After resting in the final two regular-season games, Oklahoma commit Kennedy Brooks returned to the field for Mansfield’s first-round game on Thursday night.
The senior running back looked like he didn’t miss a beat, scoring on a 53-yard run on his first carry since Oct. 20.
Brooks added another 100-yard rushing game, and Mansfield scored on two non-offensive touchdowns in the first half to beat Keller Fossil Ridge 55-10 in a Class 6A Division II bi-district game at Newsom Stadium.
“Like I said all year, Kennedy is an unbelievable player, and I’m blessed and fortunate to have him on my team,” Mansfield coach Daniel Maberry said. “I think we’re really coming together as a team, and I’m really proud of everybody.”
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Mansfield (9-2) advances to the area round to face the winner of Friday’s game between Amarillo Tascosa and El Paso Montwood in Amarillo.
Brooks needed only 18 seconds to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
“I was very excited to get back on the field,” Brooks said.
Mansfield increased its lead to 20-0 on a 38-yard interception return by Kade Fletcher and a 53-yard punt return by Derique Ryan with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter.
Brooks scored from the 1 to cap a nearly eight-minute drive and extend the Tigers’ lead to 27-0 with 1:20 left in the first half.
Fossil Ridge (7-4) got on the board late in the first half when Cobe Craft and Elijah Hicks hooked up for a 15-yard touchdown.
Brooks added three more touchdowns in the second half on runs of 60, 1 and 3 yards. He finished with 23 carries for 221 yards and five touchdowns in three quarters for his eighth consecutive 200-yard game, and 23rd straight 100-yard game.
Jaqulis Coleman added a 39-yard touchdown run with 7:03 to play. Saiid Adebo and Corbin Frederick also had interceptions.
“My team came out and showed the world what we can do, and if we can keep this up, we could be in for a state run,” Brooks said.
Anthony Smith led the Panthers with 27 carries and 143 yards. The senior ends the season with 1,543 yards rushing and 17 TDs.