Mansfield dominated the line of scrimmage and scored five times from the wrong side of midfield to romp Waxahachie on Friday night at Vernon Newsom Stadium.
The Tigers scored on touchdown runs of 56, 52, 87, 59 and 76 yards to quite literally run away with the District 7-6A victory, 55-7.
Mansfield outgained the Indians 556 yards to 275, which included 369 yards in the first half and 480 yards on the ground.
Ricky Madison (4-157), Josh Littleberry (8-153) and Hunt Young (4-78) all ran for two scores, each.
The Indians offense actually moved the football well against the physical Mansfield defense, driving inside Tigers territory on six-of-their-10 drives and running 68 total plays to the Tigers 36. Two of the drives that failed to cross midfield ended with the first and second half clocks expiring. A three-and-out punt and two interceptions ended the other three.
The unfortunate reality and what truly sealed the game for the Lions was not just the Tribe's inability to put the ball into the end zone to cap either of its first seven drives, but it was the stalled first three series that reached the Mansfield 31-, 8- and 13-yard lines on trips of nine, 11 and 15 plays.
Down three scores, the Indians were all-but-forced to go for the touchdown on fourth-down from the Tigers 13-yard line with 2:53 to play in the first half. They were backed up following an incomplete pass, run for no gain and a sack on third down after quarterback DJ Hollywood hit Josh Sterns on a wheel route to move inside the Mansfield 10-yard line.
Sterns nearly scored before stepping out of bounds, too. It was the outstretched hand and just enough push from a Mansfield defender that forced the junior wide receiver to lose his balance ever so slightly.
On fourth down, Hollywood (19-36, 164 yards) took a quick drop and lobbed a pass to Austin Mick (6-69) in the back-right corner of the Tigers end zone, only to have the pass broken up right before the outstretched receiver hit the turf.
The worst possible outcome came after the pass fell incomplete — Mansfield scored on the very first play. Ricky Madison (4-157) took the inside handoff 87 yards and untouched after he broke through the first level for a 27-0 Mansfield lead. The extra-point attempt was low and left with 2:33 left on the first-half clock.
Mansfield added a fifth first-half touchdown a little over one minute later when quarterback Hunt Young scampered in from 59 yards out for a 34-0 advantage.
The Tigers added two more scores to start the second half and capped the game when Jeremiah Ollison (3-45) found the end zone from 28 yards away with 9:09 to play in the fourth quarter.
Hollywood finished the night 19-of-36 for 164 yards through the air with one touchdown and two interceptions. Backup quarterback Campbell Sullivan completed 1-of-his-2 passes for 16 yards. He also added two carries for 10 yards and five catches for 32 yards.
Sterns led the Indians with seven catches for 73 yards, while it was Mick who caught the lone Waxahachie touchdown pass on a 13-yard fade route to the right corner of the end zone with 1:02 to play in the third quarter.
Jaylen Warren added one catch for seven yards and Keshawn Anderson, who returned to the field for the first time since week four against DeSoto, caught one pass for no gain.
JJ Overton led the Waxahachie rushing attack with 15 carries for 60 yards. Sterns carried the football four times for 17 yards and Elijah Martinez ran five times for 10.
The Indians return to action next week against Grand Prairie, while Mansfield will face Mansfield Lake Ridge, who lost starting quarterback Chandler Rogers on Friday night in a 42-17 loss against Cedar Hill.
Both games kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday.