Williamston at Mason – – Football – – The Bleacher Denizen – – September 15, 2023 – – by Chuck Krafft
Tonight, the Bleacher Denizen’s journey takes him to Mason High, where the Bulldogs will host the Hornets from Williamston! (Someday, I hope I figure out how to get the gravitas necessary to permit my to refer to my travels as an odyssey. I figure it would significantly amp up the coolness quotient!!
I see the the guys from AM-730 are also here to do the game, so I’ll have to make sure my notes are especially accurate!! It was great to say “hi” to Brock Palmbos before the game!
Mason is considered a top ten team in any class in Michigan and are rated Number 2 in Division 3. They impressed a lot of people with a big win over perennial power, DeWitt two weeks ago. They are undefeated at 3-0 coming into the game.
Williamston has won its last two games and is 2-1 on the season. Their only loss is to Zeeland East.
I always enjoy coming to Mason High for games. The band is wonderful; one of the best I get to see. Announcer Mark Sundermann is really thorough announcing with his dulcet tones; combined with Basketball Coach Lee Chaney and the rest of the spotting crew, it is really easy to get the information I need for my notes.
While we wait for the game to start, I hope you will enjoy this Boogie Woogie tune from my You Tube Channel featuring trumpeter extraordinaire John Rickert!!! I also play piano in this instrumental. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1MxOus8t44
It’s homecoming in Mason tonight. There was a huge crowd that came to the game tonight. The large Mason Fan area was packed and possibly even overfull. Fortunately, I was at Mason high an hour and a half before the game started; even then I had to park about a ten minute walk from the stadium. It’s great to see such enthusiasm for a high school sports event!!
The American Legion Color Guard came onto the field before the game and did some precision marching as they preceded the band onto the field. The Mason Band is led by Beth Bousfield along with Drum Majors Emma Wilkinson, Atticus Erbe and Morgan Carlson. The band has huge participation – – at least 100 players – – and is one of my favorite bands to see, started off the game by playing the Bulldog Fight Song. Before they did this, the marched themselves into a big Block M that even included serifs! Very cool!
The band then played the National Anthem (extremely well) and did another rendition of the Bulldog Fight song before the game started.
It is now time to review the events of this game through the (hopefully) observant eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen whose own football career was severely derailed when the football powers that be decreed that he would NOT be permitted to use a pogo stick when attempting to block extra points and field goals. Oh, THE HUMANITY!!!!
Mason’s Collin Winters booted the opening kickoff to the Williamston 6 yard line where Joe Smith grabbed it and returned it three yards before he ran into Caleb Vaughn and Teagan Carl, who tackled him. Williamston began its opening series on its own 9 yard line.
Noah Dunckel went around the left end for a sixty-six yard gain on Williamston’s first offensive play of the game. Cole Reese got back quickly to prevent a Hornet touchdown, but Williamston had a first down on the Mason 15 yard line.
Noah Dunckel went around the left end and gained five yards on first down. Sam Corey made the Bulldog tackle. Noah Dunckel went over right tackle on second down for a four yard gain before Sam Corey made another tackle. Noah Dunckel gained five yards up the middle to earn Williamston a first down on the Mason 1 yard line. Grant Gilchrest and Caleb Vaughn teamed up for the Bulldog tackle.
Kaleb Parrish stopped the Hornet first down run for a one yard loss. On second down, Noah Dunckel (who else?) bulled his way over the left tackle into the end zone for a two yard Hornet touchdown.
Williamston elected to pass for a two point conversion; Cole Reese foiled it by knocking down the pass.
With 7:54 remaining in the first quarter, Williamston had a 6-0 lead.
Williamston’s Adam Goudreau booted his kickoff to the Mason 20 yard line where Wyatt Ball caught it and called a fair catch. Mason started its first series on its own 20 yard line.
Miles Keener covered for Williamston on Mason’s long, but incomplete first down pass. Miles Keener stopped Mason’s second down run for no gain. Jack Kindinger covered on Mason’s incomplete third down pass. Tyler Baker punted on fourth down; Jack Kindinger fielded the punt and gained fifteen yards to the right before he was tackled by Sam Corey. Williamston had a first down on its own 45 yard line.
A first down illegal procedure penalty pushed Mason back five yards. On the first down replay, Sam Corey led a pack of Bulldogs in swatting the Hornet first down run for a one yard gain. Sam Corey stopped the Williamston second down run for a one yard loss. Great pressure from Kaleb Parrish led to a third down incomplete screen pass. Williamston’s Noah Dunckel punted on fourth down. Mason’s A.J. Martel grabbed the punt and went to the left for a fifty-one yard return; Noah Dunckel finally threw him out of bounds. Mason had a first down on the Williamston 29 yard line.
