Mansfield ISD unbeatens play in 5-5A opener

MANSFIELD (3-0, 0-0) vs. MANSFIELD TIMBERVIEW (3-0, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Mansfield’s Vernon Newsom Stadium

When we saw them last: Prior to last week’s open date, both completed non-district play with decisive wins. Timberview went on the road to whip Arlington, 42-25, and Mansfield climbed all over Mansfield Summit, 46-15.

2010 result: Timberview outgained Mansfield but lost the turnover battle, 5-1, in a 42-23 Tigers victory.

What’s at stake: In addition to bragging rights, the rivalry winner is assured a share of the early District 5-5A lead.

Key matchup: With quarterback Charles Taylor, Timberview has a player capable of taking over the game. Sixty percent of the team’s offensive plays are either runs or passes by Taylor. But he must avoid the turnovers that were so costly to the Wolves in this game a year ago. And he has to be wary of 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end Hassan Ridgeway, who is a Texas commit. Mansfield has scored at least 40 points in all three of its games. Timberview has hit 40 twice and put up 35 points in its other game.

Players to watch: Mansfield quarterback Jerod Evans has thrown for 484 yards and six touchdowns. When Taylor doesn’t have the ball for Timberview, odds are good that running back Josh Smith (49 carries, 353 yards) has it.

Prediction: Timberview 38, Mansfield 30.