Mansfield Summit Repeats Cinderella Run

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Mansfield Summit football team
Photo courtesy Mansfield ISD

Mansfield Summit Jaguars, Duncanville Panthers Have Hot Seasons

Sometimes the secret to success is getting hot at the right time.

But then, you won’t get many arguments from fans whose team was just flat good all season long, either.

In the case of the Mansfield Summit Jaguars and the Duncanville Panthers, football fans in the area got both. For a second straight season the Jaguars caught fire in the postseason en route to a state semifinals appearance, while the Panthers dominated their way to third state runner-up finish in four seasons.

A year ago the Jaguars were 3-4 through the first seven games of the season. They then went on an unlikely run to reach the state semifinals, finishing 8-5.

What were the odds of that happening again? Well, through seven games of the 2021 campaign, the Jaguars were 4-3 following a 35-34 loss at Colleyville Heritage.

Then, Summit reeled off seven consecutive victories, once again en route to the Class 5A Division I state semifinals before their season ended with a 28-21 loss to College Station.
During their streak, the Jaguars averaged nearly 40 points per game, while the defense surrendered just a dozen per outing. Their postseason run included wins over Azle (38-14), El Paso Chapin (56-7), district foe Midlothian (28-20) and district opponent Colleyville Heritage.

Mansfield Community Celebrates Program’s Success

And through it all, just as they did in 2020, the Jaguars built excitement in the Mansfield school district and community. Few things bring folks together like one of their own football teams going on a magical playoff run – much less twice in as many seasons.

“I am so proud of the work of coach Channon Hall and his staff, as well as the poise and confidence the football team played with this season and last. I am confident the teams of the last two seasons have laid the groundwork for sustainable program success,” Mansfield Athletic Director Philip O’Neal said.

The Jaguars finished 11-4 overall, with two of their losses coming to state champions Jenks, Okla., 20-14, (that state’s 6A Division I winner) and Austin Westlake (Texas 6A Division II champion, USA Today newspaper national runners-up).

In all, the four teams that defeated the Jaguars had a combined record of 55-5.

In fact, District 4-5A Division I, in which the Jaguars compete, had each of its four playoff qualifiers advance to at least the second round of the postseason. As previously mentioned, two of the qualifiers were eliminated by the Jaguars.

“Any time you have one of the largest groups on the campus (football team) go on the type of run these past two teams have gone on, it energizes the community. When you are in a multi-high school district like Mansfield, it energizes the entire district and everyone gets behind the team,” O’Neal continued.

“We are all grateful for coach Hall, his staff and the student athletes for the ride they took us on. We could not be more proud of their accomplishments.”

Duncanville’s 13-2 Season

The Panthers’ season was without question a dominant one. They were not only one of the best teams in Texas, they were one of the best in the entire nation.
Unfortunately, in going 13-2, their victories were sandwiched in between losses to two more of the best teams in the country, USA Today national champion California Mater Dei (45-3) and No. 13 Houston North Shore (17-10). The Panthers, once ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation, finished No. 21 after the loss to North Shore in the 6A Division I state title game.

It was the Panthers’ third loss to North Shore in the state final in the past four seasons. They lost on a Hail Mary on the game’s final play, 41-36, in 2018 and fell 31-17 in 2019 before this season. Duncanville is 52-6 over the past four seasons, with half of those losses coming to North Shore, which is 60-3 in that same span.

Following the home loss to Mater Dei to start the season, the Panthers reeled off 13 consecutive wins in destructive fashion. They included victories of 42-27 over 5A Division II state champions Dallas South Oak Cliff, 42-21 over 6A Division I regional finalist DeSoto and 58-7 over 6A Division II regional semifinalist Cedar Hill.

The Panthers averaged 54 points in the 13-game winning streak. The defense surrendered just nine per contest.

The offense scored 76 points twice, over 60 four times and over 50 in eight consecutive games. The defense posted four shutouts and held an opponent without a touchdown five times, limiting them to a single touchdown in four other games.

Area Teams

football player celebrates
Jordan Crook celebrates after a 1-yard touchdown run Photo by John Askew

In all, a dozen area teams reached the playoffs. Of those, 10 advanced to at least the second round. Here’s a recap of area playoff teams this season:

6A Division I

 

Johntay Cook had a monster game with 3rec for 102yds and 2 touchdowns. Photo by JOHN ASKEW

Duncanville (13-2) – Def. Belton in bidistrict, 63-7; def. Mesquite in area, 52-2; def. Spring in regional semifinals, 42-7; def. DeSoto in regional final, 38-20; def. Southlake Carroll in state semifinals, 35-9; lost to Houston North Shore in state final, 10-17.

DeSoto (11-3) – Def. Killeen Harker Heights in bidistrict, 65-28; def. Rockwall in area, 49-28; def. Spring Westfield in regional semifinals, 34-17; lost to Duncanville in regional final, 20-38.

South Grand Prairie (7-4) – Lost to Lake Highlands in bidistrict, 24-29.

6A Division II

Cedric Harden Jr
Cedric Harden Jr. Photo courtesy of Cedar HILL ISD

Cedar Hill (8-5) – Def. Bryan in bidistrict, 10-5; def. Tyler Legacy in area, 21-7; lost to Cypress Bridgeland in regional semifinals, 18-32.

Grand Prairie (7-5) – Def. Richardson Berkner in bidistrict, 29-22; lost to Prosper in area, 13-58.

Waxahachie (6-5) – Lost to Temple in bidistrict, 14-28.

5A Division I

Mansfield Summit (11-4) – Def. Azle in bidistrict, 38-14; def. El Paso Chapin in area, 56-7; def. Midlothian in regional semifinals, 28-20; def. Colleyville Heritage in regional final, 21-9; lost to Denton Guyer in state semifinals, 21-28.

Midlothian (8-5) – Def. White Settlement Brewer in bidistrict, 21-17; def. Lubbock Coronado in area, 21-17; lost to Summit in regional semifinals, 20-28.

Lancaster (10-2) – Def. Frisco Reedy in bidistrict, 35-15; lost to Longview in area, 14-34.

5A Division II

Ennis (11-1) – Def. Dennison in bidistrict, 47-25; lost to Mansfield Timberview in area, 21-42.

Timberview (8-5) – Def. Dallas Kimball in bidistrict, 72-13; def. Ennis in area, 42-21; lost to Lucas Lovejoy in regional semifinals, 20-24.

4A Division I

Midlothian Heritage (8-4) – Def. Benbrook in bidistrict, 49-20; lost to Melissa in a area, 41-50.

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and two granddaughters

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