Ollie Brown and Joe Smith stopped Mason’s first down run for a one yard loss. Cason Carswell completed a second down pass to Kaleb Parrish on the left side for a fourteen yard gain and a first down. Jack Kindinger made the tackle for Williamston.
On the next play, Cason Carswell completed a pass into the end zone. There was some delay and a discussion before Mason was finally awarded a sixteen yard touchdown. Cason Carswell is still in his junior year, but this touchdown pass gave him his 44th for his career at Mason, which is the all-time Bulldog record! Kudos to Mr. Carswell!!
Teagan Carl hiked the ball, Nick Wells held the ball and Collin Winters booted it through the uprights to give Mason a 7-6 lead with 3:30 left in the first quarter.
Collin Winters kicked the ball off to the Williamston 3 yard line where Joe Smith caught it and went to the middle for a seventeen yard gain before Caleb Vaughn stopped him. Williamston started its next play on its own 20 yard line.
Noah Dunckel went to the middle for a two yard first down gain. Connor Osypczuk made the tackle for the Bulldogs. Zach Cribbs went into the middle for a three yard gain before Kaleb Parrish tackled him. Max McCune gained three more yards on a three yard run; Kalbe Parrish again got the Bulldog tackle. Grant Gilchrest stopped Williamston’s fourth down run just short of a first down. Mason took over the ball on downs on the Williamston 47 yard line.
On the final play of the first quarter, Brad McKimmy stopped Mason’s run for a one yard loss.
Mason had the ball on the Williamston 48 yard line at second down with eleven yards to go; the Bulldogs also had a 7-6 lead.
A.J. Martel’s second down run earned seven yards before Joe Smith tackled him. Cason Carswell passed to Kaleb Parrish for a fifteen yard gain. Jack Kindinger made the tackle for Williamston. Mason had a first down on the Williamston 30 yard line.
A.J. Martel went into the middle for a three yard first down gain. Luke Chambers made the tackle for the Hornets. Derek Badgley went to the right for a second down three yard gain before he was stopped by Peter Jones. Cason Carswell passed to Derek Badgley for a three yard third down gain; Noah Dunckel got the Hornet tackle. Mason needed on yard on fourth down for a first down; A.J. Martel gained six yards before Noah Dunckel stopped him to put Mason on Williamston’s 15 yard line.
Caleb Vaughn cut to the left for a three yard Bulldog first down gain before Ollie Brown and Noah Dunckel teamed up to stop him. On the next play, Cason Carswell passed to Tyler Baker, who stepped in front of his defender at the last second to catch a twelve yard touchdown pass. Teagan Carl centered the ball, Nick Wells held the ball and Collin Winters placed the extra point kick through the goalposts.
With 7:42 remaining in quarter number two, Mason had a 14-6 lead.
Collin Winters kicked the ball off to Williamston’s 15 yard line where Ollie Brown grabbed it and gained sixteen yards before Teagan Carl talked him. The Hornets started their series on their own 31 yard line.
Cole Reese covered on the Hornet incomplete first down pass. Noah Dunckel went to the left and fought off Bulldog tacklers for a four yard gain before Connor Osypczuk stopped him. Zach Cribbs was chased out of the pocked on third down; he evaded a deep sack and was able to turn the play into a five yard gain before A.J. Martel stopped him. Williamston needed one yard more for a first down; on fourth down, Zach Cribbs fought his way to a two yard gain before Derek Badgley tackled him.
Noah Dunckel went up the middle and gained one first down yard before Grant Gilchrest and Derek Badgley stopped him. Zach Cribbs went to the right side for a two yard second down gain; Grant Gilchrest and Tyler Backer teamed up for the Bulldog tackle. Zach Cribbs went to the middle for a four yard third down gain; Connor Osypczuk made the tackle for Mason. On fourth down, with three yards to go, Williamston had Noah Dunckel punt the ball. The ball was downed by a Williamston player at the Mason 6 yard line. (Kudos for Mr. Dunckel on a 46 yard punt that put Mason in horrible field position.)
Cason Carswell passed to Derek Badgley for a fifteen yard first down gain to earn another first down.
On the next play, Noah Dunckel and Miles Keener covered on Mason’s incomplete pass. Cason Carswell’s second down pass to Cole Reese was completed for a long gain; Cole Reese then broke a couple tackles on his way to a seventy-nine yard touchdown. Mason’s extra point kick was not good.
With 3:16 to play in the first half, Mason boosted its lead to 20-6.
Collin Winters kicked the ball off to the Williamston 3 yard line where Max McCune snagged it and gained about seventeen yards before Kaleb Parrish took him down. Williamston started its next series on its own 20 yard line.
