Costly Turnovers Prove Difference in Loss to Generals
For the second week in a row, cloudy skies and sprinkles of rain provided the backdrop for a shutout at Moore Cadillac Stadium, but this time, the tables were turned for the George Mason High School varsity football team.
Just seven days after blanking cross-town foe J.E.B. Stuart 42-0, the Mustangs fell victim to the stingy defense of the Stonewall Jackson Generals, 32-0. The Generals forced four fumbles, including three in the first half, and held the Mustangs’ intricate double-wing offense to just 136 yards on the ground.
The star of the game was Stonewall running back Richard Long, a Division I recruit, who rushed 13 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Long had 15-and-a-half tackles, four of which came for a loss, as well as a sack, and a forced fumble. Long also had two punts for an average of 50 yards, including one pinning the Mustangs inside their own one yard line.
The momentum clearly shifted in the visiting team’s favor just before the end of the first quarter, when Stonewall quarterback Hunter Stout heaved a pass down the sideline and into the waiting arms of Andrew Miller for a 60-yard touchdown.
One of the lone bright spots for the Mustangs was their defensive play. Once again, seniors Ryan Larcamp and Ed Hickey led the way snap after snap. Larcamp recovered a fumble and scampered 68 yards into the end-zone, only to have it nullified on a face-mask penalty against Mason. Hickey recovered a fumble to add to his stellar season on the defensive end.
In the second quarter, backed up against their own goal-yard line, Mason running back Joel Chandler took a sweep to the left side into the General defense. After gaining three yards, Chandler took a vicious hit and coughed up the ball, turning it over to the Generals.
The turnover was the least of the Mustangs problems, as Chandler was seen limping off the field for medical attention on his knee. Preliminary reports indicate that Chandler has a potential fractured knee cap. Although the Mustangs have a plethora of running backs, losing the promising sophomore Chandler would be a harsh blow to their backfield.
With the loss, the Mustangs fall to 1-2 on the year. Next week will be Mason’s bye week, with a trip to Luray High School approaching on Sept. 29. Their next home game will be against another Single A powerhouse, Goochland, on Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m.