Williamston at Mason – – Football – – The Bleacher Denizen – – September 10, 2021 – – by Chuck Krafft

Tonight, the Bleacher Denizen’s journey (someday, perhaps the Bleacher Denizen will be cool enough to call his travels and odyssey, but he’s probably not there yet) takes him to Mason, where the Bulldogs will host the Williamston Hornets. Each team enters the game with a 1-1 record.

After long trips to Pittsford and Frankenmuth the first two weeks of the season, it’s nice to head to a school that is only a twenty minute drive! Mason won the coin toss and elected to defer their decision to the second half; the Bulldogs will kick off to the Hornets to open the game.

The Mason Band, which is always one of the finest in the Lansing Area started out the night with a spirited rendition of the Bulldog Fight song and then played the National Anthem.

Natalia Pluff kicked off for the Bulldogs; she booted the ball to the 7 yard line where Spencer Feig caught it and returned it about eighteen yards before Ethan Ettinger tackled him. Williamston started their opening series on their own 25 yard line.

Alex Petersburg went to the left side for a two yard gain; Connor Williamson made the Mason tackle. Austin Davis ran to the left for a five yard gain before Derek Badgley took him down. Austin Davis ran to the left again; he gained four yards to earn a first down before he was stopped by A.J. Martel.

A delay of game penalty moved Williamston back five yards. Austin Davis’ first down run to the left gained six yards before he was dropped by Kaleb Parrish. On second down, Austin Davis went into a line for a two yard gain before Dave Fancher and Hunter Lott tackled him. Two consecutive defensive offsides plays gave Williamston a first down on their own 49 yard line.

Colin Page covered for Mason on Williamston’s incomplete first down pass. Austin Davis plowed into the middle for a five yard second down gain; Hunley Horn made the Bulldog tackle. Spencer Feig earned two yards on a third down run to the left before Ethan Ettinger halted him. A defensive pass interference penalty on fourth down gave the Hornets a first down on the Bulldog 32 yard line.

Tyler Baker covered on the incomplete Hornet first down pass. On the next play, Alex Petersburg burst through the left side of the line for a thirty two yard touchdown. Mason’s Tyler Baker blocked the Williamston extra point kick. With 6:05 remaining in the first quarter, the Hornets had a 6-0 lead.

Johnny Hart’s kickoff was fielded by Tyler Baker at the 26 yard line and returned about four yards before Ian Young and Noah Dunckel stopped him. A penalty on the Hornets brought the ball out to the Bulldog 26 yard line.

Ethan Ettinger ran to the right side for a nine yard first down Bulldog gain before Noah Dunckel tackled him. Ethan Ettinger earned the yard Mason needed for a first down before he was tackled by a nest of Hornets.

Ethan Ettinger ran into the middle for three first down yards; Owen Denk made the tackle for Williamston. Austin Stump and Ian Young teamed up to stop the Bulldog second down run for no gain. Noah Dunckel covered on Mason’s incomplete third down pass. Tyler Baker boomed a punt all the way to the Williamston 12 yard line where A.J. Martel downed it. Williamston started its series on their own 12 yard line.

Austin Davis gained two yards on a first down run before Ethan Ettinger tackled him. Ethan Ettinger covered on Williamston’s incomplete second down pass. Colin Page defended on the Williamston incomplete third down pass. On fourth down, Zach Painter punted; Colin Page fielded the ball on the 50 yard line, where Noah Dunckel tackled him before he could gain any yards. Mason started its next series at midfield.

Zach Painter stopped the Bulldog first down run for no gain. A.J. Martel gained three yards on a second down reverse play; Joey Mahaney and Austin Stump collaborated on the Hornet tackle. Alex Bushey tossed the ball to Colin Page for an eight yard third down gain; Luke Chambers made the stop for the Hornets. Mason had a first down.

Alex Bushey’s first down pass to Colin Page gained eight yards before Spencer Feig made the tackle for Williamston. Ethan Ettinger ran for a long second down gain to the left before Joey Mahaney pushed him out of bounds. A penalty brought the ball back to the Williamston 29 yard line; after a measurement, Mason was awarded a first down.

On the next play, A.J. Martel scampered to the left for a twenty-nine yard touchdown. Mason’s point after kick failed. With 2.8 seconds to play in the first quarter, the game was tied at 6-6.

Natalia Pluff kicked the ball to the 16 yard line where Spencer Feig grabbed it and returned it about nineteen yards before Hayden Kruger tackled him.