Zach Cribbs passed to Noah Dunckel on the right side for a three yard gain; Tyler Baker got the Bulldog tackle. Williamston’s second down was caught, but the receiver was out of bounds. Cole Reese covered for Mason on the play. Cole Reese also covered on Williamston’s long, incomplete third down pass. Noah Dunckel punted for Williamston; his punt went out of bounds on Mason’s 20 yard line where the Bulldogs started their next series.
Cason Caswell passed to Derek Badgley, who made a fine catch for a twenty-seven yard gain. Michael Martellini made the tackle for the Hornets.
Cason Caswell’s first down pass to Derek Badgley netted four yards to put the Bulldogs in Bulldog territory on the 49 yard line. On second down, Cason Caswell tossed the ball to A.J. Martel for a fourteen yard gain and the Bulldogs had a first down on the Hornet 35 yard line. Noah Dunckel made the tackle for Williamston.
Cason Carswell passed to Kaleb Parrish, who made a difficult catch and was able barely stay in bounds before Noah Dunckel pushed him out of bounds. This was good for an eight yard gain. Cason Caswell completed a second down pass to A.J. Martel for a nice gain; but a penalty forced Mason to give up all but one yard of the gain. On the second down replay, Cason Carswell fired the ball to Tyler Baker, who caught the ball in stride for a twenty-eight yard touchdown.
Teagan Carl hiked the ball, Nick Wells held the ball and Collin Winters kicked the successful extra point to give Mason a 27-6 lead with just 38.7 seconds remaining in the half.
Collin Winters kicked the ball off to the Hornet six yard line where Max McCune caught it and went to the middle for a twenty-nine yard gain before Kaleb Parrish and Wyatt Ball tackled him. Williamston had a first down on its own 35 yard line.
On Williamston’s first play, Logan Doerr intercepted the ball for the Bulldogs and returned the ball to Williamston’s nine yard line before Jonny Eifert tackled him with just 19.2 seconds left on the first half clock.
Jack Kindinger covered on Mason’s incomplete first down pass into the end zone. On second down, Cason Carswell completed a three yard pass to Derek Badgley. On third down, the entire Hornet defense swarmed to to stop Mason’s run for a seven yard loss.
On the final play of the first half, Teagan Carl centered the ball, Nick Wells held the ball and Collin Winters kicked a successful thirty yard field goal to give Mason a 30-6 lead.
During the homecoming activities, A.J. Martel was named Homecoming King and Hailey Kruizenga was named queen.
It was now time for Mason’s excellent band to perform. They played four songs from the 1970s (when your aging Bleacher Denizen cringes to admit that he went through high school and college before 1978.) Despite listening with aging ears, your Bleacher Denizen loved hearing the band play:
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and Jeff Beck
“Mr. Blue Sky” by the Electric Light Orchestra
“Jungle Boogie” by Kool and the Gang
“September” by Earth Wind and Fire
These songs were all excellent choices and beautifully played by the Bulldog Band which combined its music with great precision marching!!
For those of you who were not able to hear Mason’s fantastic band, here are a couple tunes from my You Tube Channel. John Rickert knocks another one out of the park with this fine rendition of “The Lonely Bull” by the Tijuana Brass. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmJmDiyf3ps
And here’s a rollicking version of the old Western Classic, “Red River Valley” that winds through a number of different approaches on the time-honored tune! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w03AhhNk1M8
Adam Goudreau opened the second half for Williamston by kicking the ball off to Mason’s 25 yard line where Wyatt Ball grabbed it and returned it nine yards before he was swarmed by a nest of Hornets. Mason had a first down on their own 34 yard line.
Cason Carswell tossed an eight yard first down pass to Derek Badgley; Miles Keener made Williamston’s tackle. Max McCune covered on the Bulldog incomplete second down pass. A.J. Martel went to the middle for a four yard third down gain that earned another first down for Mason. Ian Young made Williamston’s tackle.
Cason Carswell tossed a ten yard pass to Kaleb Parrish and earned another first down. Max McCune got the stop for the Hornets.
Joe Smith and Ollie Brown teamed up to stop the Bulldog first down run for a one yard gain. Mason’s second down pass fell incomplete; a penalty was called on Mason, but Williamston declined it. On third down, Cason Carswell completed a seven yard pass to Derek Badgley for a seven yard gain; Joe Smith pushed him out of bounds for Williamston. Mason needed two yards on fourth down for a first down and gained them, but a penalty pushed them back ten yards, so they punted on the replay.
Tyler Baker punted for Mason; his teammate, Kaleb Parrish downed the ball on Williamston’s 6 yard line where the Hornets started their next series.
A first down run by Noah Dunckel earned two yard for the Hornets. Connor Osypczuk and Sam Corey teamed up for the Mason tackle. A pass interference penalty gave the Hornets a first down.
Noah Dunckel gained twelve yards to earn another first down. Cole Reese made the tackle for the Bulldogs.
