In 2009, the Mansfield Tigers took on the Hackett Hornets and were victorious 41-7. In 2018, the Tigers took on the Hornets in a nail-biter of a game but still secured a 28-26 win. Last night as Mansfield hosted Hackett in their 2019 season opener, the Tigers were successful in making three their lucky number as they dominated the Hornets 40-8.
Within minutes of the start of the game, Layton Howard scored the first Mansfield touchdown setting the tone for what was about to transpire. Jaicy Griffin made a 15-yard run that put the Tigers perfectly in place for Isaac Cothran to come in and bulldoze through the Hornet defense for the Tigers second Mansfield touchdown. Randall Claude split the uprights for the extra point bringing the score to 13-0 Tigers.
Mansfield’s defense flexed their muscles forcing a blocked Hornet punt which was fumbled in their own end zone giving the Tigers an extra two-points for a safety. At that point, the Tigers were feeling the crowd and pulled out all the stops. With only a minute left in the first half of the game, Ethan Stovall hit Layton Howard with a laser-precise pass that put Mansfield on the board yet again. The score gave Howard his second of three touchdowns for the night and sent the Tigers into halftime with a score of 21-0 Mansfield.
The Tigers never took their eyes off the ball and created multiple Hornet miscues and fumbles. Mansfields Tyler Holmes achieved a fumble recovery off of the Hornets first play in the second half sending the Tiger fans into a frenzy. Quarterback Ethan Stovall marched Mansfield down the field with quick passes and a quarterback keeper rushing for 14 yards as the Tiger offense scattered the Hornet defense. Isaac Cothran then secured his second touchdown of the night and along with Jaicy Griffin’s extra point, the Tigers pushed forward to a 28-0 lead.
In the third quarter with a little over a minute left, Stovall slung a pass to Griffin for a 37-yard touchdown placing the Tigers with a 34-0 lead over Hackett. In the final stretch of the game, Mansfield brought in backup quarterback Zayne Dugan, who along with his height and flawless execution, catapulted quite possibly the prettiest pass ever, to Layton Howard who burnt the Hornet defense for a 71-yard touchdown.
The Tigers defense was on fire all night long, delivering in your face tackles and matching every step the Hornets took. There was no way they were going to allow Hackett to come in and try to take control of the game in Tiger territory. Helping to establish Mansfield authority on the field was Bri Sanderson, Jacob Brown, Coby Hearron, Zach Lowe, Dustin Holland, and Christian Cass. Senior Cameron Macon got his fair share of tackles also as he was “macon” the Hornet backfield hurt all night.
The Mansfield Tigers are certainly kicking off their football season on the right foot. With a heavy schedule ahead of them, the boys in red are most definitely not ones to shy away from a fight. On September 6, the Tigers will head south and attempt to add a second trophy to their mantel when they face the Waldron Bulldogs in the Battle of Scott County. Kick-off starts at 7 p.m.