Mangham is headed to the semifinals for the third consecutive season following a 36-34 win at No. 17 West St. John Friday.
The Dragons went into what coach Tommy Tharp called “as tough an environment as I have played in at Mangham” visiting Edgar, Louisiana to face a Rams team that just the week before beat top-seed Many 34-30.
“It is as tough a place to play as any I have been in,” Tharp said. “I though the kids handled it well and maybe us as coaches got caught up in it more than the kids did. We dominated the third quarter but we couldn’t get the long drive we needed to put it away and drive the ball well.”
Mangham went for a fourth-and-short but did not make it under three minutes to go. West St. John then drove the field and scored to cut it two points.
The Rams would have to go for the two-point conversion with only seven ticks remaining in the game.
“We called a time out when we saw how they would line up,” Tharp said.
West St. John then came out in a totally different formation out of the timeout – but the Dragons showed their true colors.
“They had run the play earlier and it was just down to the point where – in high school football you have a certain number of plays and that’s it.”
The Mangham defense jumped the pass route on the two-point conversion and Jakari Nichols denied the completion and sent the Dragons one step closer to its third straight championship finals berth. The previous two championship games were in 1A and the Dragons moved up to 2A athletics this season,
“This team is very experienced,” Tharp said. “We are a focused group.”
Mangham rushed for 377 yards on 56 carries as a team on Friday. Nichols finished with 185 yards on 25 carries with three touchdowns. Kyle Barefield totaled 149 yards rushing on 18 carries along with two touchdowns.
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