlton caught a kickoff and made like a chainsaw as he buzz-sawed his way downfield for an 85-yard kick return for a touchdown. Zayne Dugan punched the ball through for a two-point conversion giving the Tigers 8 points on the scoreboard. The Tigers then drove downfield on Greenland in a swift manner. Looking like a team on a mission, Mansfield set up field position for Zayne Dugan to plow his way in the end zone for an offensive touchdown. Dugan was able to zip a pass to Bri Sanderson for the two-point conversion which shortened the score gap to 47-16. Unfortunately, the Tigers surge came a little too late in the game as the clock ran out with a 47-16 final giving the Tigers back-to-back conference losses.
Mansfield’s gauntlet of tough opponents will not get any easier as they will host the Charleston Tigers this Friday, October, 9. Mansfield has beaten Charleston for the past two years. Can Mansfield practice hard enough and pull things together to dethrone the 3A-1 powerhouse Black and Gold Tigers yet again? There’s only one way to find out.