by Daniel Donovan
After leading by 14 early on, the Mustang football team gave up 22 unanswered points and lost to Central High by a final score of 29-21. The loss dropped Mason’s record to 1-3 on the season.
The game started perfectly for the Mustangs. Junior D’Montae Noble returned the opening kickoff 33 yards to the 50-yard line to give the offense good starting field position. Six plays later Noble ran the ball in for a 5-yard touchdown to give Mason the early 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, the Mason defense, lead by senior linebacker Davis Hagigh and junior linebacker Hunter Sulc, forced a Falcons three-and-out. The ensuing punt was returned 35 yards by Noble for a touchdown to give Mason a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Central began the second quarter with a 65-yard drive of their own capped off by a 10-yard rushing touchdown for junior running back John Hepner that cut the Mason lead to 14-7.
Mason answered Central’s scoring drive with a scoring 55-yard drive of their own. Senior quarterback/safety Sam Selby ran it in from two yards to extend the lead to 21-7.
The back and forth battle continued, Central added another touchdown and a two-point conversion late in the half. The teams went into the locker room with Mason leading 21-15.
“We went into halftime feeling pretty good, but I think we lost focus and they just came out stronger than us,” Noble said.
The Falcons opened up the second half with a 75-yard, 14 play drive that ate up over six minutes of game clock, which ended with a six-yard run by junior running back Hank Hoover to put Central up 22-21.
That was the score until midway through the fourth quarter. Central quarterback Samuel Barbour rushed for a six-yard touchdown to put the Falcons up by the final score of 29-21.
Although Mason has a poor record, they’ve shown bright spots that hints they’re close to returning to their form of last year when they made the playoffs for the first time in over five years. It’s not too late for a playoff push this season and the Mustangs will travel to district rivals Madison County tomorrow in a must-win game to keep playoff hopes alive.