There's a buzz in the air at Mansfield High School. Nope, it's not just about volleyball.
The Tigers football team has a chance to match the 2008 squad's 3-0 start Friday when it travels to Lavaca.
"I'm happy for our kids and community; they deserve it," Mansfield coach Craig Bentley said. "(But) with a new week comes a new focus, and a 0-0 mentality with the goal to be 1-0 each week."
Mansfield defeated rival Waldron last week, 40-7, behind the play of quarterback Ethan Stovall.
The junior ran for four touchdowns and threw for another.
"Great game in all three phases of the game," Bentley said. "We set the tone by returning the opening kickoff (for a touchdown) and continued to execute well on both offense and defense and, most importantly, we are playing very physical. Our kids are working hard and fixing the little things to take our execution to the next level."
Two weeks into the season, Stovall has a quarterback rating of 114.5. He's thrown for 352 yards and is averaging 4.0 yards per carry on the ground.
Blayne Bryant and Jaicy Griffin lead the defense with 16 tackles apiece.
"I've been very pleased with how disciplined we have played as far as penalties," Bentley said. "We have been flagged very little in two games; that has been a huge high point for us. We still have not played our best game, but we have been finding ways to win."
Charleston coach Greg Kendrick had a feeling the Tigers were in for a tough night last week.
"I hope we learn how to practice," Kendrick said. "We had the worst week of practice we've ever had, and hopefully we learn how to prepare."
The Tigers' 28-27 loss to Dardanelle last week dropped them to 1-1 heading into their bye week.
"We came out flat, didn't execute early on offensively, and defensively we couldn't tackle," Kendrick said.
The Tigers trailed 13-0 before scoring 21 unanswered points for a 21-13 lead.
But a pass interference penalty on fourth-and-eight from their 32 helped Dardanelle tie the game. Charleston scored with a minute remaining, but decided to go for the win instead of playing for overtime.
The Panthers evened their record at 1-1 last week with a 41-0 victory at Paris. Now comes the fun part: trying to sustain momentum this week against Ozark.
The Panthers, who lost 30-0 at Booneville on Aug. 24, got plenty of offense from quarterback Nicholas Buckner last week in Paris. The junior ran for 168 yards and threw for two touchdowns.
Buckner was 3-of-5, in fact, for 49 yards, with juniors Jace Donaldson and Miles Kimbriel catching touchdown passes.
Junior Jamie White also rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.
Coach Jeremie Burns and the Hillbillies won't necessarily be back at the drawing board this Friday when they face Clarksville.
It's just a matter of executing.
"The way we played, we were still down 21-14, and they scored 21 points right before the half," Burns said. "They threw three touchdown passes, and hopefully we can get that fixed this week against Clarksville."
Burns said running back Eddie Graham and Daniel Woolsey are out this week. Lineman Cody Weseman is out for the season with a knee injury.
Junior quarterback Evan Schlinker can't replace Brandon Ulmer on a full scale. But he was pretty good in his debut as the team's starting quarterback.
Schlinker threw three touchdown passes in the Bearcats' 42-20 win over the Ozark Hillbillies.
Michael Hesson also had a big night in the Bearcats' victory. He ran for a pair of touchdowns and had two interceptions.
Quarterback Brady Hester didn't put up monster numbers in the team's 26-7 win over Pocola last week. But he sure managed a fine game.
Hester thew for 158 yards on 8-of-12 passing. He also ran for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Pacey McBride leads the Hornets' defense with 17 tackles through two games, including three tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Steady senior Cooper Shipman ran for 57 yards and a TD last week, and he also had a 96-yard interception return for another score.
Austin Taylor picked up last week where he left off in 2017. The senior running back carried the ball nine times for 140 yards and a touchdown in the Dragons' 40-28 win over Cedarville.
Quarterback Ethan Gregory ran for 142 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also set up another touchdown with a 40-yard pass to Austin Wakefield.
The Dragons rolled up 482 yards of total offense in last week's triumph. The team will host Greenland on Friday at 7 p.m.
Quarterback Tyler Hobbs threw for 137 yards (7-of-18) in last week's 20-12 loss to Subiaco Academy. But it wasn't all on him, coach Brian Schlinker said.
"Hobbs did a good job coming in," Lavaca coach Brian Schlinker said. "I felt he gave us a great chance to win. This week we have to be able to stay on the field on offense and get in a rhythm."
Senior Tyler Armistead ran for 63 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a 3-yard TD pass from Mason Walter.
"Thought our effort last week was great," Schlinker said. "Was proud of how physical we played on defense."