The Punchers continued their winning streak on Friday night as they welcomed the Junction Eagles into the Puncher Dome for a great night of football.
The Eagles have had an uneven season; but, a matchup against the Punchers offered them the opportunity to play the role of spoiler. The Punchers had some players nursing some slight injuries, so they were not up to their full strength; however, some backup players were able to show their talents as they filled key gaps.
The Eagle defense was up to the task of holding off the Punchers for the early part of the first quarter. It would be over five minutes into the game before the Punchers finally moved down the field for a score. Rio Schmidt carried in the ball on a 14-yard run; but, the Eagles' rush on the PAT caused it to go wide, and the score was 6-0 with 7:41 remaining to play in the quarter.
Junction wasn't able to pull together their offensive strategy against the Punchers during the period, so it would again be Mason that would score late in the period. Again, it was Rio Schmidt on the final carry. After the touchdown, the Punchers attempted to run for the extra two points; but, could not cross the goal, and the score was 12-0 with 2:21 of play remaining. There would be no other scores during the first quarter; but, Junction began a slow march down the field that would continue as the second quarter began.
The ball had gone over to the Punchers early in the quarter when Junction's Brown intercepted a Mason pass and made the 26-yard run for an Eagle touchdown. The PAT was good, and the score was 12-7 with 10:34 left in the half.
Mason responded quickly. Rio Schmidt bolted in for a 59-yard touchdown run. The Punchers again attempted to run for the extra points; and, again were unable to cross the goal, and the score was 18-7 with 9:40 left to play in the second quarter.
After a brief Junction possession, the Punchers again showed their renewed energy when Cody Wood took a pass from Elliott Bibb and went 28-yards to score. Schmidt provided the PAT, and Mason led 25-7 with 6:17 left before the half.
Mason was not done. With just over two minutes remaining in the first half, Mason pushed down the field, scoring on a 4-yard run by Luis Castillo, followed by the Schmidt PAT. The score going into the half was 32-7.
The Eagles returned from the half a reenergized team, providing some great play for both the third and fourth quarters of play. The Junction defense toughened their stand against the Puncher offense, and the Eagle offense would finally score on a Newbury run with 7:50 left to play in the quarter. The PAT was good, and the score was 32-14.
Just a few minutes later, the Punchers pushed back against the Eagles, and Raul Siguerra made the final carry with 5:09 left to play in the third. The score was now 39-14.
With no more scores in the third quarter, and a Junction possession at the end of the period, the fourth period saw the Eagles making a determined push down field. They would score just 40 seconds into the final quarter, followed by the PAT, putting the score at 39-21.
Mason, though still leading comfortably, did not take their lead for granted. Midway through the final quarter, they scored again on a final Rio Schmidt 35-yard run. He provided the PAT, and the score was 46-21 with 5:23 of play left in the game.
That is where the score would remain until the final whistle.
This week, the Punchers make the long trek to Brackettville. The Tiger Stadium is located at 2nd Street and North Sweeney Street on the north end of town just west of Ranch Road 674 (the road from Rocksprings). Game time is 7:30 p.m.