Bryan Hudnell | Staff Writer
After a bomb threat delayed the game until Sunday afternoon, the Comets lost a close game to the Moeller Crusaders 17-14 in the highly anticipated matchup.
The Comets looked to capitalize off of their 48-6 blowout win against Withrow last week and bring the momentum into this week’s matchup against the Crusaders.
Moeller received the opening kickoff and started at their 20-yard line. After Moeller crossed the 50-yard line, junior defensive back Will Adams intercepted a pass to give the Comets their first takeaway of the game.
With 4:44 left in the first quarter, Moeller drove 60 yards down the field and scored on a 31-yard touchdown pass to make the score 7-0 Crusaders.
Mason would get the ball back at their own 15-yard line. Senior quarterback Preston Hutchinson connected to junior wide receiver Austin Croy down the sidelines for 30 yards. With the Comets driving into Moeller territory, their drive stalled after a block in the back penalty and the score remained 7-0 Moeller at the end of the first quarter.
After a punt by Moeller to begin the second quarter, Mason would get the ball with great field position at the Moeller 47. On fourth and two, the Comets elected to go for it instead of kicking a field goal. Junior running back Matt Sora received a handoff and got stuffed at the line of scrimmage for a turnover on downs.
The Comets had three turnovers on the day and often at critical moments. The offense fumbled on their last two possessions of the first half and allowed for a 4-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-0 Moeller. The score could have been larger, but Moeller missed a field goal off the right uprights before the half. Head coach Brian Castner said his team needed to fix the turnovers and penalties in order for his team to be more successful.
“Penalties and turnovers are often a direct reason teams win or lose games,” Castner said. “We had three turnovers and costly penalties that hurt us today.”
After a Mason three and out, Moeller drove down the field and drained the clock in the process. The Crusaders nearly doubled the Comets in the time of possession battle. Moeller made a 25 yard field goal to make the score 17-0 Moeller.
Mason would respond by going on a 66-yard drive. After a 23-yard catch by Croy and a 26-yard catch by senior Cameron Buford, Hutchinson connected to Buford for a 13-yard touchdown and put the Comets on the scoreboard. The score now stood Moeller 17-7 at the end of the third quarter.
After a series of punts by both sides, Buford found the end zone again off of a 3-yard pass from Hutchinson. The Comets’ 14 unanswered points in the second half closed the gap to three points and made the score 17-14 Moeller with three minutes to play.
After the defense forced a Moeller punt, the offense took the field with 3:01 left in the game, needing a score. On second and 13, Hutchinson had his pass tipped at the line of scrimmage and it fell into the hands of a Moeller defender, sealing the deal. The final score was 17-14 Moeller. Castner believed his players gave all of their effort.
“I thought we played hard,” Castner said. “I thought our kids did a lot of good things.”
Buford had an impressive day, catching two touchdowns. Buford transferred from Moeller and looked forward to playing his former school and was glad he wears the green and white.
“It felt great,” Buford said. “I like it a lot better on this side of the field, I feel like it is a family over here and I’m glad I get to be a part of it.”
The Comets look on to Lakota West in their first Greater Miami Conference game. Castner said his team needed to fix the little things before playing the Firebirds.
“We just need to make sure we come in on Monday and patch up some things and make sure we’re ready for next week,” Castner said.
Check out the article on the CSPN: http://thecspn.com/?p=39603