Warriors battle past Jags, officials in 50-36 victory at Mansfield Summit
Warriors battle past Jags, officials in 50-36 victory at Mansfield Summit
By Denton Ramsey / Sports Editor
The final score doesn’t tell the real story.
Under Friday night’s lights, the South Grand Prairie Warriors once again overcame all obstacles, working their way past awful calls from the officials in route to a 50-36 victory over the Mansfield Summit Jaguars.
The Warriors, now 2-0 on the season, found their backs against the wall late in the third quarter when the officials made, quite possibly, the worst call in the history of high school football.
As a fourth-down pass attempt bounced in and out of the Mansfield Summit receivers’ hands due to remarkable defense, the officials in the endzone signaled for a touchdown as the pigskin bounced out of the endzone and incomplete.
And that’s when the Warriors sideline erupted, as head coach David Fisher rushed in an angry dash towards the closest official to voice his complaints.
However, the awful call was not overruled, and the play stood as called as the officials officially gave the Jags a hand-wrapped early Christmas present.
But that gift was quickly torn to pieces, as the Warriors and their fans held on in a fight against the entire stadium.
As South Grand Prairie walked away victorious in a 14-point victory, coach Fisher and his boys held their heads high after overcoming adversity in two straight games.
“Playing two games on the road like we’ve done the last two weeks, in hostile environments and coming back after being down in the game at Plano West by 14 points twice, and coming back here in all this adversity, it’s great,” Fisher said.
The Jags took an early 6-0 lead with 10:08 left in the second quarter, missing their extra-point attempt as Mansfield Summit struck first.
However, the Jags lead was short-lived.
On the ensuing possession, Warriors’ running back Ricky Evans returned the kickoff 98-yards for the touchdown as South Grand Prairie tied the game at 6-6 with 9:53 remaining in the first half.
A bad snap on the extra point attempt forced the Warriors to go for the two-point conversion, but the pass sailed incomplete with the game deadlocked, 6-6.
After forcing the Jags to punt, the Warriors took over at their own 41-yard-line with 8:52 left in the second quarter.
And on the third play of the possession, a fake handoff resulted in a long pass completion from Denzel Dewberry to Trey Johnson as the Warriors took a 13-6 lead with 7:27 remaining in the first half.
A penalty flag against the Warriors sideline resulted in a first-down for the Jags on the ensuing Mansfield Summit drive, setting up the home team at the Warriors 36-yard-line.
And three plays later, the Jags found the endzone as Mansfield Summit tied the game at 13-13 with 2:34 left in the first half.
Whatever coach Fisher told his Warriors before their next possession worked, as South Grand Prairie hit the two minute drill in stride, calmly driving down the field for a 20-13 lead with 1:15 remaining in the second quarter as Dewberry’s quarterback keeper put the visitors on top.
A fumble recovery by the Warriors gave them the pigskin back as South Grand Prairie took over at their own 47-yard-line with under a minute left in the first half.
After a run up the middle knocked the Warriors back two yards, South Grand Prairie called their final timeout with 0:34 left in the first half.
When the Warriors returned to the field, Dewberry took the pigskin on a screen pass and found Julian Shankle along the left sideline as he scrambled in 55 yards for the touchdown.
As Carson Wiggs’ extra-point attempt sailed through the uprights, the Warriors held onto a 27-13 lead with 22 ticks left on the clock and South Grand Prairie took a 14-point lead into the half.
“Give credit to Summit, their coaches did a tremendous job,” Fisher said. “We’ve been really fortunate [against Mansfield Summit], we’ve played them for years now and we’re 15-0, and I don’t know how we’ve done that to be honest with you because they’ve got a great coaching staff and great players, but we’ve just been really blessed.”
Through the first half of action, the Warriors garnered 226 total yards, amassing 160 yards in the air with two touchdowns.
The score remained the same up until the Warriors fumbled the pigskin with 5:44 left in the third quarter as Mansfield Summit took possession at the South Grand Prairie 42-yard-line.
Sitting on third-and-long at the Warriors 33-yard-line, the South Grand Prairie defense came to life on a huge quarterback sack in the backfield.
But the officials threw a late flag as the Warrior defenders celebrated, claiming the South Grand Prairie players had taken their celebrations too far as unsportsmanlike conduct was called on the play.
The awful call resulted in a fourth-down attempt from the Warriors 26-yard-line as the officials obviously became blinded by their own stupidity.
Mansfield Summit attempted to reach the endzone on the ensuing play, throwing an incomplete pass to the Jaguar receiver as the ball was bobbled before bouncing out of the endzone and out of play.
However, the men in stripes saw things differently, signaling a touchdown to an eruption of anger from the Warriors sideline.
But the play stood, and with 3:32 left in the third quarter the Jags were given a hand-wrapped gift from the officials, pulling Mansfield Summit within a touchdown, 27-20.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our guys,” Fisher said. “I tell you what, I never complain about the officiating, that’s a tough job, but we had some really tough calls tonight, that’s all I can say… we had some really tough calls.”
The Warriors didn’t take long to answer the call, putting South Grand Prairie on top 34-20 with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter as Dewberry found Johnson open in the endzone for their second touchdown connection of the night.
With 10:27 left in the fourth quarter, the Jags picked up two more points on a safety, making the score 34-22 as the Warriors were forced to kick the pigskin away to Mansfield Summit.
And with 9:40 remaining in regulation, the Jags found pay-dirt, rushing up the right side of the field on a 50-yard touchdown run to cut into the Warriors lead, 34-29.
But it took just two short minutes for the Warriors to slam the nail in the coffin, as an end-around reverse hand-off to Rakin Rigsby gave South Grand Prairie a commanding 41-29 lead with 7:32 left in the fourth quarter.
With 1:42 remaining in the game, the Jags tacked on another score to narrow the Warriors lead at 41-36.
After an onside kick was recovered by the Warriors at their own 37-yard-line, four straight run plays resulted in three straight Jaguar timeouts before Wiggs’ leg gave South Grand Prairie a 44-36 lead on a 25-yard field-goal.
And just four plays into the Jags ensuing drive, the Warriors defense again came up huge, this time putting points on the board to show for it.
With a mere 0:20 left in the game, Bryson Wilson intercepted a pass, scrambling up the right side of the field and staying in-bounds as the Warriors tacked on another score.
But obviously, the officials felt they had not tacked on enough Warriors penalties, tossing a yellow flag on another unsportsmanlike conduct call with South Grand Prairie players celebrating in jubilation in the endzone.
And they had every right to celebrate – heck, they beat all odds, including the men in stripes.
However, due to the ridiculous call, Wiggs picked up his first miss of the season after being forced to attempt a 40-yard extra-point try that sailed slightly right.
But as the clock hit 0:00, the Warriors moved to 2-0 on the season after a 50-36 victory against Mansfield Summit.
“It’s like I’ve said before,” Fisher said, “I’ve never been beaten by the officials and I never will be.”
The Warriors return to action tomorrow night as South Grand Prairie hosts South Garland in the team’s first home game of the season.
All the action begins tomorrow night at Grand Prairie’s Gopher-Warrior Bowl, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m., as the Warriors aim to remain undefeated on the season.
Sports Editor Denton Ramsey can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com