MASON, Ohio -- Mason won just its second playoff game in school history and its first of the 21st century against a two-time state champion Friday night.
Matt Sora rushed for 245 yards and two touchdowns as the Comets – 1-7 all-time entering this postseason – held off Elder, 21-20 in a first-round Division I, Region 4 game.
PHOTO GALLERY: Mason 21, Elder 20
“We played really hard for each other tonight,” Sora said. “We got the win tonight, and we didn’t play for ourselves. We weren’t selfish.”
A missed extra point proved costly for Elder.
Mason fumbled on its first possession, but the Panthers returned the favor later in the opening quarter.
An unnecessary roughness penalty by Elder set up a Jake Harris touchdown on an 7-yard run late in the first frame.
Panthers QB Michael Bittner tied it on a keeper in the closing minute.
Elder took the lead on a 23-yard pass from Danny Nieman to Kyle Trischler. making it 14-7 in the second quarter.
But with 1:23 left in the first half, Sora found the end zone on a 12-yard carry to even it at 14.
The Panthers took their second lead of the game when Tiariq Dailey took one in on a 25-yard rush late in the third quarter, but Elder missed the extra point.
Sora scored from 30 yards out with 9:33 to play, and the Comets took the lead on the PAT.
Mason sealed it by pinning Elder at its own 1 with a punt with 26 seconds remaining.
“We’ve had our ups and downs this season, but we put it together tonight,” Comets coach Brian Castner said. “Our defense is tough and they don’t like to give up that much.”
LISTEN: The TriStateFootball.com crew chats with Castner:
TSF’s Clayton Castle contributed to this report