Our Punchers proved to all that they are the real deal this past week by knocking off their fourth Class 2A team. The oversized Warriors of Ingram ran into a Homecoming buzz saw that they will soon not forget by falling to Mason 31-0. It is also becoming apparent to everybody that Coach Joy has identified a lethal formula within this extremely talented Junior and Senior class.
Our defense is top heavy with nine senior starters who have a, "Do not even think about it swagger". While our offense is top heavy with nine junior starters who have a, "Stop us if you can attitude". When you mix the two together you have one of the the hottest teams in the state.
It only took a couple of plays by Ingrams offense last Friday to figure out that in order to establish their ground attack, Ingram was going to depart from their normal game plan and try a variety of new blocking schemes that our Punchers had not yet seen. Ingram released their 6’5" tackle and 6’3" guard in tag team fashion seeking out safeties Garrett Rice and Tanner Geistweidt. They double teamed Garrett Allen and Christian Orta relentlessly and tried a variety of ways to get the ball to the outside. That all proved fruitless as our Punchers made one adjustment after another and shut the Warriors down Coach Joy said, "It was a gamble on their part and a complete departure from what we saw on film in their previous games. By keying on our safeties and double teaming specific linemen it created opportunities for other players to step up. Chase Crouch and Ethan Hudson had an exceptional night
While our defense was bringing down the hammer our offense put 31 points on the board in the blink of an eye. David Mora rushed for 285 yards and two touchdowns, Dillon Estes ran for one touchdown and threw for another, Chance Stockbridge had one touchdown reception and returned an interception for another, Rio Schmidt was money all night with four extra points and one field goal and A.J Martinez, who played receiver, fullback and corner back, picked off a pass and returned it 60 yards to Ingram's twelve yard line late in the game to seal the deal. Team Mason strikes again!
Junior Alvarez who returned to the lineup Friday night after being sidelined with a broken arm said after the game, "I am glad we have had a chance to play so many tough 2A teams under such trying circumstances. It has bonded the the team, given us an identity, and made us more physical on both sides of the ball."
This week our Punchers will head to Baird and play the Class 1A Eagles of Olney. Baird is located just outside of Abilene and is about an hour and forty five minute drive away. Now I know what you are thinking. Is the drive going to be worth it? YES, and here is why.
Olney is my sleeper pick on this year's schedule. It is a game we need to be wary of. Coach Joy seems to agree because while we were on the field celebrating our post game victory over Ingram, he had already jumped in his jeep and started to make the trip to Abilene just so he could pick up additional game film on Olney.
What has Coach Joy so concerned is 6’4' 180lbs, All-State Wide Receiver, Reed Mankins. He runs a 4.6 forty and will probably see the ball about 150 times Friday night. If we cannot stop him we are going to be in for a long night. Complimenting their exciting wide out is All-District quarterback, Kyle Turner ( 6’0' 180lbs ) who threw for over 1500 yards last year and All-District running back, Cord Barrientes, who also runs a 4.6 forty and is a multiple threat as a rusher and receiver.
Mason teams historically play better when they are the underdog. Let’s be real though. Those days are over and we now have a big target painted on our back for the remainder of the season. Look for Olney to be jacked up for this game! So lets jump in our purple chariots, head to Baird, and take one more step in our pursuit of a State Championship.
GO PUNCHERS !!!!!