That was the end of the first quarter. The game was tied at 6-6. Williamston had a first down on their own 35 yard line.

Zach Painter went around the right end for a ten yard Hornet gain and a first down to open the second quarter.

Williamston’s first down pass fell incomplete. Noah Dunckel alertly fell on a second down fumble to prevent a Hornet turnover. Williamston lost three yards on the play and Hunter Lott got the tackle for Mason. Alex Petersburg completed a third down pass to Jackson Newman for a thirty-eight yard gain. Colin Page made the tackle for Mason. Williamston had a first down on the Mason 20 yard line.

Noah Dunckel went to the right for a nine yard first down gain. Justice Mataya knocked down Williamston’s second down incomplete pass. After a penalty moved Williamston back to the fifteen yard line, Williamston’s third down pass fell incomplete. Kaleb Parrish intercepted Williamston’s fourth down pass near the five yard line and brought the ball out to the Mason 47 yard line where he was tackled by Noah Dunckel. Mason started its series on its own 47 yard line.

Conner Bishop stopped Mason’s first down run for a one yard gain. Noah Dunckel stopped the second down run for a one yard gain. ON third down, A.J. Martel got outside and won a footrace up the right sideline to score a fifty-one yard touchdown. Brett Showers made the long snap, Nick Wells held the ball and Natalia Pluff booted it through the uprights to give Mason a 13-6 lead with 8:10 left in the first half.

Natalia Pluff boomed the Mason kickoff into the end zone. Williamston started their series on their own 20 yard line.

Austin Davis earned three yards on a first down run; he was stopped by Malik Popp. Alex Petersburg faked a second down handoff and darted up the middle for a ten yard gain. Malik Popp made the Mason tackle.

Alex Petersburg’s first down pass to Jack Hammond on the left side earned six yards for Williamston. Colin Page got the stop for Mason. Austin Davis followed some good blocking by Austin Stump on second down and gained fourteen yards before he ran into A.J. Martel. Williamston had a first down on the Mason 46 yard line.

Colin Page covered on Williamston’s incomplete first down pass. Alex Petersburg faked a handoff on second down and went to the left for two yards before Malik Popp and Tyler Baker teamed up to stop him. Austin Davis gained nine yards on a run to the right to earn a first down. Ethan Ettinger made the tackle for Mason.

Austin Davis made a first down run for seven yards before he was stopped by Malik Popp. On second down he went to the right for five yards to earn another first down; A.J. Martel got the stop for Mason.

On the next play, Williamston reversed roles as Spencer Feig launched a pass to the usual quarterback, Alex Petersburg for a twenty-three yard touchdown. Jack Chambers kicked the successful extra point to tie the game at 13-13 with 4:27 to play in the first half.

Johnny Hart’s kickoff went to the 9 yard line where Ethan Ettinger grabbed it and gained about fourteen yards before Ian Young made the stop. Mason started its next series on its own 23 yard line.

Austin Stump stopped the Mason first down run for no gain. Zach Painter covered on Mason’s incomplete second down pass and Jackson Newman covered on the incomplete third down pass. Tyler Baker’s fourth down punt was partially blocked. The ball was downed on the Mason 48 yard line; a penalty on the Bulldogs gave the Hornets the ball on the Mason 28 yard line.

Austin Davis went to the right for a two yard first down gain before he rain into Ethan Ettinger and Malik Popp. Noah Dunckel’s second down run to the right was stopped by Hunter Lott after a one yard gain. A holding penalty moved Williamston back fifteen yards. Alex Petersburg’s third down pass was completed to Spencer Feig. Tyler Baker was there to tackle him on the catch.

Williamston had a first down on the Mason 10 yard line. Noah Dunckel burst to the right for a ten yard touchdown run on the next play. Caleb Hammond snapped the ball, Alex Petersburg held the ball and Jack Chambers successfully kicked the extra point. With 1:35 remaining in the second quarter, Williamston had a 20-13 lead.

Johnny Hart kicked the ball off to the 8 yard line where Colin Page fielded it and returned it about eighteen yards before Nathan Warner took him down. Mason started its series on its own 26 yard line.

On the next play, Zach Painter dove to intercept a pass for Mason and gave his Hornets the ball at the Mason 29 yard line.

Austin Davis went to the right for an eighteen yard gain. Kaleb Parrish made the tackle for Mason. Williamston had a first down on the Mason 11 yard line.

