After all of last seasons successes on the gridiron, the Mansfield Tigers are out to prove that they aren’t a “One and Done” program. What better way to prove that point than by taking on the 5A De Queen Leopards in an early-season scrimmage. That’s exactly what the Jr High and Sr High Tigers did Tuesday, August 20 as they set out to again show the doubters that they’re a program to be taken seriously.
The Jr High Tigers were first to start the scrimmage as they battled the combination of extreme heat coupled with De Queen’s size advantage. As a result, the Tigers fell short to the Leopards 36-8. Miscues on both sides of the ball might have cost the Tigers the win, but there was plenty of evidence of growth for the young group through their overall execution.
The Tigers offense showed their explosiveness as Quarterbacks Fisher Wilsey and Peyton Martin and Running Back Drew Elmore, took Mansfield on good drives downfield. Tyler Turnipseed set his shoes ablaze blowing up the De Queen defense for the Tigers only score of the game. Although the Jr Tigers defense was beaten by big plays, they were able to stop the Leopards on short-yardage situations and excelled in team tackling.
Mansfields Sr High Tigers didn’t show any offseason rust as they took down De Queen in a 19-0 blowout. Mansfield’s high powered offense struck first and often against the Leopards defense. Balance was the name of the game for the Mansfield offense as the aerial campaign was on target and a hardcore ground game put the De Queen defense on its heels.
Not to be overshadowed, the Tigers defense shut out the Leopards offense with absolute authority all night. There were some issues with penalties against Mansfield that kept the game from being a complete blowout, but scrimmages are made to bring those kinds of things to light so that they can be corrected.
On August 27, the Jr High team will face the Hornets in Hackett starting at 5:30 p.m. Head Coach for the Tigers, Tim Cothran, had this to say about the match-up, “We got the first scrimmage down so hopefully that will instill some of the confidence that we need. We have some experience returning from last year and our expectations are becoming more focused now. So hopefully we will continue to improve. Hackett is always well-disciplined and they’ve always had tremendous athletes on the football field. They are a team that is going to be tough and we’re going to have to bring our A-Game to get a shot at beating them.”
The Sr High Tigers will host the Hackett Hornets on Thursday, August 29 at 7:00 p.m. “The advantage of playing on our home field is being able to play in front of family and friends, having our community there to support us, and knowing that regardless of the situation they will have our backs. Hackett has new personnel in place and with that, you never know what to expect. The play calling is different and the mindset is different, so you have to be prepared for anything.”