Mansfield Independent School District

Vernon Newsom Stadium (seating: 11,134)

Address: 3700 E. Broad St., Mansfield

R.L. Anderson Stadium (seating : 9,000)

Address: 1016 Magnolia St., Mansfield

Tickets: $6 adults, $3 students

The Border Brawl football extravaganza was born two years ago in the imagination of Philip O’Neal, athletic director of the Mansfield (Texas) Independent School District.

He and Mansfield superintendent Dr. Jim Vaszauskas wanted a way to showcase their rapidly growing school district. What better way than a five-game football series, matching Mansfield schools against those from an area known for its football ties?

But who to approach? Mansfield Legacy football coach Chris Melson had the answer. He played football for Ada and the University of Oklahoma and knew all about the brand of football in the Tulsa area.

O’Neal fell in love with the idea.

“Jenks and Union are the first schools you think of when you think of Oklahoma,” O’Neal said. “We knew they had a nationally recognized brand, and we wanted to attach ourselves to that.”

The first Border Brawl games were played at Union, Jenks, Broken Arrow, Bixby and Sand Springs last year and the return games are in Mansfield this weekend.

Jenks and Mansfield Legacy opened play Thursday night. Here’s a look at the remaining four matchups:

Union at Mansfield Lake Ridge

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Vernon Newsom Stadium

Radio: KRMG-740

Score last year: Union, 36-30

About Lake Ridge: The Eagles (ADM: 2,438) went 9-3 and lost in the third round of the Class 6A, Division II playoffs last year. QB Adrian Hawkins has big-time potential and speedy targets in Keylan Johnson and Tameron Derrough returning. Johnson caught 12 TD passes last year.

About Union: They’ve had nine months to fume about that last-second semifinal loss to Jenks last November. Now they can do something about it. JD Geneva, vying with Trent DeSmet and Rovaughn Banks for the starting quarterback job, threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Kyler Pearson in the Redskins’ Gridiron Classic. Pearson, a University of Kansas commit, caught 57 passes last season.

Bixby at Mansfield Timberview

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: R.L. Anderson Stadium

Radio: KTBZ-1430

Score last year: Bixby, 36-33

About Timberview: The Wolves (ADM: 1,908) have high hopes with eight starters back on both sides of the ball. They were 7-6 last year but won five of their final eight and reached the 5A, Division I third round. RBs Stacy Sneed and Montaye Dawson combined for 28 touchdowns.

About Bixby: If key defensive holes left by graduation are filled, the Spartans have a chance to win a fifth gold ball in six years. QB Mason Williams threw 36 TD passes as a sophomore, and WR/DB Brennan Presley had 12 TD catches and six interceptions.

Broken Arrow at Mansfield High

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Vernon Newsom Stadium

Radio: KYAL-97.1

Score last year: Broken Arrow, 28-6

About Mansfield: The Tigers (ADM: 2,488.5) never really got started last season. They were plowed under at Broken Arrow, lost five of their first six and finished 3-7, averaging just 16 points per game. QB Hunt Young accounted for 883 yards and nine TDs.

About Broken Arrow: Matt Raines is the new QB but familiar faces remain from the Tigers’ first state football title in school history. One big name to remember is 6-foot-5, 285-pound OT Andrew Raym, a University of Oklahoma commit who frequently puts defenders on their backs.

Sand Springs at Mansfield Summit

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: R.L. Anderson Stadium

Score last year: Summit, 41-28

About Summit: The Jaguars (ADM: 2,215.5) return seven offensive and six defensive starters from last year’s 5-5 squad. Jaelon Travis and Hal Presley had a TD reception each against Sand Springs and combined for 10 last year.

About Sand Springs: Braden Foster gets the first start, but his QB competition with Cody Ross and Ty Pennington is ongoing, coach Dustin Kinard said. Veteran linemen Josh Fincannon, Nick Hancock and Ryan Johnson provide leadership as Sandites try to rebound from last year’s 3-7 mark.

Sports Writer

Mike has covered high school football, basketball and baseball for the Tulsa World since Spencer Tillman, Wayman Tisdale and Troy Aikman were sophomores in high school. Phone: 918-581-8390