Back in the day long before ESPN’s plethora of football coverage ABC would telecast the college game of the week. Thats right, one game a week, I cringe at the thought. Legendary broadcaster, Keith Jackson, who had a distinct southern drawl would always begin each telecast with “OHHH! NELLY! DO WE HAVE A GAME FOR YOU.” I can not think of a better way to describe the titan like match up that is about to take place as #11 Mason prepares to tangle with #19 Iraan in the season opener. For the second year in a row the game will be played on the campus of Angelo State University, Thursday, August 27th @7:00 p.m.
Last year, Iraan, who was ranked 18th at the time, thumped the underdog Punchers 21-0. This year the playing field has been leveled and you will be hard pressed to find a more evenly matched pair of opponents as high school play begins all over the state. Both teams are ranked in the top twenty polls, loaded with talent and are considered serious contenders for the State Championship. The game which has been highly publicized is expected to receive a great deal of regional media attention due to the high expectations of both teams.
Iraan, who made it all the way to the Regional Quaterfinals last year, will return 19 seniors and showcase a marauding defense that posted three shutout victories last year and held five other opponents to ten points or less. The cornerstone of Iraan’s team is a standout two way performer at RB/LB with a classic football name, J.D. “The Tank” Tankersky ( 5"10' 220lbs 4.8) The Braves will also roll out returning defensive ends Jose Chavez and Jamie Iberra who combined for over 200 tackles last year and gave opposing teams nightmares. Iraan head coach, John Fellows, feels that overall the Braves will be better than last year, however, it will all begin and end with their defense.
Iraan like Mason is a school rich with football tradition and you can once again expect a large turnout. Last year the Mason faithful out paced the the Iraan fan base by showing up in droves for the game. The west bleachers at ASU stadium were a sea of purple. This year Puncher pride seems to be already at a fever pitch as everybody and their mother seems to be making plans to attend the game. Remember to get there early, wear purple, and be loud, because....... OHHH! NELLY! DO WE HAVE A GAME FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!