A new position and a new offense hasn't held Tony Mason back.
The opposition hasn't held him back either.
The senior tailback for the Pillager Huskies football team has made the most of his many opportunities.
Against Browerville in the Section 6, Class 1A semifinals, he rushed for 275 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries.
"We weren't going into the game thinking he would have 38 carries but he ran the ball very well," said Pillager coach Dan Boushee. "That's a credit to Tony and our offensive line; Bryan Rhett, Tony Szczodroski, Jason Borgstrom, Mark Gaalswyk, Ben Broberg and Eric Fornshell.
"We just gave the ball to Tony and he ran behind them."
In the final game of the regular season, Mason rushed for 161 yards and four scores on 24 carries in a 39-7 victory over New York Mills. He also returned an interception for a touchdown.
Mason has accumulated 1,479 yards and 11 touchdowns on 237 carries for a 6.3 average. He's also caught eight passes for 73 yards.
"He's broken some long runs," Boushee said about his tailback, "but he's basically a power back who runs north-south. He can make one or two people miss and then run for daylight.
"This year is totally different for him. He's six yards off the ball where last year he was three yards off the ball. You really have to visualize when you're the I-back."
Last year Mason was a fullback, backing up last year's leading rusher Steve Bethel. Mason was a key component on the team, contributing the winning 2-point conversion in last year's section final against Bertha-Hewitt.
Before the season, Pillager changed its offensive scheme and Boushee knew Mason was his tailback.
"Even last year he had pretty good speed and could see the field pretty well," said Boushee. "We knew we weren't going to be able to run the triple-option wishbone so we thought we could run an I-formation and he would fit in perfectly. He's rushed for almost 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns and every game he's gotten better."
The senior captain also plays linebacker and is second on the team with 69 tackles. He's added two fumble recoveries.
"He's just a kid who, you give him a job and he's going to do it," Boushee said. "He's a very disciplined kid.
"He's been a true leader for us. He's our senior captain. He's filled that role as have our other captains."
Other notable performances:
Cross country -- Crosby-Ironton's Joe Radinovich won the Section 5, Class 1A meet with a 16:09 clocking.
The Staples-Motley Cardinals won their eighth straight Section 6 title.
Football -- Craig Luberts, Pierz, rushed for 115 yards and three touchdowns vs. Kimball. He added 105 yards and two touchdowns against Holdingford.
Aitkin's Josh Setzer rushed for 10 yards and a touchdown against Hermantown.
Tyler Frisk, Staples-Motley, rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown and caught one pass for 78 yards and a touchdown against St. Cloud Cathedral. He caught five passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns against Albany.
Adam Johnson, Staples-Motley, rushed for 65 yards and a score and was 7-of-11 passing for 200 yards and a touchdown against Cathedral. He rushed for 86 yards and threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns against Albany.
Verndale's Kyle Ashman rushed for 101 yards and returned a kick 89 yards for a score against Underwood.
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