Kingston had everything going its way early in the fourth quarter against North Mason. The Bucs had effectively swung the momentum in their favor and had scored 13 consecutive points.
Then, as the Bulldogs drove deep into Kingston territory, the big play came. Brooks Arnim stepped in front a pass and intercepted it, returning the ball to midfield and giving his team good position as they trailed by just six points.
Unfortunately the drive stalled, and North Mason went back down the field for the scoring drive that iced the victory. A valiant effort had come up short as the Bulldogs prevailed over Kingston 27-13.
“I told them we were going to have a pick-six this game,” Kingston coach Billy Russo said, “and it was going to be a big turning point in the game, and sure enough, I was like, ‘Is it going to really happen?’”
The Bucs also got into the red zone a couple of times early in the game, hoping to take advantage of some key turnovers — it was North Mason’s first game of the year following the postponement of its first three games due to COVID-19 issues.
Sam Reber came up with a fumble recovery on North Mason’s first drive, but the Bucs were unable to score. Jackson Glammeier and Dakota Standley also had fumble recoveries on defense.
“That was our game plan,” Russo said. “Go fast, because they haven’t played a game, and jump on them early, and maybe shock them a little bit and get them on their heels.”
The Bucs trailed 19-0 late in the third quarter, as North Mason quarterback Micah McIntrye was able to cap a couple of drive with touchdown passes — the first went to big tight end Aiden Simons for a 16-yard score, and then hit the big play as Josh Simons caught a short pass and took it 78 yards to the end zone.
But they soon were finally able to turn North Mason’s mistakes into points. After Standley’s fumble recovery, Arnim found him on a key 32-yard passing play over the middle to set up the Bucs with a first-and-goal. Arnim called his own number and scored from 3 yards out to cut the deficit to 19-7.
On North Mason’s next drive early in the fourth quarter, a three-and-out followed by a high snap on a punt attempt gave Kingston the ball at the Bulldogs’ 5-yard line. Arnim again carried it in for the score, and it was 19-13.
But the North Mason defense held after Arnim’s interception and a few plays later, Trevon Simons scored his second rushing TD of the game for the final margin, 27-13.
Despite the loss, Russo said he’s liked what he has seen from his young team, and he firmly believes better times are on the horizon. The Bucs finally have their home-opener Friday when they host Bainbridge.
“We’re building some good stuff,” Russo said. “The culture is coming around, the mental attitude, we’re getting more kids out so the program is building.”
North Mason 27, Kingston 13
KN 0 0 7 6 — 13
NM 0 7 12 8 — 27
North Mason — Trevon Simons 2o run (Kyle Borseth kick)
North Mason — Aiden Simons 16 pass from Micah McIntrye (conversion failed)
North Mason — Josh Simons 78 pass from McIntyre (kick failed)
Kingston — Brooks Arnim 3 run (Walter kick)
Kingston — Arnim 5 run (kick failed)
North Mason — T. Simons 22 run (Tipler run)
Passing — Kingston: Arnim 9-23-124, 2 INT. North Mason: McIntyre 9-12-200 2 TDs, INT.
Rushing — Kingston: Arnim 13-49, 2 TDs; Reber 21-37; Fitsemons 1-5. North Mason: T. Simons 16-147, 2 TDs; Neatherlin 9-90; McFarlane 1-3; McIntyre 4(-2).
Receiving — Kingston: Standley 2-57; Fitsemons 5-37; Moff 1-20; Walter 1-10. North Mason: J. Simons 3-87, TD; A. Simons 3-49, TD; Filer 2-49; McFarlane 1-15.