MANSFIELD — The offense was humming. The defense was largely effective. But the special teams were special for the Tygers.
Mansfield Senior used two special plays to set up 14 early points en route to a 49-14 dominating victory over Orrville at Arlin Field Friday night in an Ohio Cardinal Conference football game.
Jornell Manns returned a punt 58 yards to make it 14-0 midway through the first quarter. Immediately after the Red Riders cut it to 14-7 later in the quarter, Davis Chapman returned a kickoff 81 yards to the Orrville 4 where Tyquan Vickers punched it in to bump it back to a two-score lead.
“We were trying to keep it away, and it’s just a mistake on our part,” Orrville coach Doug Davault said. “Those guys in the open field are dangerous, and they are hard to deal with.”
The Tygers wouldn’t look back.
“We always talk about guys doing their job in all three phases of the game. We work extremely hard with our special teams units,” Mansfield Senior coach Chioke Bradley said. “It’s kind of hard to kick the ball to us because we have athletes all over the back end of our return.”
Stat of the Game
The Tygers have more up-downs in their future. After too many penalties last week, Bradley punished them with the calisthenics at a practice, but it didn’t stick. Senior High committed 11 for 110 yards.
“We’ll clean it up one way or another,” Bradley said. “We’ve got to do more up-downs, but we’ll get it fixed.”
Players of the Game
Vickers ran 15 times for 159 yards, making eight first downs and scoring a touchdown. Plus he went over 2,500 career rushing yards in the first quarter. Brian Benson added 85 yards on nine touches and scored twice.
“You can’t simulate that in practice. They have great athletes and those running backs are superior athletes,” Devault said. “We knew we had our hands full. Disappointed that we didn’t compete better. You could tell we were tentative on defense all night.”
This is the final meeting between Orrville and Mansfield Senior as the Red Riders will move to the Principals Athletic Conference next year … Since they started playing one another in 1997, Mansfield Senior holds a 10-9 edge … Orrville won five in a row from 2006 to 2010, but the Tygers wrapped up the series with five straight victories … The Red Riders only had 26 on the roster with just four over 200 pounds.
Tygers’ quarterback Brandon Swindall was effective, going 6 of 9 for 88 yards and TD throws to Chioke Bradley Jr. and Sa’qunn Johnson … He did not throw an interception … Orrville was held to 68 yards on the ground … Red Riders’ QB Luke Smith was 13 of 23 for 89 yards, one TD and two interceptions.