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Story by Aaron Emerson
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Another game, another big early lead.
That’s been one of many stories surrounding the Mason High School football program this year. On Friday, the Bulldogs used another fast start to take control of the game and top Fowlerville, 42-14. With 1000 fans in the stands in the first game since the MHSAA issued new attendance guidelines, Mason improved to 4-0. They are now 3-0 in conference play and will face Williamston for a league championship in week six.
Mason quarterback Chance Strickland followed up last week’s five touchdown performance with four more Friday. He has been hurting opponents through the air and on the ground, earning the nickname “Tricky Stricky.”
After Mason jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Strickland’s first touchdown, Fowlerville evened up the score with an 11-play drive, capped by a Trevor Maybee run. It was all Mason from there, though. The Bulldogs responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Strickland to Mason Stewart, then forced a quick punt. On their next drive, Jackson Lockwood came up with a spectacular diving catch in the endzone on fourth down for a 35-yard score.
The Bulldogs added on one more score before halftime to take a 28-7 lead into the break. It was more of the same in the second half, even though Mason didn’t throw a pass the rest of the game. They controlled the game on the ground and forced two turnovers. Ethan Bond intercepted Fowlerville quarterback Adam Simon and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown to put Mason up 35-7. Stewart added his second touchdown of the game on a three-yard run for a 42-7 lead. Fowlerville was able to put the ball in the endzone once more in the fourth quarter when Nathan Ash connected with Billy Hutchins for a 36-yard score.
Strickland finished the game with 129 yards passing and 44 yards rushing. Lockwood had five catches for 83 yards and freshman AJ Martel ran for 96 yards. For the Gladiators, Ash – who replaced Simon in the third quarter – passed for 60 yards and ran for 36. Randall Koch caught five passes for 50 yards.
Mason will look to add to their resume with a battle against defending state champion Lansing Catholic next week before the showdown with Williamston.
Fowlerville, who fell to 2-2 (1-2), will look to bounce back next week against St. Johns.
The Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association regional championships took place last weekend at the Ingham County Fairgrounds and horsewomen from across the area competed for the opportunity to advance to the State Championships. Laingsburg was the area’s lone representative to advance finishing as the Reserve Champion in division C behind Lowell. The top two teams advanced to the state championships.
Five schools from Mid-Michigan competed in the event which is a combination of classes focused on both horse, and rider in a series of caried challenges which including showmanship, equitation, and bareback riding. Other results included Mason finishing 5th and Williamston finishing 7thin division B, Stockbridge finished 8th in division C, Portland 4thand DeWitt finished 7th in division D. Classes can be unpredictable in the show ring but as Williamston sophomores Ashley and Samantha Sweeney explained success all comes down to the knowing the finer points between the horse and rider.
“It depends on the breed but look for the rider’s position and look for how well they handle the horse and the horses movement.” Ashley Sweeney said afterwards. “It’s really important for communication and understanding your horse, for when you’re in the class you know they’re ready or nervous or excited.” Samanatha Sweeney commented. “That communication is really important for when your class goes well you can keep them together and in control the whole time and that they’re happy and you’re happy at the same time.”
The State Championships take place October 14 – 18 in Midland.
Okemos d. Traverse City West 6-2
East Lansing d. Dexter 8-0
Haslett d. Fowlerville 6-2
St. Johns d. DeWitt 6-2
Williamston d. Flint Powers 6-2
Lansing Catholic d. Portland 5-3
The Area’s top runners from all corners clashed in the greater Lansing Cross Country Championship in Grand Ledge on Saturday. The race was divided into four divisions and the top male finisher across all four races was East Lansing senior Nathan Faust who finished in 15:53, his teammate Matthew Zeleke 16:01. The East Lansing men finished second in the D1 race behind St. Johns who placed all five of their scoring runners in the top ten overall. Alma won the D2 race, St. Louis dominated D3 with a thirty-point victory over Ithaca, and Webberville won the D4 title over Carson City Crystal.
The women’s races saw a blistering performance from Mason’s freshman Meghan Ford who won the D1 race, and had the day’s best time in 17:49. Mason finished second to Okemos who had four consecutive finishers in the 8-11 slots. Lansing Catholic dominated the D2 race beating Ionia by 61 points 31-92, Ithaca won the D3 title and had the races fastest finisher in Lani Bloom, and Lansing Christian won the D4 race with Maddy Volz winning overall.
Nateda Her - Holt
Kaitlyn Lawver - DeWitt
Ella Miller - East Lansing
Grace Whipple - Mason
Annika Scott - Fowlerville.
Lydia Davenport - Ithaca