The Mason Punchers defeated The San Saba Armadillos 40-14 at a rainy, soggy Puncher Dome in Mason last Friday night. Mason rushed for 393 yards and running back Rio Schmidt scored 4 touchdowns along with 262 yards rushing. Sean Argote was the San Saba offense with 147 yards rushing along with 63 receiving and 22 yards passing from his running back spot.
San Saba won the toss and deferred to the second half. The kickoff by Rodney Ortiz was returned to the 33 yard line. Seven plays and five rushes by Schmidt, Mason had the first score of the game on a 1-yard plunge by Schmidt. Schmidt also handled the kicking duties for the Punchers and added the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
San Saba was unable to move the ball after an excellent kick return to the Armadillo 42. The punt went to the Mason 26 where the returner called for a fair catch.
The Dillo defense stiffened and forced a Puncher punt. Rio Schmidt kicked the ball to the San Saba 20 and the returner was tackled at that spot.
The Armadillos moved the ball towards midfield but a pass from Jarrett Mathis was intercepted by Luis Castillo at the Mason 38 yard line.
Mason scored on the drive when Schmidt broke several tackles en route to a 42-yard touchdown. The PAT made the score 14-0 with 11.7 seconds showing in the opening quarter.
The Armadillos moved the ball past midfield before turning control back to Mason on downs. The Punchers continued with the run game with Schmidt and quarterback Elliot Bibb. Schmidt got his third score of the game on a 28 yard scamper. The kick pushed the score to 21-0 for the Punchers.
The ensuing kick was bobbled and San Saba started deep in Dillo territory at the 6 yard line. A penalty on first down run by Argote kept the Armadillos from gaining a first down and Ortiz punted to Mason.
Bibb finished the Puncher drive with a 30-yard run avoiding Armadillo tacklers. Schmidt booted the score to 28-0. San Saba ran the remaining time off to get the game to halftime.
The second half started with Mason kicking to the Dillos. The return put the ball at the San Saba 38. After losing 1 yard on first down, San Saba got on the scoreboard when Jarrett Mathis spotted a wide-open Sean Argote behind the Puncher defense. The play was good for 63 yards. Rodney Ortiz added the conversion and the score stood at 28-7.
The Armadillo defense held and Mason punted back to San Saba. The punt rolled dead at the Dillo 1. Facing a long field for the Dillos, the running of Sean Argote was called on. However a holding penalty in the end zone on first down resulted in a safety, giving Mason 2 points and the ball.
Mason started at the Armadillo 42 after the free kick. Once again the defense held Mason out of the end zone and Rio Schmidt settled for a 29 yard field goal making the score 33-7 in favor of Mason.
San Saba moved the ball behind the running of Sean Argote and a pass from Argote to Juan Ortega. The Dillos stalled and turned the ball over at the Puncher 27.
Mason could not gain a first down and punted the ball back to the Armadillos.
San Saba drove for the score and Argote got his second touchdown from 3 yards. The Ortiz kick put the scoreboard at Mason 33, San Saba 14.
The kick off from Ortiz went into the end zone and the ball was placed at the 25 after the touchback. The drive culminated on a 59-yard run by Schmidt giving him 4 touchdowns in the game. The PAT made it 40-14.
Another excellent kick return placed the ball at the San Saba 45 yard line. The Armadillos were unable to gain any yards and punted to the Punchers. The kick rolled to a stop at the Mason 15.
Mason started to move the ball but a fumble near the 40 yard line was recovered by Juan Ortega giving the ball back to San Saba. San Saba was content to run the remaining time off the clock.
Sean Argote carried the ball 33 times for 147 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for 63 yards and a score and threw a halfback pass for 22 yards. Jarrett Mathis completed another pass to Garrett Hartranft for the other Dillo completion in game. Mathis also had 11 yards rushing. Hartranft and Cosme Diaz added 7 yards each.
Tim’s tip of the cap: Rio Schmidt led Mason with 262 yards rushing on 20 carries and 4 touchdowns along with kicking 5 PATs and a 29-yard field goal.
It was a rough night for the district. Hico was the only school to post a win by defeating 3A Hillsboro. Goldthwaite lost a close game to Mart; De Leon was crushed by Hamilton and Santo lost a close game to Perrin-Whitt.
This week shows Goldthwaite traveling to Winters to tackle the Blizzards. Both teams have a record of 1-4. Hico entertains the Italy Gladiators; Santo travels to Petrolia and De Leon plays a team of home-schooled boys called the Abilene Hawks.
This is Homecoming week for the Armadillos and all the festivities that go along with it. The Thorndale Bulldogs provide the opposition for the game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 Friday at Historic Rogan Filed. The band boosters are having a steak supper before the game. Come out and support the team and the band in their endeavors.