It is always fun when two Mansfield football teams hook up on Friday night to do battle, and this week should be no different.
Mansfield Lake Ridge and Mansfield Timberview will take the field at Vernon Newsom Stadium at 7:30 p.m., and Lake Ridge coach Kirk Thor said that the Eagles will not be taking Timberview lightly in the second-to-last game of the regular season.
“Timberview is a very good football team,” Thor said. “They play hard and are well-coached. We expect a tough game. Their defense is really tough.”
Timberview, in fact, has the top-ranked defense in District 10-5A this season, allowing just over 230 yards a game to opposing offenses through the first seven games.
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Thor said that District 10-5A is rife with talent and admitted that Lake Ridge is in the most difficult portion of the district season.
“We have to continue focusing on getting better, because these last weeks of district play are really tough,” Thor said. “It could be argued that all 10-5A teams could be playoff teams if we weren’t all in the same district.”
Lake Ridge is the top-ranked offense in 10-5A, averaging 465 yards of total offense through the first seven games, and Timberview coach James Brown agrees with Thor that 10-5A is one of the most talented districts in the state. He said he is certain that Lake Ridge will be a battle.
“Lake Ridge is a top-tier team in the state,” Brown said. “This district is loaded with four teams in the top 15 and one in the top 30. Lake Ridge sits right along side with them. They are an explosive offensive team. Coach Thor has always had the ability to create offense. Their youth is no longer evident and they are playing very well.
“We need to make it a physical game. I expect it to be like all games in our district on any Friday night. The team with least amount of mistakes will have the best opportunity to win.”
Brown said that if the Wolves are to make the playoffs, it is really up to them.
“We control our own destiny,” Brown said. “Everything we want is right in front of us ... there will be one team who sits at home in the postseason who is as good as any playoff team in the area. We simply need to play with a purpose and a desire to be the team that wants to be one of them in and not the one out.”