By Bob Kowalski
Mansfield piled up the offense in the first half and cruised to a 39-16 victory over Lake Ridge on Friday at Vernon Newsom Stadium.
The Tigers (4-6) scored 25 first-half points, including scoring plays of 63 and 28 yards while shutting out the Eagles (0-10) until the third quarter. The defense did its part, too, forcing two turnovers that led to scores.
Mansfield needed only two plays – vastly different – to get on the scoreboard on its first possession of the game. After the Tigers lost 12 yards on a bad snap to open their first drive, quarterback Hunt Young’s sideline pass to David Godsey went 63 yards for a touchdown with just more than 2 minutes gone in the game.
Nearly 7 minutes later, Young had a second TD pass, a 28-yarder to Michael Murray to put the Tigers up 14-0. The catch was one of four in the first half for Murray, who had 123 yards and a TD receiving, rushed for a two-point conversion and had two other carries for 17 yards and a score,all before halftime.
Linebacker Victor Gikunda set up another Mansfield drive by tipping a Lake Ridge pass with one hand, then hauling it in for an interception to give Mansfield the ball at their own 6-yard line. The Tigers marched to the Lake Ridge 17-yard line, where Ryan Smith’s 34-yard field goal bolstered Mansfield’s lead to 17-0 5 minutes into the second quarter. The big play on that drive was a 50-yard pass from Young to Murray, who grabbed the catch over the outstretched hands of two Lake Ridge defenders.
The Tigers defense cashed in on Lake Ridge’s next drive, with Mansfield linebacker Brayden Moore smothering Lake Ridge quarterback Wesley Smith and recovering a fumble at Mansfield’s 23-yard line.
Nine plays later, Murray’s run around end for a touchdown capped the first-half scoring, giving the Tigers a 25-0 lead at the half. Young passed for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
Lake Ridge’s offense surged in the second half, but the Eagles were in a hole too deep. After Mansfield’s Donerio Davenport leapt into the end zone for a 32-0 Tigers lead, Lake Ridge put together a sustained drive behind quarterback Trevor Andrews and tailback London Young.
Just after the Eagles had crossed midfield into Tigers territory, Young bolted up the middle for 14 yards, putting the Eagles at the 29-yard line. Three plays later, Andrews passed to Kamdon McFarland, who made the catch at the 1-yard line. Andrews carried it in on the next play and Young added a 2-point conversion run to cut Mansfield’s lead to 32-8 with 3 ½ minutes left in the third quarter.
Mansfield answered with a scoring drive, capped by Young’s 1-run dive on the first play of the fourth quarter, making the score 39-8.
Lake Ridge mounted a successful drive later in the fourth, with Jaylen Holt scoring from 3 yards out and Andrews passing to Matthew Bynum for the 2-point conversion for 39-16 score.
The Eagles forced a Mansfield punt, but turned the ball over on a fumble with just over a minute to play.
Mansfield entered the game off a tough stretch against district foes Cedar Hill and DeSoto, both ranked among the best 6A teams in Texas. The Tigers lost to Cedar Hill, 52-7, and against DeSoto, 56-7, the previous week.
Lake Ridge suffered a frustrating defeat against Waco Midway. The Eagles led late in the fourth quarter before Midway scored a touchdown in the final minute for a 24-20 victory.
Elsewhere in the Mansfield ISD, Summit defeated Birdville, 38-24; and Legacy lost to Colleyville Heritage, 31-2. On Thursday, Timberview beat Everman, 40-21.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.