Staring at a Week 8 halftime deficit of 21-7 against District 5-5A foe Duncanville, Mansfield Timberview faced the defining moment of its season.
Emotionally, the team had been through a wringer in the days leading up to the game with the death and funeral of its 29-year-old offensive coordinator, Cody McCarty.
Head coach Mark Walker, in his halftime talk that October night, said he told his players, “Don’t tell me you are playing a game for somebody when really you are feeling sorry for yourselves. All I want you to say when the game is over is that we gave our best.’’
Timberview outscored Duncanville 32-7 in the second half for a 39-28 victory and has played with a purpose ever since.
“We were a tired team against Duncanville ... not physically tired but emotionally tired,’’ Walker said, “Duncanville didn’t quit in the second half, I assure you. It was up to our guys. We could either come back and play, or do what so many do when things don’t go right, make excuses.’’
So a team that was in danger of falling to 2-3 in district and missing the playoffs now finds itself in a Class 5A Division II state semifinal. The Wolves (12-2) will face Spring Dekaney (12-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Round Rock’s Reeves Athletic Complex.
“We’ve won games in just about every way imaginable because these guys have learned to play as a team,’’ Walker said. “We don’t have players’ names on the back of our jerseys for a reason.’’
There's no doubt about the name of the player the Wolves' defense must stop this week. Dekaney senior running back Trey Williams (5-foot-8, 175 pounds), a Texas A&M commit, has rushed for 3,406 yards and 39 touchdowns. Williams rushed for 2,286 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior and 1,930 yards as a sophomore.