Prep football: Mason defense smothers Big Blue in 32-7 win

Mason High School football coach Brian Castner had mixed feelings about his team’s performance Friday night.

Castner was happy to a get a Greater Miami Conference win, but the veteran coach acknowledged after the game the Comets must play better going forward.

“We definitely did not hit on all cylinders tonight,” Castner said. “We didn’t come out sharp and we were not efficient, and that has been an issue. But a win is a win, especially a GMC win over a quality opponent. Hamilton is a tough, well-coached team so I am happy with the win.”

The Comets used three touchdown tosses from quarterback Will Adams and a suffocating defense to roll over Hamilton 32-7 in front of a packed home crowd at Dwire Field.

Both teams started slow, trading turnovers in a scoreless first quarter.

HHS had chances early, driving into Mason territory on its first two drives, but sacks on third down each time forced punts. The third time the Big Blue had the ball, Terrell Mizell intercepted Khaliyal Sowell to end another threat.


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Following the interception Mason fumbled, but Hamilton returned the favor with a fumble of its own two plays later.

“Same as last year, we drive in there and turn it over or give up a negative play early,” Big Blue coach Chad Murphy said. “I mean, we drive in there three times and get nothing to show for it. Our defense played really well in the first half. I was really proud of them. The second half they were on the field way to much, and it got away from us.”

Mason got going in the second quarter, building a 15-0 lead on a pair of Adams scoring tosses. He hit Andrew Bowman on a crossing route before finding Alec Dardis wide open on a 36-yard toss.

Hamilton drove deep into Mason territory late in the first half, but Big Blue missed a field goal. To make matters worse, Sowell was injured on the play and sat out the second half with a head injury.

Mason came out after halftime pounding the ball on the ground. Behind the running of Adams and tailback Matt Sora, the Comets stretched the lead to 29-0 in the third quarter.

“Yes, we wanted to run the ball,” Castner said. “Honestly, our goal is to put people on the ground, but Hamilton wouldn’t allow it. I would have liked a little more push from our line, but Hamilton has big strong guys who battled.”

Junior Gage Retherford took over at quarterback in the second half and struggled under the Comets’ pressure. Hamilton failed to sustain a drive until the final quarter, rattling off eight plays capped off by Maleek Jarrett’s 8-yard plunge.

“I have always rotated quarterbacks, but man, our current No. 1 (Sowell) is young so you can’t get him enough reps let alone getting the No. 2 any reps,” Murphy said. “(Retherford) did a good job, but we were down and Mason just came after him. Our problem is taking care of first down. I don’t care if you are in high school or the NFL. You don’t have success facing a lot of second-and-longs and third-and-longs.”

Mason’s Charles Sipe capped off the scoring with a 40-yard field goal.

Hamilton (1-3, 1-1 GMC) hosts Colerain next Friday, while Mason (3-1, 1-1 GMC) will be at home against Lakota West.

Hamilton 0-0-0-7—7

Mason 0-15-14-3—32

M: Andrew Bowman 25 pass from Will Adams (Cole Pearce run)

M: Alec Dardis 36 pass from Adams (Charles Sipe kick)

M: Matt Sora 4 run (Sipe kick)

M: Christian Hutchinson 14 pass from Adams (Sipe kick)

H: Maleek Jarrett 8 run (Gabby Oliva kick)

M: Sipe 40 field goal

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