Mason defeats Springboro 10-6

Matthew Smith | Staff Writer

They say that defense wins championships, and on a packed home-opener at Dwire Field, that was exactly the case in the Comets’ 10-6 win over Springboro.

Coming out of the gate, the game seemed like it would be an offensive shootout, with Logan Dalton scoring a 75 yard touchdown run on his first carry of the game. However, a holding penalty negated the big play and the offense couldn’t regain that same energy, failing to have success shortly after. The defense was what kept the game tied 0-0 through the first quarter and going into the second. Senior linebacker Charlie Sipe felt that the defense came up big and played well when they were needed most.

“I thought we really stepped up as a unit,” Sipe said. “We’re a young unit, but we played hard and played well in the interior.”

After multiple stops by both teams, Mason finally was able to get on the board in the second quarter. Continuing to run the ball and feeding Logan Dalton, the team marched down the field to Springboro’s 15 yard line. After the long drive, kicker Charlie Sipe drilled a 32 yard field goal to give Mason the lead and go up 3-0 at half. Head coach Brian Castner felt this was a big point in the game for the Comets.

“Kicking that field goal, getting that confidence and going up early 3-0, that was something special,” Castner said. “I really felt like that was a real grip to the confidence of all of our kids. That started us down the right path.”

As the offensive struggle continued into the second half, starting running back Logan Dalton was sidelined for the rest of the evening with a leg injury, allowing sophomore running back Nolan McCormick the chance to step up for the Comets when it counted most. McCormick made the most of his opportunity, rushing for 118 yards on 24 carries and scoring a huge touchdown to put the team up 10-0 in the fourth quarter right after a 20 yard run that set it up. McCormick was key to the win, but he said he wasn’t expecting anything like what happened going into tonight’s game.

“I wasn’t expecting to get that many reps going into tonight, maybe a couple reps at fullback and safety,” McCormick said. “It was kind of surprising, but I was ready, that’s the best offensive line I’ve ever played behind. We silenced all the doubters tonight.”

Despite being down by 10, Springboro made a strong push towards the end of fourth quarter to comeback. After an Eric Mayers touchdown reception for the Panthers, the score was suddenly 10-6 and Springboro wasn’t out of it quite yet. However, on the extra point, Charlie Sipe made a potential game-saving block on kicker Matthew Dapore’s attempt and gave the Comets a sigh of relief and a chance to regroup. Sipe says he was just doing his assignment when he made the play.

“I was just doing my job, I wasn’t over-thinking it,” Sipe said. “Sometimes good things happen. I was in the right place at the right time doing my assignment. Other guys contributed as well, doing their jobs, and that really helped me out.”

After Sipe’s big play, David Roux recovered a crucial onside kick for the Comets with two minutes left, and McCormick clinched the game – running out the rest of the clock by picking up two hard-fought first downs.

In the aftermath of an emotional win for the Comets in their opener, Coach Brian Castner knows there will be time to celebrate, but soon after the team will need to get back to work in order to prepare for next week’s game at La Salle.

“First we’re going to enjoy this one,” Castner said. “Come Sunday, we’ll start putting a game plan together, and Monday get back into our weekly schedule.”

 

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Photos by Tanner Pearson.

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