By Gary Budzak
Big Walnut lost a heartbreaker to host Mansfield Senior 20-19 in its season opener Friday at Arlin Field.
“It’s a loss, but our kids played their guts out,” said BW head coach Joe Weaver. “I’m proud of the way they played the entire four quarters. They never let up, they never quit.”
Tyquan Vickers got the Tygers on the board after catching a touchdown pass from Brandon Swindall. The Golden Eagles’ Isaac Lucas responded with a touchdown run, but a missed extra point had Mansfield up 7-6 after the first quarter.
In the second, David Hunt put Big Walnut up with a 5-yard run, but a snap that went over the punter’s head gave the Tygers good field position. However, the Eagles made a great goal-line stand and blocked a field-goal attempt.
In the second half, Mansfield tied the score with a touchdown run, but Big Walnut blocked the point-after attempt to keep things even at 13. In the middle of the third, Hunt scored again to put the Eagles up 19-13.
The Tygers responded with a touchdown run from Brian Benson, and the point after put Mansfield up 20-19.
The Eagles had a chance late, but fumbled with a couple minutes left.
“We’re gonna learn from this and get ready for Canal Winchester,” Weaver said.