Mansfield Legacy may have reached the state semifinals last season, but Mansfield High showed that the Tigers still run this town on Friday night at Newsom Stadium.
The Tigers just needed scores on their first two drives to beat the Broncos 14-7 for their first win of the season.
“It was a big momentum shift,” said running back Josh Littleberry, who rushed 32 times for 141 yards. “Watching our defense stop them pumped us up to get back out there.”
The Tigers (1-2) marched down the field on the opening possession and got a 21-yard TD run by Littleberry. Mansfield converted on a fourth-and-1 before capping off the 9-play 60-yard drive.
“All the credit goes to my offensive line,” he said. “I can’t do it without them and they did an outstanding job tonight.”
The Broncos (1-2) punted on their first drive and the Tigers went 75 yards on 15 plays. They went up two scores after a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Hunt Young on third-and-goal. The Tigers converted on two third downs and one fourth down.
They finished 8 of 17 on third-down conversions and 3 of 3 on fourth down.
Dameon Dawson ended Legacy’s second drive with an interception. The Tigers sacked Legacy QB Cam Clark to end the half.
“Defense was our focus this week,” coach Daniel Maberry said. “The first two weeks he haven’t played very good defense and we know we’re better than that and our kids had a new intensity. I thought tonight we were a lot more physical than we’ve been, and that’s the trend we want to keep because that’s our brand of football.”
The teams combined for seven-straight punts to start the second half before Legacy finally hit the scoreboard.
The Broncos went nine plays and 83 yards in three minutes to cut the score in half. Kaleb King scored on a 5-yard TD run. They converted on two third downs to keep the drive going.
Legacy had one more chance after it got the ball at its own35 with 1:33 to go, but Dawson batted down a pass on fourth-and-5.
King, who rushed for over 200 yards in Week 2 vs. Crowley,was held to 37 yards on 13 carries.
Mansfield out-gained Legacy in total yards 221-216.
“It was huge,” said senior DB Miles Williams, who’s committed to Cal. “I know we dropped our first two games, but the coaches always teach us well – ever since I was a sophomore – and they did again this week. They got us prepared and we went out and executed.”
Both squads take a week off before starting district, 7:30p.m. on Sept. 21. The Tigers play Summit. Legacy faces Lancaster.
“I still think we have a ways to go, but if we can keep this progress going forward, that’s what we want,” Maberry said. “We always want to peak at the end of the season never the beginning,and that’s what these three games were about – getting better for district.”