If you are a lover of great defensive football, you may have been a little disappointed watching the Yellow-jackets take on the Punchers last Thursday evening. On the other hand, if you prefer long break-away runs and long touchdown passes, this game would have been your cup of tea.
In the first period, Menard scored early in the game when their QB scrambled around the Mason defense and scored on a 64 yard run which set the tone for the score-fest that was about to happen. The PAT was good and the Punchers were behind 0-8. However when the Punchers stepped to the offensive side of the ball, Dale Cunningham connected with Tanner Dutton on a 58 yard pass, then Cunningham finished it off with the conversion and scored was 8-8. Menard answered back on their next possession with a 46 yard T.D. pass and conversion, once again putting the Punchers on the back burner 8-16. When Mason received the next kick-off, the Puncher offensive line consisting of Austin Eckert, Brandon McGowan, Matt Clark and Kolby Yonker, went to work opening some great running lanes for running backs, Zane Graves and Rio Schmidt. From the Yellow-jacket 41 yard line McGowan’s trap block freed Graves for the score and Cunningham tacked on the PAT and the score was knotted 16 all.
In the second period, the scoring surge subsided and everyone settled in to some hard hitting defense. Puncher stand-outs were: John Rocha, Tanner Dutton, Rio Schmidt, Zane Graves, and Austin Eckert. Menard scored as the buzzer sounded ending the first half and the Jackets were up again 16-24.
In the third period Mason scored from the Menard 37 yard line when Cunningham connected with Graves on the bootleg pass but the conversion failed and Menard lead 22-24. Menard came back with another long pass and catch making the score 22-32.
In the final period, when most people in the stadium were about to count the Punchers down and out, Graves breaks again on the trap play and broke three tackles for a nice 43 yard touchdown closing the gap to 30-32. Menard came back with two long pass and catch scores putting them ahead 30-44. At this point one may think this newspaper is copying the previous paragraph, but in fact, Cunningham runs the bootleg again and connects with Graves for his forth touchdown of the evening, then Schmidt pushes in the PAT making the final score 36-44.
I can’t say enough about these guys and how they constantly stayed in the game. Everyone their heart’s out and I was very proud of their effort. Next week the Punchers will host the visiting Eagles from Eldorado.