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Mason Heads into Final District Game with Goldthwaite Victory Under Their Belt
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 • Posted November 2, 2011

The Mason Punchers came one step closer to clinching the district title last Friday night when they scored a decisive 55-21 victory over long-time rival, Goldthwaite.The Eagles played a great game of football against the Punchers, and never backed down from their efforts to stay in the game. During most of the first quarter, Goldthwaite kept control of the ball and kept the Puncher defense performing at their best. Toward the end of the first quarter, with 3:35 of play remaining, the Eagles finally moved the ball across the goal line on a 13-yard pass play, followed by the PAT to put the score at 0-7.Mason took possession of the ball and finished the quarter deep in Eagle territory. The buzzer sounded and the teams changed field positions, and Mason's David Mora made the final five yard carry to put Mason on the boards. Rio Schmidt kicked the PAT, and the score was tied at 7-7 with 11:55 left in the half.Just a few minutes later, Mason took back the ball from the Eagles and began proving that they would control the game. Rio Schmidt carried in the ball for 73 yards to make Mason's second touchdown of the night and then provided his own PAT to place the score at 14-7 with 9:01 left in the half.Goldthwaite was unable to maintain their possession of the ball, and Mason's Mora would score again with 5:25 left in the quarter. Schmidt's PAT made one of its rare misses, and the score was 20-7.Just two minutes later, after Mason once again took possession of the ball from the Eagles, Austin Trip spiraled in a 20-yard pass to Woody Watson for another Mason score. Schmidt once again kicked the PAT, and the score was 27-7 with 3:05 in the half.Neither team would score again in the first half.In the third quarter, the Eagles returned to the field with a renewed confidence and they, along with the Punchers, played some of the strongest football played this season. Goldthwaite would retain possession for much of the quarter, though it would be Mason who would first make a decisive move forward.With 8:11 left in the quarter, David Mora once again carried in the ball for Mason, followed up by Rio's PAT to put the score at 34-7.Goldthwaite would have possession for much of the rest of the quarter, and would finally score with just 1:54 remaining in the half, though their PAT attempt was not good, and the score was 34-13.Mason quickly took back the ball and David Mora would end the quarter with an amazing 37-yard run, and Schmidt provided the PAT to place the score going into the fourth quarter at 41-13.By the fourth quarter, Coach Kade Burns had began pulling back his players a bit, trying to make sure he didn't hit the Eagles harder than was necessary. That didn't stop Mason from scoring yet again a minute and a half into the period when David Mora carried the ball 13 yards for the score. His friend, Rio Schmidt, added the PAT and the score was 48-13 with 10:27 left in the game.Mason took back the ball with a botched kickoff return by Goldthwaite, and Austin Trip would carry in the ball on a 7-yard keeper with 9:12 left in the game, and Rio kicked the PAT to set the score at 55-13.Goldthwaite kept pulling themselves back into the game, and they would score and make the two point conversion late in the game, leaving the score at 55-21.This week, Mason will take on the Winters Blizzards at home for Mason's final home game of the season. Winters defeated Goldthwaite earlier this season, and Mason coach Kade Burns pointed out that the Blizzards have a great quarterback in Riley Ripley. He has a great arm and can scramble around and extend plays. Along with their running back, Christian Sandoval, the two make for a formidable offensive team that will need to be stopped in order for Mason to win Friday's game.Coach Burns said that this Friday, the Punchers, "... will need to come out play some good football. Every game from here until we are done is for a gold football, so we need to come out and get after them. Our kids will be ready, and it will be a big game for both schools."When the News asked Coach Burns about how the team is handling the chatter now surrounding the team's chances for a title, he noted, "We have been ranked in the top five most of the season. However, our kids are focused on our goals and have done a great job of handling themselves and preparing well for games thus far. I am not a 'ranking' guy and our kids know that those don't mean much... especially after the opening kickoff."Coach Burns is hoping to see a huge crowd on Friday night. "It's for a district championship, and it will be the last time that our seniors get to play at the Puncherdome, and it is also senior night. It's a big game for our kids."Burns also extended his thanks to parents, fans and supporters for all they have done thus far, and looks forward to filling the seats as Mason moves into the playoffs.

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