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All-West Texas Football
Paving the Way
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 • Posted January 18, 2012

SAN ANGELO, Texas: At a time when so much of the state has gone to the spread formation, the Mason Punchers have resisted the urge to follow the trend.Now they have a Class 1A football state championship to show for it.Using a run-heavy Wing T in Kade Burns’ first year as head coach, the Punchers ran around - and many times right through - the opposition on their way to a 15-0 record and a 62-40 win in the state championship game over Stamford.While it helps to have great skill position players, the catalyst in Mason’s powerful running game for the past two seasons has been the Punchers’ offensive line.The group of Dylann Hofmann, Briggs Jones, Brodey Taylor, Michael Williams and Korey Zavala has started on the offensive line for the last two seasons in Mason, guiding the team to a 27-2 record.In 2010, they paved the way for David Mora to set the state record for carries in a single season (498) while leading the nation in rushing with 3,573 yards.All they did this year was carry the Punchers to an undefeated season and the first state championship in school history.For taking their school to heights it had never reached before, the entire Mason offensive line is being honored as the Standard-Times’ All-West Texas Class 1A Most Valuable Players.“They are the biggest key to our offense,” said Mora, the offensive MVP of the state championship game. “They are big, physical and strong. I’ve been playing with them the last two years. We are all hard workers and that has led us to the success. It has been fun.”Behind them, Mora has run into the record books, not just for his historical junior season but on the all-time career lists.The “Fat Boys,” as they are known in Mason, have made it cool to be an offensive lineman, usually a position lacking the glamour of quarterback or running back.They were the personification and leaders of the tough, hard-nosed, physical Mason football team.“There is no doubt that it is a mentality,” Burns said. “I am an old-school coach. I believe in playing great defense and running the ball. We threw the ball effectively this year. We told our guys from Day 1 that the teams that win 99 percent of the time win the hitting war and are more physical.“If we are going to run the ball 50 times a game, we have to have guys that take pride in being able to knock guys off the line of scrimmage, and we were fortunate enough to do that.”After witnessing the powerful Mason running game firsthand in the state championship game, Stamford head coach Wayne Hutchinson called the Punchers’ offensive line the best he had seen all year.Even though the group had started together since last season, Burns changed the offense from an “I” formation to a Wing T before this year.He said the offensive line was the first to pick it up.“We’ve always been confident in what we could do,” said right tackle Dylann Hofmann, who earned first-team all-state honors. “The first day of two-a-days, we got a new system. I think we did a good job of learning it. They gave it to us in a way that was easy for us to shift over from what we had been doing. I think it really clicked.”Clicked might be an understatement, as Mason averaged 11.2 yards per carry over the course of the season, while scoring 51.4 points per game - both a testament to arguably the best 1A offensive line in the state.Right guard Michael Williams said the line’s experience together - even before high school - paid dividends.“We’ve been around each other through high school going all the way back to eighth grade,” Williams said. “We’ve worked out together, and helped each other. We know each other’s strengths and each other’s weaknesses and we play well together.”Williams said the offensive line knew each other so well that they didn’t even have to make calls in the state championship game against Stamford.“We knew every blitz that the defense could possibly throw at us, and we knew what to do without pausing to think about it,” Williams said. “We automatically knew what to do in any situation. All five of the linemen and the tight end (Kramer Watson) knew that.”Even though offensive linemen don’t usually appear in the box score Saturday mornings, left guard Korey Zavala said the Fat Boys take pride in Mora’s success.“If David is the leading rusher in the nation, we feel like we are one of the best offensive lines in the nation,” Zavala said. “We take a lot of pride in what David accomplishes, and we feel like we helped him accomplish that.“We are like brothers out there. He respects us and we respect him just the same. It is just a really great bond we share. He is very humble.”Zavala said the seeds of the state championship run started immediately following Mason’s one-point regional-final loss to rival Goldthwaite in 2010.“We took it as motivation losing to Goldthwaite - it pushed us to go even harder,” Zavala said. “We knew what it would take to get to that level. We pushed ourselves and we got together in the summer and started working in groups on our own. It really motivated us to want to bring it home.”Even before being tabbed the Standard-Times 1A MVP, the offensive line already picked up some hardware, with Zavala and Hofmann earning first-team all-state honors.“We were big and strong and smart up front and that helped,” Burns said. “Those guys helped each other out a lot. You’ve got to have a good team to get guys on all-state. They know it is an individual award, but I think they were more excited about the opportunity to win a state championship.”Burns said that even though his starting five are graduating, they have helped to set the table for future Fat Boys.