MHS football has had its share of good teams through the years, but it has never seen the kind of unprecedented long term success that our football program is currently experiencing. Three straight Bi-District Championships. Three straight appearances in Area, and now our Punchers are headed back to the Regionals, also known as the, "Sweet Sixteen", for the second time in three years. A win in the Regionals would send Mason to the Quarter-Finals. An achievement that has only happened five times before; 1954, 1958, 1972, 1986, and 1999. Mason has clearly become one of the hottest programs in the State and our hats are off to Coach Joy and his staff for a job well done. I am so excited about our program I may have to go "Blind Side" and adopt a kid so I can be a part of Puncher mania next year.
Our Punchers who are now ( 11-1) advanced to the Regionals by defeating Ben Bolt 27-20. It was a brawl that the Mason Faithful will be talking about twenty years from now. Defensive End, Zach Graves said, "I have never heard our fans so caught up in a game. They stood up the entire fourth quarter. It was insane. It got so loud on the field I thought our fans were going to tear down the bleachers". Mason, who was down 13-0 at the half, came out of the locker room, after a firey half time speech by Coach Joy, as if they were possessed and rattled off 27 points in the second half. Coach Joy called about a half dozen plays that Ben Bolt never saw coming and the defensive adjustment he made in the second half was pure genius. He moved Defensive End, Ethan Hudson, to the corner in tandem with Chance Stockbridge to help defend against Ben Bolts stud receiver Andrae Alanes. By doing so he was just daring Ben Bolt to run to the open spot. The gamble paid off as Hudson held Alanes to one reception in the second half, while our linebackers and safeties filled the void that was left at Hudson’s defensive end position.
Quarterback, Dillon Estes put his stamp on the 2010 Punchers by having a career night when we needed it most. He threw three touchdown passes in the second half. He hooked up with Jake Newsom on a streak route, Woody Watson on a curl pattern, and Garrett Rice on a deep pylon route for the go ahead touchdown. David Mora had another steady night rushing for one touchdown and Rio Schmidt proved once again that he has ice water running through his veins as he knocked down three critical extra points. The Punchers' blue collar defense sent a message to all of the remaining playoff teams when it sent four Ben Bolt players to the hospital. My wife calls our Punchers, "The Jekyl and Hyde Defense". Off the field they are some of the most well mannered, soft spoken kids you will ever meet. On the field they play like they are half crazy with something to prove.
(See box score)
This week our Punchers will head to Austin for the Regional Championship. Their opponent will be the Commanches of Shiner. The game will be played at the Burger Center on Friday, November 26th @ 7:00PM. (Please note the early start time). If the Punchers defeat Shiner they will then move on to the Quarter-Finals and play the winner of Goldthwaite vs Ganado.
Shiner is located an hour and half outside Houston and needs no introduction. They have won several State Championships, are consistently in the top twenty and are always loaded with speed merchants. Do not be fooled by their (6-6) record. Just prior to District play they changed their quaterback, backfield, made several adjustment on the defensive side of the ball and have been on a roll ever since, with six straight wins including a pasteing of Johnson City last week, 55-14. The Commanhes run the, ‘ Veer Offense". The Veer is an offense that relies on speed and split second timing. Our abilty to disrupt their offensive flow will be key. Defensively they are not very big, however, their speed and abilty to swarm to the football has been their calling card. Mason and Shiner are both, run first and pass second teams, and I believe this game will be decided in the trenches with guys like Zavalla, Allen, Hofmann, Jones, Yonker, Williams, Orta, Watson, and Taylor taking center stage.
The 2010 Punchers' magical run is about to write another chapter and you will not want to miss it. So let’s all pack Burger Center Friday night and bring home the Area Championship!
GO PUNCHERS !!!!!