On September 11, the 3A Mansfield Sr High Tigers hosted the 4A Elkins Elks in a non-conference battle. Being Mansfields Sr Night and the last non-conference game of the season, the Sr Tigers pushed themselves beyond the limit pouring everything they had into the game. The Elks however were just too big and too fast for the Tigers to take down as Mansfield dropped to Elkins in a 62-6 final score.
Elkins jumped on the Tigers from the start and shut down every attempt Mansfield had at getting any momentum going in the game. The Tigers had brief sparks of excellence in the game though. Offensively, it was the rushing attack that kept the Tigers rolling. Mansfield had three backs who averaged over 5 yards a carry in the game. Randy Claude led the rushing attack finishing the game averaging 5.3 yards per carrying with ten carries for 53 yards and earning the Tigers sole touchdown in the game. Shawn Brown took nine handoffs and ate up 45 yards against the stout Elks defense. Austin Carlton covered an awesome average of 5.25 yards per carry on only four rushes. Also contributing to the run game was Codi Chick, Caleb Collier, and Tyler Woolbright who combined for eight rushes gaining 16 yards.
Although the Tigers passing game struggled, they still put up some good numbers. Quarterback Zayne Dugan finished the match slinging pigskins six times for 33 yards. When it came to the receiver’s neck of the woods, Claude tallied 3 receptions for 10 yards, Chick ran-up 2 receptions for 15 yards, and Carlton snagged 1 reception for 8 yards. Unfortunately, the Tigers just couldn’t muster enough to overcome the hole the Elks left them in throughout the game. “We are still making too many mistakes and too many turnovers,” explained Coach Tim Cothran. “When facing Elkins, you have to play perfectly and we did not. We have to strive for perfection regardless of the obstacles before us. We will spend the next 2 weeks working on basics, lots of fundamentals, and lots of skill work.”
With the non-conference slate over, the Sr Tigers will have extra time to sure up areas on both sides of the ball. Tough losses are one thing, but giving up is not in the Mansfield Sr High football team’s blood. The Tigers will look to move forward when they travel to West Fork on September 25th. Only one Tiger can come out of the catfight with the W and Mansfield plans to put that W on their mantle.