Photo: Sherry Milliken/TexasHSFootball
MANSFIELD — While Mansfield Lake Ridge High School scored 35 points in 24 minutes during a 42-17 victory Friday night at R.L. Anderson Stadium, Waxahachie High School tested the limits of its depth.
During a district matchup with no playoff implications and only pride on the line, Mansfield Lake Ridge (9-1, 7-0) got affirmation of its potency. Namely through the accuracy of its starting slinger and the yards per carry of its stable of backs.
“We needed to stay on track with what we were. I think the kids did a good job offensively and scored when we had to,” said Kirk Thor, the head coach at Mansfield Lake Ridge. “Anytime you can keep a rhythm it’s really good.”
Bean, who completed six of his nine passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, almost matched that production despite playing less than 10 minutes in the third quarter. He finished 8-for-12 with 172 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
The defense recovered a pair of fumbles in the first quarter that quickly transformed a scoreless game into a 14-0 advantage for the Eagles. Mansfield Lake Ridge’s running game, though, may have been the most dangerous aspect of the Eagles’ explosive, take-no-prisoners offense Friday night.
Cartraven Walker (8 rush, 156 yards, 3 TD), Dewon Jackson (11 rush, 97 yards, TD) either eclipsed the century mark rushing for came within earshot of the accomplishment. The senior pair also scored all but one of the Eagles’ six touchdowns. One of those scores came on the longest gain from scrimmage by either team.
“The offensive line opened up a wide open hole for me and I just hit it,” Walker said about his 76-yard shifting, juking sprint to the end zone. “Coach [Thor] always tells us to not run out of bounds, so I cut it up the field. It was an amazing run but also something that happened because of the people in front of me.”
Walker scored one more touchdown — his fourth of the game — on a back shoulder reception, a 37-yard flick of the wrist from Bean. He finished with 193 all-purpose yards.
Waxahachie, though, got more than an affable glimpse into 2018 courtesy of Mason Brewer, D.J. Hollywood, Jhamarian Sargent, and Jaden Watson — reserve players stepped into full-time roles during the Indians’ fourth drive.
Watson, a junior, ran for 57 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Tre Cooks added 34 on nine, and Colbe “C.J.” Noland finished with 13 for 30.
Brewer and Hollywood combined for 11-for-16 passing for 117 yards. The latter threw a 4-yard strike to Josh Sterns with little less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Hollywood, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, finished 5-for-5 with 59 yards in the fourth quarter after missing the mark on his one and only pass in the first half.
“Defensively we gave up some drives but we were good there, too,” Thor said. “It’s a team game, though, and whenever one side is down the other side has got to be up. We were lucky enough — for the most part — to have both up tonight.”
Mansfield Lake Ridge will face District 9-5A No. 4 seed Burleson Centennial (5-5, 4-3) next Friday at R.L. Anderson Stadium during its UIL 5A first-round game after winning a coin flip for location. The last time Mansfield Lake Ridge won an outright district title was 2015, when Thor, starting quarterback Jett Duffey, and the Eagles went 15-1 overall and 7-0 in District 14-5A and lost to George Ranch in the UIL 5A Division I state title game.
Waxahachie will face District 9-5A champion Everman (7-3, 7-0) at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at J.E. Marr Stadium in Everman.
Marcus Matthews-Marion is the managing editor of TexasHSFootball, covering prep football throughout the Lone Star State. Follow him on Twitter,@RealMarcMarion, and read more of his content here.
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