If there was ever a time for a non-football person to become a football person, it’s when the Mansfield Tigers and the Waldron Bulldogs decide to meet up on the field. With the home and visitor stands filled to compacity, it was standing room only as the Bulldogs hosted the Tigers in the annual “Battle of Scott County” on Friday, September 6. After almost three hours of both teams putting their bodies through a beating, it was the Tigers that snagged the “W” with a close 38-34 victory.
“Our boys overcame a lot of personal adversity last night, self-inflicted adversity, but they were able to overcome it,” says Coach Tim Cothran. “We are still making too many mistakes in the red zone. The first half was sloppy but our second half was a lot better. As the old saying goes an ugly win is much better than a beautiful loss. Anytime you can get a win on the road against a tough opponent like Waldron you can’t help but be pleased. We are going to get back to work and try to improve where we’re lacking.”
Mansfield fans barely got their seats warm before Tyler Holmes put the Tiger faithful on their feet as he took the opening kickoff and blasted through the Bulldogs for a huge return. The Tigers had a slight miscue on their first drive of the night giving Waldron the ball back by fumbling at the 2-yard line. Waldron then took the ball downfield for the score. But that didn’t phase Mansfield as Ethan Stovall put the Tigers on the board with a QB sneak while Will Meadows also busted the Waldron defense for a 10-yard score. At the half, Mansfield was down 22-12 and the game was anyone’s to take at that point.
By the second half of the game, the action picked up and took off. Catching a Stovall pass, Layton Howard ran a span of over half the field, crossing into the endzone for the Tigers closing the gap 28-18. With the added two-point conversion, the score sat at 28-20 Waldron. Towards the end of the third quarter, Isaac Cothran ran the Tigers ball with fierce determination for a touchdown and the fourth quarter got underway. With the scoreboard lights shining 28-26 Bulldogs, Jaicy Griffin and Tyler Holmes’ mad football skills put two touchdowns on the Mansfield scorecard putting the Tigers closer to paydirt. To close out the game, the Tiger defense showed why defense wins championships by stuffing the Bulldogs on fourth down inside Waldrons 10 yard line in the closing seconds of the game. The Tigers left the field with a close but thrilling final of 38-34 over the Waldron Bulldogs.
“We are always happy to get a win,” expresses Coach Keith Stovall. “Hats off to Waldron. They were well prepared and played a quality game. Waldron has been a tough place for our senior group. Actually this is the first time they have won in Waldron. I was very proud of our ability to overcome adversity and to fight from behind when nothing was going our way. Offensively, we got to finish drives. We are struggling in the red zone and it has shown itself in the past two weeks. Defensively, we have to get off the field, make great plays, and improve coverage. But we made the stops when we had to and got the job done.” The Tigers will put it all on the line again when they host the Lavaca Golden Arrows on September 13 at 7 p.m.