Bearcats give Max output: Mason scores 3 TDS in 41-0 drubbing of Lexington Minutemen
     2015-09-03      By Roger Holsinger   
Photo by Roger Holsinger/Special to the Gering Citizen - Scottsbluff running back Max Mason (5) runs the ball with blockers Ben Heggem (32) and Landon Walker (85) making some room for him during action last Friday night against Lexington. Mason ended the night with 206 yards of rushing on 11 carries and three touchdowns. 
The Scottsbluff High School Bearcats football team began its 2015 season last Friday night like a bolt of lightning as it flashed past Lexington, 41-0, running just 50 plays and racking up over 500 all-purpose yards.

Leading the offensive attack for the Bearcats was junior running back Max Mason, who tallied up 206 yards on 11 carries including three touchdowns. Mason’s longest run was for 53 yards.

Defensively, Brad Johnston and Steve DeLosSantos each had five solo tackles. Two of Johnston’s were quarterback sacks.
Head Coach Joe Benson praised the play of his team including Mason and quarterback Traceten Halley.

“I thought it was a great offensive performance,” said Benson. “I was a little concerned coming into the game because it was the least amount of time we have practiced, and everyone else is in the same boat with the new high school (practice) rules. But I thought we executed pretty well having not practiced that much.”

The Bearcats played a nearly penalty-free game, being flagged just twice in the first half on two five-yard penalties. They ended the game with four penalties for 40 yards.

A faintly surprised Benson said there might have been a couple of calls that were missed, but overall, “it was a good game.”
The ’Cats’ coach described Mason’s performance as “great,” and also complimented the offensive line for opening holes for the junior to run through.

“I suspect that people are in for rude awakening if they are going to totally concentrate on Brad (Johnston) because we have some other weapons beside Brad and Max.”

Benson added that while teams might not be overlooking his squad, they also might not realize the talents the team has in the backfield with the younger players.

He added that this year’s team also has tremendous speed.
“Trevor (Garcia) has just blinding speed and Max has that shake like Ty (Benson) had last season. Plus Traceten played great and in the last week he has really improved,” Benson said.
As the contest opened, it appeared Lexington might have overlooked quarterback Trevor McKeone who took the ball 37 yards to the Scottsbluff 27. But the Bearcat defense stepped up for a sack. They forced the Minutemen to attempt a 41-yard field goal, which went wide left.
The Bearcats took over on their own 20 and Johnston scrambled for nearly 20 yards. Mason then ran for another Bearcat first down. He then went 53 yards to put the Bearcats up 6-0. The point after was good and Scottsbluff led 7-0 early in the quarter.

The Bearcat defense held Lexington again for a three and out. Scottsbluff took over at its own 35. Johnston ran for 11 yards and then Mason got to the Lexington 40. Halley then connected with Ben Heggem for six yards. Halley then kept the ball and ran it in for 31-yard score. Esaeah Ingram added the point after and Scottsbluff had a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

As the second quarter opened Lexington once again appeared to be on a roll as the Minutemen’s Seth Sonderlund took the ball into Bearcat territory, but the Bearcat defense, led by Kobe Paez stopped Lexington again.

After the punt Scottsbluff began at its 20, but the one-two punch of Johnston and Mason was unstoppable and with 6:18 remaining in the half, Scottsbluff was up 21-0.

Lexington’s next drive ended abruptly as Ingram intercepted McKeone’s pass and once again Max Mason crashed through defenders on three carries to give his team a 28-0 advantage at the half.

In the second half Scottsbluff picked up where it left off in the first half with Garcia giving the Bearcats excellent field position at its own 35. Halley then found Mason on the pass, then turned around and ran 31 yards to the Lexington 22. Johnston then took the ball to the 15 setting up Halley for the 15-yard score. Ingram added the PAT and the Bearcats had a comfortable 35-0 lead with 9:20 remaining in the third period.

The Bearcats got the ball back quickly as Austin Clarkson recovered a Minuteman fumble caused by Paez. Garcia took the ball to the five and then Johnston capped off the drive with the score and the Bearcats were up 41-0.

During the remainder of the contest, the 35-point mercy rule was in effect with the clock stopping only on change of possession, penalties and time outs.

Benson said this week his team needs to focus on assignments and defense.

“If you watched closely our blitzes were not very crisp, we got lucky, they (Lexington) kind of ran into a lot of them. We also need to learn to stay low and get off blocks defensively. Offensively, we need to execute better and be a little more efficient,” Benson said.
The Bearcats (1-0) will travel to Hastings tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 4) to face the Tigers. Hastings picked up its first win of the season last Friday in Gering with a 25-14 non-conference win over the Bulldogs.

Scottsbluff 14 14 13 0 − 41
Lexington 0 0 0 0 − 0

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