Tigers crest Summit, gear up for district

Posted Monday, Sep. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The Mansfield football team picked up its first victory of the season against Summit last Friday night on the strength of a massive game from running back Julius Lewis and the Tigers offense.

Mansfield will square off with South Grand Prairie in its district opener at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at Newsom Stadium, and coach Jeff Hulme said he expects his team to have its hands full.

“They are very physical and play a very fast brand of football,” Hulme said. “We’ve got be ready. We can't give them anything by making mistakes with penalties, and have to overcome them. We also can't have turnovers. If we can do those things and be patient, I think we’ll be fine.”

As the team prepares for its district opener, Hulme said he thinks the non-district schedule has been good for his team to get geared up for district play.

“I think it has done a great job preparing us,” Hulme said. “I think we've played three really good teams. [Arlington] Bowie is right up there with the best teams in the Metroplex, and Keller is 3-0, and you're not 3-0 if you're not any good. With Summit, you can throw records out the window when Mansfield and Summit play, just because of the intensity of the rivalry.

“This is what district is going to be like. It's going to be intense, and we're going to play some very good teams. Would I like to have a better record? Sure, but the purpose of non-district is to get you ready for district, and that is exactly what it has done.”

The Tigers defeated Summit 42-23 in their final non-district game, and Hulme said he was pleased with his teams effort, but did see room for improvement.

“I thought we took a big step forward execution-wise,” Hulme said. “It helped getting two offensive linemen back. I got back Julius from injury the last week, and I think they all looked better.

“One thing we did do, which is uncharacteristic of us, is we had 10 penalties in the first half. That is something that we don't normally do, and that is something we have to look at and concentrate and just focus a little bit better. That did hurt us a little bit, because it put us off of our stride a couple of times.”

Lewis rushed for 238 yards and three touchdowns in the Summit game, and Hulme said it felt really good to get his running back into the lineup.

“It was great to see him get that spring back in his step,” Hulme said. “I thought he ran hard and fast, and when he had the holes, I thought he did a great job of hitting them.”

Hulme said he was also pleased with the efforts of his full back Brian Williams, who rushed 10 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.

“He got some big first downs for us,” Hulme said. “I think they are a pretty good one-two punch.”

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