Since joining the Greater Miami Conference in 2007, the Mason Comets had yet to earn a win in week four when league play begins.
Running back David Fulcher and the Mason (2-2) defense took care of that as the Comets opened up conference play by posting, not only a win, but a 21-0 shutout against GMC-rival Lakota East (1-3) Friday night at Mason's Dwire Stadium.
Although week four has typically been unkind to the Comets, Mason coach Brian Castner got all he wanted and a little more out of his team.
"The defense came to play. You obviously see that goose egg, that's what we take pride in. A lot of goals that we feel are attainable, that's one big one that we take a lot of pride in," Castner said. "Offensively we ran the ball like we want to. Our kids fired off the ball. David Fulcher had a big night. J.D. Sprague did what he needed to do with the ball in his hands for the most part. Special teams played well. So it was a good night for us."
--Postgame: Brian Castner
Fulcher racked up 180 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. After the Mason defense forced a Lakota East three and out on its opening possession, the senior got the scoring underway with a 32-yard touchdown with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Fulcher added a second touchdown in the second quarter when he took the ball in from 14 yards out to give the Comets a 14-0 halftime lead.
Lakota East had opportunities in the contest, but rarely could get its triple-option offense clicking. The Mason defense limited the Thunderhawks to only five first downs and 74 yards in the first half.
When the Lakota East offense looked like it was coming together, costly mistakes negated their efforts. Twice while stringing together first downs, driving downfield and looking poised to score, the Thunderhawks lost fumbles to the stingy Mason defense. The first fumble ended a drive that would have cut the Lakota East deficit to only a touchdown at halftime.
When asked about the forced fumbles, Castner labeled them as "huge."
"We had that one where they're going in 14-7 at halftime, that's a big turnover," Castner said. "We want that ball. We take a lot of pride in that also. Always talking about ‘getting the ball, getting the ball'"
The Comets put the game out of reach by adding a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter after another Lakota East fumble. Quarterback J.D. Sprague hooked up with Michael Miles for an 18-yard touchdown catch.
Mason will look to improve its GMC record to 2-0 when the Comets travel to Princeton next Friday.
Written by: Katie Budke, TriStateFootball.com