Noah Dunckel’s first down run up the middle gained four yards before he was stopped by Grant Gilchrest and Sam Corey. Noah Dunckel dragged several Bulldog tacklers to the left for a ten yard gain before A.J. Martel finally stopped him. Williamston had a first down on their own 49 yard line.
Grant Gilchrest and Sam Corey stopped Williamston’s first down run up the middle for a one yard gain. Zach Cribbs passed to Jack Kindinger on the right side for a fourteen yard gain before Derek Badgley took him down.
On the next play, Zach Cribbs gave the ball to Jack Kindinger, who threw the ball to Tommy Pratt for a thirty-one yard gain before Cole Reese stopped him. Williamston had a first down on Mason’s 5 yard line.
Noah Dunckel took the ball to the right for a two yard gain before Derek Badgley and Tyler Baker halted his progress. On second down, Mason’s Logan Doerr got the first hit and Tyler Baker assisted him in stopping the Hornet run for a one yard loss. On third down, Zach Cribbs fought his way into the end zone to score a four yard touchdown.
Tyler Baker and Cole Reese teamed up to stop the point after run short of the goal line.
With 1:47 left in the third quarter, Mason had a 30-12 lead.
Adam Goudreau kicked the ball to the Mason 26 yard line where Derek Badgley caught it and gained fourteen yards before Tommy Pratt and Michael Martellini tackled him. Mason had a first down on its own 40 yard line.
Cason Carswell passed to Tyler Baker who caught the ball in traffic and gained forty yards before Jack Kindinger took him down. Mason had a first down in Williamston territory on the 20 yard line.
On the next play, A.J. Martel ran around the left end for a 20 yard touchdown. Connor Osypczuk hiked the ball, Nick Wells caught the ball and Collin Winters split the uprights to give Mason a 37-12 lead with 1:08 remaining in quarter number three.
Mason’s kickoff went out of bounds and Williamston elected to start its next series on its own 35 yard line.
Noah Dunckel went through the middle for a four yard gain. On the final play of the third quarter, Noah Dunckel’s second down run was good for a four yard gain.
The third quarter ended with Mason holding a 37-12 lead. Williamston had the ball; it was third down with two yards to go on their own 43 yard line.
We learned at the end of the third quarter, that Mason’s freshman football team collected $713 to be donated to the American Legion during the game! Kudos for a job well done!!
Sam Corey stopped Williamston’s third down run for a one yard loss. Williamston faked a handoff and gave the ball to Noah Dunckel on fourth down. He earned four yards to give the Hornets another first down.
Zach Cribbs was chased out of the pocket on first down and gained seven yards before Logan Doerr made the tackle for Mason. Noah Dunckel used a great effort to gain four yards before he ran into a pack of Bulldogs. This was good enough to give Williamston a first down on the Mason 42 yard line.
Noah Dunckel regained his balance after he almost tripped and his first down run gained three yards before he was stopped by A.J. Martel. Nick Wells covered on Williamston’s long second down pass. Noah Dunckel went to the left to gain fifteen yards and earn a first down before Kaleb Parrish knocked him down.
Zach Cribbs gained two yards on a first down quarterback keeper before Sam Corey took him down. Kaleb Parrish tackled the Williamston ball carrier in the backfield for a three yard second down loss. Kaleb Parrish covered on the Hornets’ incomplete third down pass. On fourth down, Grant Gilchrest hit the quarterback while he was throwing to cause an incomplete pass.
With 4:39 left on the game clock, Mason took over the ball on downs on its own 26 yard line.
Miles Keener stopped Mason’s first down run for no gain. Wyatt Ball alertly recovered a second down fumbled pitch to prevent a turnover, but the Bulldogs lost eight yards on the play. Carson Chapin took a pitch to the left for an eleven yard third down gain, before Michael Martellini and Jackson Hart teamed up for the tackle, but it was short of a first down. Tyler Baker made a great catch of the long snap before he punted to prevent a huge loss for the Bulldogs. His punt went out of bounds at the Williamston 32 yard line where Williamston started its series with just 1:47 remaining in the contest.
Ollie Brown gained six yards around the right end before Dom Rodriguez forced him out of bounds. Ryan Greathouse stopped Williamston’s second down run for a three yard loss. Jack Kindinger passed to Brad McKimmy for a five yard third down gain. Carson Chapin made the Bulldog tackle. On fourth down (the final play of the game), Ollie Brown ran up the middle for a six yard gain. Owen Adaway made the tackle for Mason.
Mason won the game by the score of 37-12 to continue its excellent undefeated season. Williamston, who was the first team to avoid having the mercy rule invoked against Mason, looked pretty solid and made a lot of good plays despite the final score. They could look pretty good when they start playing other Division 5 teams in the playoffs. (Mason is Division 3.)