Mansfield runs past Tigers 20-12

In one of the better games that  jonesboro-Hodge has played all year, the Tigers took an early lead but Mansfield rallied in the second half to take a 20-12 victory in the district 3-2A contest. The win was the first in seven game for the Wolverines, while JHHS fell to 2-5 on the year.

The film of the first six games Mansfield played this year showed that the Wolverines lived by the long pass and as expected they took their shots downfield. The JHHS coaching staff prepared their defensive backs to combat that and the Tiger secondary did a good job of shutting that part of their offense down leading to a 12-6 JHHS lead at the half.

Obviously the Mansfield coaching staff looks at film as well and saw that the week before the Tigers had trouble stopping Red River’s 245 lb running back who gashed the JHHS defense for 210 yards on 20 carries, most of that coming in the second half. 

Taking a page from the Red River playbook, Mansfield turned to their running game and especially little used, 240 lb running back, Terrance Pegus, leaving the Tigers feeling dejavu. The big back pounded his way to 106 yards on 18 carries leading Mansfield to 193 yards on a season high 43 carreis that was instrumental in Mansfield rallying for the victory.   

Still the Tigers had a shot at winning the tightly contested contest. Following a score by Mansfield the Tigers recovered an onside kick that gave them great field position near midfield. A 34 yard gain on a Dominick Strickland pass to Xavier Atkins set the Tigers up at the Mansfield 25 yard line.  Unfortunately the Tigers couldn’t convert when a pass to a wide open receiver in the endzone sailed over his head with 9:27 left to play in the game. 

It was the last time the Tigers touched the ball. Mansfield mounted a 9-play, 74 yard drive and scored on a five yard run with 3:35 left to play when quarterback Dekeldrick Thomas pulled away from a Tiger defender who had his jersey in his grasp. Incredibly it was the fourth time that the two teams had scored on a fourth down play.

The two point conversion run made it 20-12 leading to Mansfield trying another onside kick. This time they recovered the ball that bounced off a Tiger player and by running Pegus on virtually every play ran the clock out and secured their first win of the year. 

Tigers strike first! JHHS scored on their opening possession of the game. Starting at midfield following a good return by Atkins, JHHS moved the ball to the Mansfield 29 yard line.  Zion Gray, who stands 6’4″, then  used his height advantage to outleap the Wolverined back on a fourth down play and take a 29 yard pass from Strickland to paydirt. 

Mansfield answers! came right back to go 66 yards in 12 plays on their first possession to tie the game at six  when quarterback Dekeldrick Thomas scrambled into the end zone from three yards out on another fourth down play.

Tigers respond! Facing a fourth and 15 situation at the Mansfield 24 yard line, Symeon Malone, who had just relieved Strickland, lofted  a pass to Xavier Atkins down the left sideline. Atkins outfought the Mansfield defender to grab the high arcer in the end zone that put JH up 12-6. 

Atkins leads defense! Atkins also had a big game on defense totaling 13 tackles, four assists, one sack and two tackles for a loss. Cartavious “Hambone” Waters also had a big night with 7 tackles, including four that were for a loss. Peyton Smith added four tackles and two assists while Demmerious Jones had three tackels, one assist, one sack and one tackle for a loss

TEAM 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
JHHS (2-5, 0-2) 6 6 0 0 12
Mansfield (1-6, 1-1) 6 0 0 14 20

(JHHS) Strickland 4-14-85 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, Malone 1-1-24 yds, 1 TD
(MHS) Thomas 3-15-89 yds
(JHHS) Leonard 10-22, Strickland 4-22, Drayton 9-5
(MHS) Pegus 18-106, Thomas 15-45, 3 TD’s, Zan Dant 9 -42
(JHHS) Atkins 2-58, 1 TD, Gray 1-29, 1 TD, Phillips 2-22
(JHHS) Atkins 13, Waters 7, Smith 4, Jones 3

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