MASON – The Wall Hawks took to the road on Friday for their meeting with the Mason Punchers in the R. Clinton Schulze Stadium, better known as the Puncherdome.
Wall (2-1) was coming off an idle week due to COVID looking for a win after losing to #5 Cisco 27-21.
The Wall Hawk team captains were #3 Jacob Richardson, #62 Abraham Garcia, #10 Gabe Haskins, and #1 Dominic Garcia.
Mason (3-1) was looking to extend their 3-game winning streak by beat up on Comanche (34-13) and Comfort (39-6), beating both teams by double digit margins and San Saba (35-28).
The Mason Puncher team captains were #14 Tristen Keller, #13 Spencer Morris, and #2 Hayden Hardy.
Mason won the coin toss and deferred until the second half.
Wall ran the ball with ease across midfield but their first drive would end with a turnover on downs.
Mason chose to take a shot on their first offensive play. Puncher quarterback Wofford went down the seam to #5 Tate Spencer across midfield and down to the 30-yard line. Penalties and short gains on the ground would force Mason to attempt a 4th and 14 against a young Wall defense.
Mason would turn the ball over on downs after Wofford scrambled and was tackled behind the line.
The Hawks second drive started with a Garcia 9-yard run. Garcia would get the first on the next play.
On the ensuing 1st down, Mason’s defenses got a piece of Haskins, who threw a deep pass incomplete to Jacob Richardson in double coverage. Garcia took the ball on the next play for a 1st down.
The rest of the drive was the Dominic Garcia show as he dived, dipped, dodged, and danced towards the goal line putting the Mason defense on its heels. Garcia would ultimately score on this drive making the score 7-0 in the last seconds of the 1st quarter.
Mason starts the 2nd quarter with a 2nd and 4. Wall’s defense shifted which caused Mason to move and backed Mason up 5 yards.
Mason’s next play would be a pass in the flats to #2 Hayden Hardy, who was hit as he caught the ball, making it 3rd and 5. Wofford’s next pass would’ve been enough for a 1st down, but Mason had an illegal man downfield and made it 3rd and 10.
Deja Vue set in again as Wofford’s next pass would go for another 1st down and another penalty would bring it back. The 3rd and very long play, a quarterback keeper, went for a short gain. Mason was first team to punt the ball in the game.
Wall took over and methodically moved the ball down the field for another Garcia touchdown from 24 yards out making the score 14-0.
The Punchers then took the ball deep in the red zone using good gains by #12 Todd, #3 Bishop, #34 Scantlin, and #2 Hardy.
Near the 10-yard line, Scantlin scurries for the 1st and goal with 1:10 left.
Mason’s Todd would take the pitch on the 1st down but a holding penalty would bring the ball back for a 1st and goal from about the 15. Todd again would try and take the edge, but Wall’s defense would stop the ball carrier and force Mason to take another timeout.
A high pass would go off the Mason receiver’s hands on the next play making it 3rd down.
3rd and goal, Wofford takes the snap, escapes a sack, and completes the pass inside the 5-yard line. Mason would take their final timeout.
4th and goal at about the 5-yard line, Wofford takes the snap with :22 seconds left, rolls towards the Wall sideline, and a great coverage as Wall’s Richardson got the deflection.
Wall took over and knelt out the clock, taking the 14-0 lead at halftime.
If you needed a reminder about how important special teams are to the game, the second half at the Puncherdome is a very good lesson.
Mason must’ve been tired of seeing that zero on the scoreboard and took it off the board the quickest way possible in the 3rd by having #12 Ryan Todd take the second half kickoff to the house. Mason finally got on the board, making the score 14-7.
Wall’s next possession would go quick ending with a Wall punt.
Mason came out after halftime ready to play and ripped off big runs on their next set of downs thanks to Todd and Bishop and a catch by #5 Tate Spencer for the 1st down.
Bishop took the next run nearly 20 yards then ended up taking Mason within spitting distance of the goal line.
Wall’s Nathan Pepper would get a good tackle for loss on Todd, backing the Punchers off the goal line. It didn’t matter to Wofford as he took the snap and as several Hawks closed in on him, he chunked the ball to Ryan Todd in the end zone for the score.
The Punchers surge tied the game 14-14 in the 3rd quarter.
Mason’s defense was all over the Hawks, making them fight for every inch of grass.
On 3rd and 10, Haskins passed the ball to Richardson for the 1st down.
A couple of penalty riddled plays later including a holding on Wall and a late hit out of bounds on Mason ended up with a huge pass play from Haskins to #5 Quinney, who went up over two defenders and brought the ball down anyway for the 1st down.
Wall then got the ball back in Garcia’s hands who never seemed to go down easy. Now in the red zone, Wall lets the time run out in the 3rd quarter.
Mason’s defense is backed up, tied at 14-14 with the Hawks threatening to score fast.
Mason’s Hunter Goodwin would tackle Dominic Garcia behind the line making it 4th and 3 early in the 4thquarter. Haskins would throw on the 4th down play incomplete turning the ball over to Mason.
Mason’s next drive ended without a 1st down and would have to punt. From about the goal line, Mason’s punter would shank the punt, getting it out to only about the Mason 35-yard line.
Richardson gets two big catches on the ensuing drive helping put the Hawks in scoring position inside the red zone.
On a big 3rd down-play, Wall went back to the trusty Garcia twice for 2 big 1st downs.
On 1st and goal, Haskins took the ball himself and broke the goal line, giving the Hawks a 20-14 lead. The extra point would bang off the upright giving the Hawks only a 6-point lead with 4:13 left in the game.
So far this half, special teams have shown how important they are to the game. Mason has had a kickoff return for a touchdown and a shanked punt which helped Wall put up 6 points.
The next kickoff, Wall head coach Houston Guy pulled a very gutsy move by going for an onside kick in the hopes Mason would think he’d pin them deep in their own territory.
Wall lined up to kickoff and kicked the ball, sending it only about 10 yards before it bounced high. The ball bounced off a Mason player and Wall recovered the kick. Wall took over on the Mason side of the field with about 4 minutes remaining.
Garcia would take a handoff and bounced off a Mason defender, he kept fighting and the play was blown dead early as he ended up getting a few additional yards. What was a 5-yard gain was really about a 7-yard gain that wouldn’t count.
Garcia then takes the ball again to make it 3rd and 3. On the next play, Haskins kept the ball and fumbled the ball only to be saved by his teammate recovering it.
On 4th and 3, Coach Guy had another gutsy play as instead of putting in Garcia’s hands, Haskins rolled out and threw the ball incomplete. A yellow flag came sailing in as the Mason defender was all over Richardson as the ball was in the air.
Garcia and Haskins would churn their way towards the end zone setting up 1st and goal. A few kneel downs ends the game in a Wall victory 20-14.
Wall (2-1) will take on the Shiner Comanches (4-0) in Fredericksburg next week in a non-district game.
Mason (3-1) will take on the Junction Eagles (3-1) in a non-district game.