Belfry took a 7-0 lead with a 14-play, 74 yard drive. Mason County answered when Pawsat threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Gilbert.
On Belfry's ensuing drive, Pawsat was injured on a defensive play. Belfry finished the drive with a one-yard run by fullback Trey Willis to go up 14-7. The Pirates took a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter. Josh Harris scored on a one-yard run to cut the deficit to seven. The Royals were stopped on fourth down at the Belfry 34 yard line with 10:36 left in the game, and the Pirates scored a 44-yard run by Willis.
"I'm very, very proud of our players," Mason County Coach David Buchanan said. "They played extremely hard. I hate it for Neal, I hate it for him. Such a good person. He does everything the way it needs to be done and all those things are going to serve him well down the road, but I hate that he's dealing with what he's dealing with. (I) hate it for all the kids, they've got so much invested, and you just hate to see it come to an end."
Pawsat suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final game of the regular season last year.
He completed 5-of-6 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown tonight.
The Mason County defense took it to another level and kept the Royals in the game after Pawsat went out.
"They played really, really hard," Buchanan said. "(Defensive coordinator Larry) Harris did a great job getting our guys ready to play, and our kids gave a great effort."
Mason County alternated using sophomore Tyler Baxter at quarterback and Harris in the "Hog" format, the Royals' version of the "Wildcat."
Harris rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Gilbert had seven receptions for 89 yards.
Willis rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries for the Pirates.
The loss snapped Mason County's 10-game winning streak. The Royals end the year at 10-2.
Belfry improves to 8-4 and will host the Russell Red Devils in the region finals. Russell beat
Sheldon Clark 15-12.
B 1st Q 3:45 Jeffree Pruitt 6 yard pass from Tyler Williams (Austin Childers kick) B 7, MC 0
MC 1st Q 2:30 Jordan Gilbert 52 yard pass from Neal Pawsat (Jordan Gilbert kick) B 7, MC 7
B 2nd Q 8:13 Trey Willis 1 yard run (Austin Childers kick) B 14, MC 7
B 3rd Q 10:31 Jeffree Pruitt 69 yard pass from Trey Williams (Austin Childers kick) B 21, MC 7
MC 3rd Q 5:33 Josh Harris 1 yard run (Jordan Gilbert kick) B 21, MC 14
B 4th Q 7:28 Trey Willis 44 yard run (kick failed) B 27, MC 14