SAN ANGELO, TX— “We are a four-quarter team. I always tell them we didn’t sign up to play two quarters and watch the other two, ” said Mason head coach Michael McLeod.

Starting the playoff quest, the Mason Punchers notched a 28-7 victory against the Thrall Tigers, asserting dominance in the second half and outscoring them 21-0. This win propelled the Punchers to the Area Round for the second consecutive year.

“It took us two quarters. I wouldn’t say we came out flat, but they came out swinging and gave us their best shot. You like to see our team come out and be a little more decisive in the first half, but what we ended up doing in the second half was catch our stride, and they started to wear out, and our kids just came out ready to play,” said McLeod.

On Thursday night, the Punchers will face the Ganado Indians in the area round, renewing their acquaintance. Mason has a history with the Indians, having defeated them in the bi-district round in 2011—an event vividly in the memory of McLeod.

“Man, what a game that was. That was my first year back in Mason, and they are a different ball club. They still have the same identity in their community and their culture. They are a hard football team. They have different styles of offense, but their defense is attacking. They have team speed. They play hard. They are physical. It’s going to be a great football game,” said McLeod.

Maintaining an undefeated record this season and earning consecutive appearances in the area round, a victory against the Indians would hold importance for the Puncher football program. It presents an opportunity to sustain the success cultivated throughout this season.

“It would mean a lot to us knowing that work is paying off. It’s not paid off, but it’s paying off, and I know the team we have now we’ve got it, but we are just going to take it one game at a time,” said Mason quarterback Frankie Bolley.

The athlete’s mindset remains consistent each week and is a trait that has developed throughout this season.

“The teams that continue to play are the teams that want to continue to come to practice and want to continue to play, and their want to has a lot to do with their motivation, and that’s their homework in the postseason, and we’ve had a great week of preparation. The excitement is there. The atmosphere will be there, so I hope our kids are ready to execute,” said McLeod.