Comets Beat Springboro 31-21 in Annual Crosstown Rivalry
— Mason Sports Radio (@MHSsportsradio) August 29, 2017
Jacob Brase | Staff Writer
For 365 days, a clock counted down in the lifting gym titled “Beat The Boro” — reminding the football team of what all of their hard work would lead to; the Comets didn’t disappoint, defeating the Springboro Panthers 31-21.
After two strong drives down the field by Springboro, led by Panthers’ quarterback Cameron Rountree, the Comets were down 14-3 with 53 seconds left in the first quarter. They responded with a short pass from Will Adams to wide receiver Tanner Knue, leading to a foot race that resulted in a 62-yard Mason touchdown — Knue’s first of his varsity career. As time expired at the end of the second quarter, the score remained 14-10 with Springboro taking the lead. Head coach Brian Castner said the first half was a struggle.
“We had a lot of adversity in that first half, there wasn’t much going our way” Castner said.
In the middle of the second half, Springboro kick returner Payton Standifer fumbled a kickoff, resulting in a recovery by Mason defensive back Tyree Mizell at the Panther 7-yard line. This lead to an easy punch in from Trevor Knapp, giving the Comets a 17-14 lead. Senior running back Matt Sora said he thinks the Comets will always come back in the second half.
“We’re a second half team,” Sora said. “In the second half, we knew we had to finish a lot better than we did in the first.”
The Comets continued their offensive attack, benefiting off Springboro’s mistakes, who had three turnovers on the night, compared to Mason’s zero turnover performance. Matt sora continued to pound the ball through the Springboro defense, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Sora ran it in for another short 7-yard touchdown for the Comets, giving them a 24-14 lead. Castner said he was pleased with the way his players began to play in the second half.
“We just challenged them,” Castner said. “We knew we were the better team, and we told ourselves that could win this thing.”
With 8:58 remaining in the fourth quarter, Matt Sora broke away for a long 60 yard touchdown, giving the Comets a commanding 31-14 lead. Springboro responded late in the fourth quarter with a touchdown, but it was too late to comeback. The Comets came out with a 31-21 win in their first game of the season.
“In my 24 years of coaching, Matt Sora is in the top 3% of running backs I’ve ever seen,” Castner said. “When you have anybody at that level carrying the ball for you, good things are going to happen.”
Sora led the team with 170 yards, and was also was named the Crosstown Showdown MVP for his stellar performance. Tyrell Mizell played a huge part in the Comets’ exceptional second half defense, with three tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Next week, the Comets take on the Withrow Tigers at home, looking to capitalize off an impressive win against Springboro.
“We have a very fast Withrow team coming into our house,” Castner said. “And we’re going to defend it.
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Photos by Staff Photographer Tanner Pearson.