Austin Davis went to the right for a four yard first down gain. Dave Fancher got the tackle for the Bulldogs. Austin Davis went to the right and gained two yards before A.J. Martel stopped him. Alex Petersburg was caught by Austin Stump, who made a fine diving catch in the end zone to get a touchdown for his Hornets. Jack Chambers kicked the extra point. With 33.7 seconds left on the first half clock, Williamston had a 27-13 lead.

Johnny Hart kicked the ball off to the fifteen yard line. Colin Page caught the ball and returned it about fifteen yards before he ran into Zach Wagner. Mason took a knee on the final play of the first half.

Williamston had a 27-13 halftime lead.

At halftime, Mason introduced the 2021 inductees to their athletic hall of fame. The 2015 Boys Soccer team, wrestler Brian Bauman, soccer player Hans Morgan, swimmer Eric Smith and soccer player Kristi Evans came out to accept congratulations!

The Mason Band came out and did an abbreviated program. They are led by Band Director Beth Bousfield and Matt Siezak. Mike Schorsch is the drumline director. Evelyn Fuhrman and Elaine Henley-Wild direct the color guard. The drum majors are Mackenzie STreeter, Nick Bass and Allie Muschong.

At halftime, the band played several selections from Science Fiction movies. First, they played the theme songs from Star Wards and Raiders of the Lost Ark. They went on to play the them from Ghostbusters. They followed with The Mandalorian theme and ended with Hooked on a Feeling.

The Mason Band is always excellent and did not disappoint. Since I have been a long-time professional musician, it is always fun for me to recognize high school people with talent! (You can check out my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube channel to see some of the things I have posted in the last year.)

Williamston’s Johnny Hart kicked off to open the second half. His kick was fielded by Ethan Ettinger around the 10 yard line and returned about fifteen yards before Nathan Warner took him down. Mason started its series on the their own 25 yard line.

Owen Denk stopped the first down Bulldog run for no gain. A.J. Martel went to the right for a nine yard second down gain. At the end of the play, Dave Fancher recovered a fumble to preserve the Bulldog possesion. ON third down, Nick Wells gained the yard needed to earn another first down. Zach Wagner made the tackle for Williamston.

Nick Wells alertly recovered a fumble to avoid a Mason turnover on first down. Mason lost a yard on the play; Owen Denk made the tackle for Williamston. Alex Bushey went around the right side for a ten yard second down gain; Zach Painter and Jackson Newman teamed up for the Hornet tackle. Alex Bushey went into the middle to earn three yards and a first down before he was stopped by Zach Painter.

Alex Bushey passed to Colin Page for a seventeen yard gain; after a penalty was assessed, the Bulldogs had a first down on the Hornet 25 yard line.

An illegal procedure penalty set Mason back five yards. Alex Bushey went to the right side for a five yard gain on first down. Zach Painter made the tackle for Williamston. Second down saw Alex Bushey running to the right side for a thirteen yard gain and another first down before Conner Bishop stopped him.

Alex Bushey fought off tackles to gain a six yards on his first down run; Zach Painter made the tackle for Williamston. The next play saw Alex Bushey fight off several tackles as he spun the final six yards into the end zone. The point after kick by Natalia Pluff was good. With 6:54 to play in the third quarter, Mason closed the Williamston lead to 27-20.

Natalia Pluff’s kickoff was fielded by Jackson Newman at the 15 yard line; he returned the ball for about seventeen yards before Derek Badgley tackled him. Williamston had a first down on their own 32 yard line.

Colin Page covered on Williamston’s incomplete first down pass. Zach Painter went around the right end for an eight yard gain; Alex Bushey and Colin Page collaborated on the Mason tackle. Austin Davis broke a tackle on his way to an eleven yard gain on the right. Ethan Ettinger made the tackle for Mason.

Alex Petersburg gained two yards on a first down run; Malik Popp and Landon Warren made the stop for Mason. Zach Painter’s short second down gain to the right side before A.J. Martel and Spencer Feig tackled him, but a holding penalty pushed the Hornets back to their own 45 yard line. On the next play, Connor Williamson recovered a fumble for the Bulldogs and returned it to the Hornet 25 yard line. Mason started its possession at that point.

Alex Bushey ran up the middle for a two yard first down gain; Austin Stump and Zach Painter led a swarm of Hornets who made the stop. Zach Painter stopped the second down Bulldog run for a one yard gain. Preston Carpenter and Zach Painter teamed up to stop the third down Mason rush for no gain. Nick Wells passed to Derek Badgley for a twenty yard fourth down gain that kept the Bulldog possession alive with a first down at the Williamston 2 yard line.

