Faced with a tie at halftime, Mansfield held the tiebreaker in the form of the player wearing No. 5 in a key District 4-6A victory.
Running back Kennedy Brooks rushed for 299 yards and three touchdowns, including 211 yards and two TDs in the second half of the Tigers’ 35-21 triumph over Arlington Lamar on Friday at R.L. Anderson Stadium.
The win solidified Mansfield’s postseason status.
Brooks had scoring runs of 12, 61 and 2 — the game-clincher that capped 14 unanswered points by Mansfield in the fourth quarter.
Nothing is in concrete at this point. The Tigers enter the final three weeks of the season 5-2 overall and 3-0 in district with a game next week against Sam Houston. The Vikings (4-3, 2-1), whose playoff hopes are very much alive, face district front-runner Arlington Bowie next week.
Mansfield won the bout with the Vikings, but the Tigers needed a 14-0 fourth quarter to finally put away Lamar.
Brooks, “held” to 88 yards in the first half, finally broke free at the 8:30 mark of the third quarter, bursting for 61 yards to put the Tigers up 21-14.
Lamar answered quickly on the ensuing drive with quarterback Chance Fuller’s 48-yard scoring strike to Dayton Dubs. Fuller, a senior, finished 22 for 37 passing for 209 yards and two touchdowns, including one of 33 yards to Jaylen Jones in the first half.
His Mansfield opposite, Shawn Hartsfield, then countered, throwing 57 yards to Jackson Gleeson for the go-ahead touchdown.
Brooks iced the game by rushing for 34 yards on a four-play drive capped by his last TD run.
Lamar was held to 129 yards in the second half. In addition to Fuller’s two TD passes, running back Kendall Burt had 59 yards and a 22-yard TD run.