MASON, TX — On Friday, September 29, the No. 4 Wall Hawks descended upon Mason to challenge their long-time rivals, the Mason Punchers, at the Puncher Dome. A blend of early turnovers, robust defense, and a myriad of penalties kept the score low in the first two quarters. However, the second half narrated a different tale, dominated by the Mason Punchers, whose defense overturned Wall three times, paving the way for a 14-7 victory.
The rough start to the game underscored the disdain shared between the teams. Defensive prowess on both sides kept the 1st quarter scoreless. A crucial turnover on downs forced by Wall at the end of the quarter positioned them deep in Puncher territory.
The quarter began with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Mason. This put the Hawks’ offense within striking distance at Mason’s 5-yard line. Despite requiring two plays, Gunnar Dillard powered through from two yards out to break the deadlock, giving Wall a 7-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter.
Mason retorted on the subsequent possession. Penalties against Wall, blended with strong running, propelled the Punchers deep into Hawk territory. A sharp cut through the middle at the 8-yard line resulted in a touchdown, evening the score at 7-7 with just under eight minutes remaining.
The continued defensive standoff left the score tied as the teams retreated to the locker rooms, with the Hawks yearning for a more fruitful offensive outcome in the 2nd half.
See highlights from the entire game here:
Receiving the kickoff, Wall initiated their first drive starting at the Hawks’ 34-yard line, marching down to Mason’s 15-yard line in an 11-play drive. However, an interception off a dropped pass from Dillard shifted momentum, with Mason advancing to Wall’s 6-yard line. A critical penalty against Wall on third down proved costly, leading to Mason scoring two plays later and taking a 14-7 lead.
The Punchers' robust defense continued to shine, forcing a Wall 4th down. A pass interference penalty against Mason gave Wall a lifeline at its own 2-yard line. However, Mason’s defense held strong, strip-sacking Dillard two plays later.
With less than two minutes on the clock, the Hawks faced an 88-yard field. Despite Dillard’s efforts, pushing to midfield with 56 seconds remaining, Mason intercepted a Hillard pass to seal the game, emerging victorious with a 14-7 win over the No. 4 Wall Hawks.
Mason Head Coach Mike McLeod shared insights on the monumental win post-game.
Come next week, Wall Hawks (3-2) commence district play against the Grape Creek Eagles on Friday, October 6, at 7 p.m., while the Mason Punchers (6-0) enjoy a week off before tackling Johnson City on the road on Friday, October 13, at 7 p.m.