Jackson Newman stopped Mason’s first down run for no gain. On the next play, A.J. Martel took a pitch to the left for a touchdown. The extra point kick was no good. With 1:59 left on the third quarter clock, the Williamston lead was closed to 27-26.

Natalia Pluff kicked the ball off to the 17 yard line where Spencer Feig took the ball and returned it about ten yards before Kaleb Parrish took him down. Williamston had a first down on its own 27 yard line.

Alex Bushey tipped Williamston’s first down pass out of the air. A penalty was given to Williamston and the Hornets lost ten yards. On the first down replay, Austin Davis gained three yards before he was tackled by Alex Bushey and Malik Popp. Colin Page’s timely hit caused the Hornet second down pass to fall incomplete. Alex Petersburg’s third down pass to Jackson Newman gained eighteen yards to earn a first down for the Hornets. A.J. Martel made the tackle for Mason.

Alex Petersburg faked a handoff and went to the outside for a seventeen yard gain before Justice Mataya took him down. Williamston had a first down in Mason territory at the 45 yard line.

On the final play of the third quarter, Austin Davis went up the middle for a five yard gain; A.J. Martel and Ethan Ettinger teamed up to make the stop for Mason.

The third quarter ended with Williamston holding a 27-26 lead. The Hornets had the ball on the Mason 40 yard line. It was second down with five yards to go.

A.J. Martel stopped the Hornet second down run to the left for no gain. Zach Painter gained two yards on a third down run to the right. Malik Popp and Ethan Ettinger made the stop for Mason. Alex Petersburg passed to Zach Painter, who broke a tackle on his way to a sixteen yard gain before A.J. Martel stopped him. Williamston had a first down on the Mason 22 yard line.

Austin Davis gained two yards on a first down run before Landon Peiffer and Hunter Lott tackled him. An illegal procedure penalty negated a short Hornet second down gain. On the second down replay, Austin Davis pounded his way to the middle for a five yard gain before he was stopped by Malik Popp and Landon Peiffer. Alex Petersburg went to the left for an eleven yard gain before Landon Peiffer knocked him out of bounds. Williamston had a first and goal on the Mason 9 yard line.

A pack of Bulldogs stopped the Hornet first down run for a one yard gain. Williamston’s second down pass fell incomplete. Ethan Ettinger intercepted Williamston’s third down pass and returned it to the Mason 29 yard line before Zach Painter stopped him.

Owen Denk and Austin Jones stopped the Mason first down run into the middle for no gain. Mason gained sixteen yards and earned another first down on the next play. Noah Dunckel made the tackle for Williamston.

Joey Mahaney stopped Mason’s first down run for a five yard loss. The next play saw Alex Bushey pass to Kaleb Parrish, who made an athletic grab for a thirty-five yard gain. Noah Dunckel made the tackle for Williamston. Mason had a first down on the Williamston 25 yard line.

Austin Stump and Conner Bishop stopped the Mason first down run for no gain. A.J. Martel’s second down run up the middle gained nine yards before Noah Dunckel and Zach Wagner took him down. Austin Stump and Conner Bishop stopped the third down run for no gain. A.J. Martel went to the left for a five yard fourth down gain to earn a first down. Joey Mahaney got the Williamston tackle.

On the next play, A.J. Martel broke through the line to score an eleven yard touchdown for the Bulldogs. A.J. Martel ran the ball in for a successful two point conversion. With 1:37 left in the game, Mason had a 34-27 lead.

Natalia Pluff booted her kickoff to the 13 yard line where Spencer Feig corralled it and gained about 20 yard s before Hayden Kruger and Kaleb Parrish made the tackle. Williamston started its series on its own 34 yard line.

Alex Petersburg took the ball to the left for a six yard gain before A.J. Martel forced him out of bounds. Kaleb Parrish forced the Williamston second down runner out of bounds for no gain. On third down, Alex Petersburg threw to Spencer Feig, who broke a tackle to gain nine yards and earn a first down before Tyler Baker knocked him out of bounds.

Williamston had a first down on their own 49 yard line.

Brennan MIller forced the Williamston first down ball carrier out of bounds for no gain. Colin Page deflected the second down pass and Landon Peiffer delected the third down pass – – both fell incomplete. A.J. Martel broke up the fourth down pass. Mason took over the ball on downs with about 34 seconds left.

Mason took a knee on the final play of the game.

The Bulldogs won this closely contested game 34-27.

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