Much had been made of Menard's 4-0 season going into Friday night's matchup against the Mason Punchers; but, no one could have expected the game that fans were treated to for the evening.
From the kickoff, it was apparent that Mason was keeping their eye on Menard's John Zamora, a speedster with incredible moves. Mason's defense knew that Zamora was the biggest threat from the Yellowjackets, and that point was made even clearing just over a minute into the first quarter when Zamora took the ball in for a 50-yard touchdown. Jesus Villarreal's kick was good, and the score was 7-0 with 10:48 remaining in the quarter.
Zamora would not score again in the first half, as the Punchers continually shut down his attempts to get free of the line. It would be the Punchers who scored next, with three minutes left in the game, on a final 7-yard run by Justin Yonker. Joaquin Mejia's kick was good, and the score would be tied 7-7 with 3:22 still on the clock.
The second quarter saw both teams trying to tip the advantage their way. There were repeated marches downfield, only to be rebuffed before either team could score and the ball would go over. Finally, Zach Hudson carried in the ball on a six-yard run to put Mason up, and Mejia's kick would put the score at 14-7 in favor of the Punchers with 3:21 left in the half.
The ball went over to Menard; but, a series of missteps on their part (plus pressure from the Puncher defense), brought the ball back over to the Punchers and Hudson would score again on a seven-yard run with only seconds left in the half. Mejia's kick was once again true, and the halftime score was 21-7 in favor of Mason.
Hudson's evening only got better in the third quarter when, four minutes into the half, he carried in the ball on a short run to raise the odds to 27-7.
Menard drew themselves up and started fighting back, determined not to let the Punchers be the only ones racking up points. Grey Wagoner shot off a 57-yard pass to John Zamora to score for Menard with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter, putting the score at 27-13.
Mason took the ball and decided to show Menard they were keeping things in their favor. With 5:16 left, Justin Yonker tossed off a 63-yard pass to young Chance Stockbridge. Mejia's capped it with one of his strong kicks, and the score was 34-13.
With only seconds remaining in the third quarter, Menard scrambled to get up on the scoreboard again, and they would succeed with only one second left when Grey Wagoner tossed a 5-yard pass to Manuel Ray. Menard ran for the extra points and Wagoner again passed, this time to Jason Brown, and the score was 34-21.
The fourth quarter would belong to the Mason Punchers. David Mora took in a 32-yard run only seconds into the quarter, followed by the Mejia kick, and the score was 41-21 with 11:50 left in the game.
The final score of the night would once again be a Zach Hudson run. Mejia booted in the extra point, and with 7:15 remaining in the game, the score was 48-21, which is where it would stay until the final whistle was blown, and the Punchers chalked up an impressive win against a strong west Texas team.
This week, Mason has its first district game at home when they meet up with the Eldorado Eagles at the Puncherdome. Game time is 7:30 p.m.