The best teams work hard and learn from their mistakes. After falling to Mena 28-6 earlier in the week, the Mansfield 7th Grade Tigers needed a solid game against their Scott County rivals, Waldron, to get them back on track. But could back to back games in the same week against 4A teams be too much for the young Tigers? In short, no. Mansfield redeemed its loss earlier in the week by trouncing Waldron 24-0.
The Tigers started off the game in dynamic fashion when Cooper Edwards handed the ball off to Dawson Robinson who juked and jived his was 51- yards for the first score of the game. Edwards punched his was in for the two-point conversion giving the Tigers a quick 8-0 lead in the first half. With the offense jumpstarting the team, Mansfield’s defense went on the hunt. On Waldron’s very first snap of offense, James Bausley exploded through the line to smother the ball carrier in the backfield setting the tone for the Tiger defense. The Tigers defense consisting of Bausley, Wyatt Boyd, Kanon Fisher, Logan Newman, Dominic Shores, and Caiden Ore were bulls in Waldron’s china shop all night long. Alex Hecox and Zander Walters ended the Bulldogs’ first offensive series as the duo blew up Waldron’s backfield on back to back occasions forcing the Bulldogs to punt.
With the Mansfield coaches still getting a feel for the talent on their 7th Grade team, they switched Walters from wide receiver to running back for one play. If Walters was looking to impress them, that one play was all that was needed as he took a pitch and roared 43-yards downfield setting the Tigers up in scoring position. Mansfield went three and out on the next set of downs putting the defense back on the field. To make sure that the good field position wasn’t lost, the Tigers D created chaos yet again in Waldron’s backfield forcing a fumble with Bausley recovering. Robinson pushed the scoreboard up higher in the next play with a six-yard touchdown while Edwards slipped in for the two-point conversion putting the Tigers up 16-0 with 2:44 left in the half. It was like déjà vu when the Mansfield defense took the field again. The Tigers put heavy pressure on the Bulldogs and Robinson forced the fumble and recovered it to give Mansfield yet another turnover. It was a make it take it from there as Robinson took the next handoff and rolled up 24-yards for another touchdown. With yet another Edwards successful two-point conversion, the Tigers took a commanding 24-0 lead into the locker room for halftime.
With the 7th Grade starters having a commanding lead, the second half was the opportunity the rest of the team needed to strut their stuff. Traevin Copeland became the Tiger’s offensive workhorse. Bobbing and weaving in and out of defender’s arms, Copeland made quite the impression picking up an average of three yards per carry. Edwards cut the edges off of the Bulldogs defense with multiple sweet quarterback runs to the outside also. Defensively players like Brandon Schwartz, Jacob Elmore, Chris Dickinson, Joey Fildes, and Charlie Collier, got in the mix helping the 7th Grade Tiger squad keep their Waldron rivals scoreless with a 24-0 victory.
The victory is a sweet taste as it puts them at 1-1 against their higher class 4A opponents with only one more to go before conference play. The 7th Grade Mansfield Tigers will travel to Elkins to attempt to hunt down another win on Thursday, September 10th.