MANSFIELD (KFSM)--Prior to the season, not many people looked at the week five schedule and pinpointed Greenland at Mansfield as the Football Friday Night game of the week. But here we are with the 4-0 Tigers hosting the 3-1 Pirates for a spot atop the 3A-1.
"Mansfield and Greenland have had some really good games in the last 10-12 years and I expect Friday night to be no different," Pirates coach Lee Larkan said.
The teams have met ten times in the past nine seasons with each school winning five times. Greenland has won the most recent three head to head games. To some people outside of the two towns, a combined 7-1 start was unexpected. Not to the Pirates and Tigers.
"I expected it because we worked so hard," Mansfield senior Zac Woolbright said. "I’ve never seen us work this hard before and I had no doubts that we could do this and I feel like we can keep going."
"The win over Charleston gives us confidence, I mean they’re a team that’s really good every year," Pirates assistant coach Jordan Larkan said. "So if you can play with a team like that, you feel good about playing with a lot of other teams."
"Number one they’re coached very well," Tigers coach Craig Bentley said about Greenland. "They’re gonna play very hard and they don’t give up. They run to the football, they fire off on both offensive and defensive lines."
On the other side, Bentley’s defense has allowed just seven points the past three weeks including two straight shutouts.
"Defense, I think the biggest thing for them is they’re playing very physical," added Bentley.
"The last two games they’ve outscored opponents by 80, defense is playing well," Lee Larkan said. "They’re just a good team, we knew they had a lot of kids coming back."
"Quarterback is really good, they have a bunch of good receivers, offensive line is good, defense. They’re a solid team, I mean there’s a reason why they’re 4-0," said Jordan Larkan.
The bottom line is that the Football Friday Night Game of the Week showcases a strong conference.
"The 3A-1 I would argue is probably the toughest conference in 3A this year, I mean it’s tough," said the Greenland head coach."
The winner takes at least a share of first place in the 3A-1 with a 2-0 record.