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Punchers End Season With 31-37 OT Loss to Falls City
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 • Posted November 25, 2009

By all accounts, last Friday's game should have been a blowout for the Falls City Beavers. They were ranked fourth, the Punchers fifteenth.Instead, the Mason team continued building up a head of steam all night, finally taking the game into overtime before narrowly losing the matchup with an intercepted pass!In early play, Falls City quickly showed the crowd why they were so highly ranked. After a series of back-and-forth possessions, the Beavers would put the first points on the board when quarterback Will Kirchhoff ran in 25 yards, and that was followed up by a Nick Lyssy kick, putting the score at 0-7 with 5:05 left in the quarter.The Punchers took the ball and began a three steps forward, one step back push down the field. Finally, with no downs left, the Mason team used Joaquin Mejia to boot in a 31-yard field goal, and the score was 3-7 with 2:55 left in the quarter.In the second quarter of play, Falls City began really turning up the heat. Only 40 seconds into the quarter, Nick Lessy carried the ball on a 36-yard scoring run for the Beavers. The score was 3-13 with 11:20 left in the half.Mason bucked up and decided to return the favor. They drove down field and Zach Hudson carried the final scoring ball to up the ante to 9-13 with 7:49 left before halftime.Falls City's Kirchhoff would then drill in a 44-yard pass to Jared Olenick, changing the board to 9-19 with 3:48 left.After Falls City took the ball from Mason on a broken play, the would score again only two minutes later when Will Kirchhoff carried in the ball on a 28-yard run, changing the board to 9-25 with 1:29 before the half.Mason did not quit. With only seconds before the half, Justin Yonker would make the final carry for the Punchers to score, followed by Mejia's kick, and the score was 16-25 with only 10 seconds before the half.The second half of the game would be some of the best football the Punchers have played all year. The defense held off Falls City, not allowing them any more scoring opportunities for the entire quarter.The Punchers, however, did score.Falls City was in hot pursuit as David Mora sprinted 81 yards for the Mason score, followed by a Zach Hudson run for the two-point conversion, and the score was 23-25. 4:29 remained in the quarter; but, neither team would score again until the fourth quarter.In the final twelve minutes of regular play, both teams battled for control. The Falls City team, who had given up an average of only six points per game in their season up to that point, was fighting to take back the mental control of the game. That mental advantage almost fell when, with 9:05 left in the game, the Punchers would again do a one/two punch of David Mora and Zach Hudson. This time, Mora ran 45 yards for the score and Hudson tacked on two points.For the first time in the entire game, the Punchers now led the scoring, 31-25.The Beavers, with former Mason resident Mark Kirchhoff at the head coaching position, pulled themselves together mentally and refocused on the game. With 4:02 remaining to play, they would score again on a Colin Dziuk 17-yard run, and the score would be tied at 31-31.For the final four minutes, both teams struggled to score, or to keep the other team from scoring. When the final buzzer sounded, it would still be 31-31.In overtime, Falls City got first possession. After a series of six plays, they scored on a Will Kirchhoff pass to Nick Lyssy, and the score was 37-31.The Punchers took their turn. They were pushing through the Falls City defense, and then, on a spiralling pass, the Beavers intercepted the ball, and the game was over.I extend my personal congratulations to the Punchers on a GREAT season. You have made all of proud.I also extend my personal thanks to the wonderful Chris Habecker. Without your statistics and game summaries, I could never have remembered all the details that made those Friday nights so bright!

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