MIDLOTHIAN — A pair of blocked punts and an interception put Mansfield within two possessions of Waco Midway on Saturday night.But Midway’s passing attack, as it had most of the game, put the Panthers back out of reach.Mansfield lost 58-35 to Midway at Midlothian ISD Stadium, failing to advance to the area round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs.Midway (9-2) will play Denton Ryan (9-2) at 11 a.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.Mansfield cut a 38-6 deficit to 44-28 with 6:39 left in the game before Midway quarterback Ben Hicks put together a quick scoring drive that essentially finished off the Tigers.“They could’ve laid an egg in the second half, but they didn’t,” Mansfield coach Jeff Hulme said of his players. “I think that’s a testament to what these kids have been through all year.”The Tigers trailed 31-6 at halftime after Hicks threw for 216 yards and four touchdowns in the first two quarters.Hicks threw another touchdown pass in the second half and finished with 372 yards.But Mansfield wasn’t through. Troy Walker blocked a Midway punt that set the Tigers up on the 4-yard-line. Three plays later, J.T. Ibe scored on a 7-yard touchdown run, making the score 38-13.Then, Noble Leake intercepted a Hicks pass. Julius Lewis scored on a 16-yard run on the next play.Mansfield held Midway on the next possession, but the Tigers were held, too.Then Hicks connected with Devontre Stricklin on a 43-yard touchdown pass.Another Lewis touchdown run and subsequent 2-point conversion would get Mansfield within two scores, 44-28, but Hicks again responded, this time hitting Jayson Clements for a 47-yard pass down to the Tigers’ 1. Running back Eric Clayburn scored on the next play.“This game showed what our season has been all about. We got down, we came back, we fought hard,” Hulme said. “Couldn’t be prouder of these guys.”Lewis finished with 123 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST