Jags Look to Defeat Rivals

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For the first time since 2009, Summit has a legitimate chance of defeating Mansfield in the annual rivalry game. After a disappointing 18-25 loss to Wichita Falls, the Jaguars rebounded to defeat Birdville 47-27.

The victory saw all parts of the team come together: the offense pulling away in the fourth quarter; the defense making crucial stops in the same quarter; and senior place kicker Ryan Rodriguez was a perfect 5-5 on PATs and field goals combined.

“The effort was better (than the first game),” head coach Travis Pride said. “The confidence was better. The execution was better. And therefore the results were better.”

The win is Summit’s earliest in a season since a 2011 victory over Fossil Ridge. And it couldn’t come at a better time as the Jaguars prepare to do something not even the seniors have seen happen: defeat the Tigers.

“I think every year is the year (we can beat Mansfield),” Pride said. “We’re certainly due. They’re a good football team, though, so we’ll have to perform at a high level.”

Mansfield (1-1), a team that is relying heavily on the rushing game with 254 yards per game on the ground compared to only 75 yards per game through the air, is coming off a loss to Waco Midway (2-0), so Summit (1-1) has momentum over them, which could come into play early in the game.

“(Our win) gives us a lot more confidence,” said senior Eric Jones, who totaled eight tackles in the game against Birdville.

In Summit’s win, the offense scored 47 points, more than any other total in almost two years. Junior quarterback Braden Nolen has a 67 percent completion rate for 441 yards, four TDs and 1 interception, along with two rushing TDs in the two games combined.

“(This win) is exciting and motivates us for the season,” Nolen said. “It gives us the confidence that we can win.”

And the Jaguars will need that extra boost of confidence this week in order to defeat their rivals. But, like Pride, they believe they can do it.

“I feel like we can get it done this year,” said Jones.

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