MASON, Ohio – The Mason Comets' defense was once again outstanding, earning its fourth consecutive shutout win, blanking the upstart West Clermont Wolves 26-0 in a first round playoff game at Atrium Stadium.
The victory was Mason’s sixth shutout on the season. The Comets have not given up a point since the fourth quarter against Middletown on Oct. 6. For the season, the Mason defense has only given up an average of nine points per game.
The win also gives the Comets a 6-0 record on their home field, something that head coach Brian Castner made sure to congratulate his team about after the game.
“I told them to enjoy that win,” Castner said. “I think that in society and even in football everyone wants to move on too quick. They don’t enjoy the win. Wins are hard to come by.”
Along with the defense, Mason senior running back Matt Sora made this win a little easier to come by. Sora, making his 34th consecutive start for the Comets, rushed for 140 yards on 26 caries and two touchdowns.
“We started off slow but we continued to trust each other. The offensive line worked their butts off all night and we continued to push each other,” Sora said.
Mason went on offense first and went on a 10-play drive but came up empty after missing a 41-yard field goal attempt.
West Clermont generated its best offensive play of the game on its first play from scrimmage when Tyler Steinker connected with his tight end Mason Dance for a 47-yard completion. The Wolves were forced to punt three plays later, the first of six punts by West Clermont on the night.
Sora carried the Comets toward its first touchdown in the second quarter. Quarterback Will Adams put the finishing touches on the drive with a 1-yard sneak into the end zone for a 7-0 Mason advantage.
Adams did the heavy lifting on Mason’s second scoring drive. Runs of 26 and 14 yards plus a horse collar penalty on West Clermont set up Sora for a 1-yard score. The extra point hit the cross bar so the Comets had to settle for a 13-0 halftime lead.
Mason scored twice more in the second half, with Sora running for his second score and his backup Logan Dalton racing 32 yards to the end zone to put West Clermont away.
Castner gave credit to his team, especially on defense, for executing the game plan.
“It’s all about the players believing in the plan from the staff,” said Castner. “It just becomes contagious. Once you get one shutout , you go for another and another. If you would have told me we win 26-0 against them, I would’ve never believed it.”
Jake Bracher led the Comets with eight tackles followed by Chase Evans with six. Reed Naglich recorded the team’s only quarterback sack as West Clermont was held to 183 total yards.
West Clermont finished its first season with a 7-4 record and playoff appearance.
Mason will move on to face Colerain next week in the Division I, Region 4 semifinals after the Cardinals' 45-0 win over Moeller. Colerain won the previous matchup between these two teams 36-10 on Sept. 29.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
West Clermont 0-0-0-0 – 0
Mason 0-13-6-7 – 26
M – Adams 1-yard TD run (Curran kick).
M – Sora 1-yard TD run (kick failed).
M – Sora 6-yard TD run (pass failed).
M – Dalton 32-yard TD run (Curran kick).
RECORDS: West Clermont (7-4, 6-1); Mason (9-2, 6-2)