There will be a change in the Super 25 in the coming week, and a change in the Texas playoff seedings as well. That’s all thanks to a remarkable performance by Mansfield High School on a Thursday night.
Facing off against USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 No. 12 Cedar Hill, Mansfield proved resilient, resourceful and clutch in pulling out a narrow, 46-43 victory, sending the Longhorns to their first loss of the season (8-1). The Mansfield Tigers improved to 7-2 with the victory.
In a see-saw battle, Cedar Hill held a narrow 29-26 lead at the half but was clearly already in a much bigger dog fight than the Longhorns had anticipated. Mansfield connected on three long touchdown passes in the first half, including a stunning 88-yarder when Michael Christopher beat the entire Cedar Hill coverage team deep.
The second half opened with a statement from Mansfield, a 10-play drive capped by an 8-yard touchdown run from back Kennedy Brooks, giving the Tigers a 33-29 lead. The teams traded back and forth until Brooks broke through with the biggest play of the contest, the game-winning run up the gut that you see above, handing Mansfield a 46-43 lead (the Tigers missed the extra point) that it would never relinquish, sealed with an interception in the final 15 seconds.
The loss serves to reset Cedar Hill’s expectations for the rest of the season while jumpstarting Mansfield’s playoff prospects. The Longhorns will still fancy themselves as legitimate state title contenders — after all, they lost to Mansfield last year in the regular season but still won a state title — but a run up to the Top 5 of the USA TODAY High School Super 25 certainly seems a bridge too far following the loss.