“In the playoffs, our young kids got a chance for six weeks to watch our varsity guys play at such a fast and high level that they know what it takes in practice to get to where they need to be,” Burns said. “They understand the details that come with being a great lineman - the footwork, the communication at the line of scrimmage. These guys set the bar high, no doubt.”Hofmann was proud to be a part of the team that won Mason’s first football state title. “It feels really good to be able to say we did that and we were a big part of bringing the state championship to the town and community,” Hofmann said. “It meant a lot to everybody that we showed what we could do.”MVPMason offensive lineLT Briggs Jones 6-0, 225, Sr.LG Korey Zavala 6-3, 235, Sr.C Brodey Taylor 5-9, 225, Sr.RG Michael Williams 6-0, 255, Sr.RT Dylann Hofmann 6-3, 245, Sr.The quintet paved the way for record-setting running back David Mora for each of the last two seasons, while guiding the Punchers to a state title as seniors. With the offensive line leading the way, Mason averaged 11.2 yards per carry in its Wing T offense and scored the 12th most points in state history in any classification of 11-man football. All five were named first-team All-District 13-1A, while Zavala and Hofmann earned first-team all-state nods.Coach of the YearKade Burns, MasonBurns didn’t reinvent the wheel. He just tweaked it a little, and won a state title because of it. Coming back to the school where his father Melvin is the all-time winningest coach, Burns shifted the offense from being based out of the I to a Wing T in his first year. The diversity kept opponents on their heels all season long, while still giving them a heavy dose of senior running back David Mora. His changes defensively resulted in one of the most impressive turnover ratios in high school history. The Punchers finished the year plus-43.QuarterbacksDawson Halfmann, MilesJunior, 5-8, 155Halfmann helped offset the loss of stellar quarterback Garrett Brandon, stepping into his dual-threat shoes at the head of the Miles offense. The junior eclipsed 2,500 yards of offense along with 19 touchdowns, going over 1,200 yards both passing and rushing. For good measure, he was one of the better 1A punters in the area, averaging 39 yards a boot.Tyler Horton, GoldthwaiteSenior, 6-2, 190The four-year starter, who twice played for the 1A state title, wrapped up his Goldthwaite career by guiding the Eagles back to a deep playoff run. He had 797 yards passing and 589 yards rushing in his senior season, along with tallying 66 tackles and five interceptions as a safety for the Eagles.Running backsCreed Coalson, BronteSenior, 5-11, 160The Bronte back was the biggest threat on the Longhorns’ offense while being a home run threat every time he touched the ball. The deceptively talented Coalson nearly hit the 2,000-yard mark in the regular season, finishing with 2,264 yards and 27 touchdowns in 12 games, leading the Longhorns to the regional round of the playoffs.David Mora, MasonSenior, 5-7, 170What more can be said about one of the best running backs West Texas has ever produced? He capped his high school career with a 2,466-yard season which included 54 touchdowns and a state championship. In three years, Mora totaled 7,642 yards on the ground, the 14th-highest career mark in Texas schoolboy history.Cristian Sandoval, WintersSenior, 6-0, 160The dynamic Sandoval makes a return appearance on the All-West Texas team after increasing his rushing yardage by more than 700 yards. Sandoval finished his high school career with a 1,863-yard rushing effort with 23 touchdowns. On defense, he added 93 tackles, a pair of fumble recoveries and two interceptions.FullbackJordan Baumann, BronteSenior, 5-10, 160Creed Coalson wasn’t the only rushing threat in the Longhorns backfield. Every team that keyed on the running back was eventually burned by Baumann, who finished with 912 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns, while also serving as Coalson’s lead blocker.Offensive linemenBeau Grigg, BronteSenior, 6-0, 245The Bronte senior arguably could have made the All-West Texas team on either side of the ball as his line play was enough to earn him Most Valuable Player honors in District 6-1A. Grigg graded out at 92 percent on the year and was instrumental in paving the way for an offense that totaled over 4,300 yards in 12 games.Sergio Vasquez, GoldthwaiteSenior, 6-3, 300Vasquez was one of several four-year starters that wrapped up their Goldthwaite careers this fall. Vasquez played strong tackle for the Eagles in helping the run-based Goldthwaite attack punish the opposition. On defense, he added 74 tackles and 13 tackles for loss.Colton Mitchell, GoldthwaiteSenior, 5-10, 225Mitchell teamed with Vasquez as a starter all four years for the Eagles, guiding Goldthwaite and its dangerous ground attack to two state championship games. The three-time All-West Texas honoree also added 133 tackles from his middle linebacker spot.Fabian Esquivel, WintersSenior, 5-11, 250As the Blizzards center, Esquivel helped clear a path for the explosive Cristian Sandoval and the Winters’ running attack. He graded out at 91 percent for the year, while recording 48 cut blocks and 21 pancakes.Ricky Ciuba, Irion CountySenior, 6-4, 260Ciuba earned first-team all-district honors on both the offensive and defensive lines for the Hornets. The 6-4 senior helped paved the way for the Hornets’ offensive attack, while also tallying 80 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries.Wide ReceiverVictor Cano, MilesJunior, 5-8, 165One of the area’s few big-play receivers in Class 1A, Cano was dangerous in several aspects of the Miles attack. The junior ran for 541 yards and four touchdowns, had 418 receiving yards and four touchdowns and was always a threat in the return game.Defensive linemenKyle Zavala, MasonFreshman, 5-11, 230The freshman didn’t get called up to varsity until the second half of the season, but he immediately helped the defensive front for the Punchers, finishing with 56 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and eight quarterback pressures. He helped Mason limit the potent Stamford offense for most of the state title game.Jaggar Parrish, GoldthwaiteSophomore, 5-9, 200A late addition to the Eagles defensive front, the sophomore made his few opportunities count for Goldthwaite. Parrish joined the varsity team as district play started and tallied 54 tackles, nine tackles for loss and four sacks in the second half of the season and playoffs.Andy Garcia, WintersSenior, 6-1, 175.The tall defensive end for the Blizzards filled up the stat sheet his senior year, finishing with 78 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries in one of the toughest 1A districts in the state. Garcia also had a blocked punt return for touchdown and a fumble recovery that he took 89 yards to the house.Cody Martin, BronteSenior, 5-9, 170One of the best pass rushers in the area, Martin finished with over 60 tackles as a defensive end for the 10-2 district champion Longhorns. The senior finished with one of the top sack numbers in West Texas, getting to the opposing quarterback 7.5 times.LinebackersFabian Perez, MenardSenior, 5-11, 175The 5-11 senior was a defensive stalwart for the Yellowjackets in helping Menard return to the postseason with an 8-3 mark. Perez totaled 80 tackles, four forced fumbles, three sacks, two interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.Tyler Hastings, Irion CountySenior, 6-3, 210The face of the Hornets’ football team for the last three seasons, Hastings had another solid campaign as a senior. At quarterback, Hastings compiled 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns passing and running the ball, while he was a force at linebacker with 130 tackles, three sacks and five forced fumbles.Nick Navarette, MasonSenior, 5-10, 165A season after making the All-West Texas team as a defensive back, Navarette shifts into the linebacker corps. While the defensive backs may have been more heralded for the Punchers, Navarette rolled up 164 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions and six fumble recoveries.Dylan Havlak, MilesJunior, 6-0, 210The tackling-machine Havlak was among the leading stoppers in the region, despite the Bulldogs playing just 11 games in 2011. Havlak anchored the Miles defense with 159 tackles - including 107 solo stops - helping the Bulldogs to another appearance in the bi-district playoffs.Defensive backsRiley Ripley, WintersSenior, 6-2, 160On offense, Ripley finished with 1,798 yards and 22 touchdowns the Blizzards’ quarterback, leading Winters to second place in the tough District 13-1A. In the defensive backfield, Ripley registered 54 tackles, five interceptions and six pass breakups.Austin Trip, MasonSenior, 5-11, 160Trip stepped in at quarterback for the Punchers and was efficient with 981 yards passing with 16 touchdowns, to go with 741 yards rushing and eight scores. He made just as much of a mark on the defensive side of the ball, helping the Mason defense limit opponents to just 4.8 points per game over 15 games, while coming up with a key plays in the state semifinal and state championship games.SafetyChance Stockbridge, MasonSenior, 5-9, 140Stockbridge tied the Mason single-season interception record with 13 interceptions - including a pick-six in the state championship game that essentially sealed the game for the Punchers - along with 89 tackles. He headlined a secondary that helped the Punchers’ defense record 52 takeaways in their 15-0 season.PunterRio Schmidt, MasonJunior, 5-10, 175Schmidt expanded his repertoire as a fullback for the state champion Punchers and ran for over 800 yards on 65 carries, but was still a key on special teams as both a kicker and a punter. He had 20 touchbacks and hit 93 of 104 PAT’s with five field goals. As a punter, he averaged 43 yards per kick and was a driving force in Mason’s 7-0 playoff win over No. 1 Ganado.KickerAdrian Padilla, BronteSenior, 6-0, 180Padilla made 49 of 53 PATs for the potent Longhorns offense and was a force on kickoffs. The senior had nine touchbacks for Bronte, along with nailing four field goals for the District 6-1A champions.UtilityJonathan Burgess, MenardJunior, 5-11, 165The preseason All-West Texas honoree followed through on the promise of a strong sophomore campaign by rushing for 1,185 yards and 17 touchdowns, despite being the focal point of every opposing defense. The junior also added three receiving touchdowns.Hayden Ray, MilesJunior, 5-7, 150Ray had his second straight stellar season for the Bulldogs in helping Miles get back into the postseason. He tallied 1,539 yards on the ground with 18 scores to go with two touchdowns receiving.Hayden Thorp, Irion CountySenior, 5-10, 150The senior was all-district on both sides of the ball as a running back and defensive back. Thorp ran for 1,345 yards while catching 16 passes for another 250 yards, scoring 12 touchdowns for the improved Hornets.

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