Football is generally thought of as a cold weather game, but the schedule makers could not have chosen a more beautiful Saturday afternoon for a football game between George Mason and Rappahannock County last week. The ideal football setting at Rappahannock High School was complete with a sun-drenched field and the leaves changing colors on the surrounding hillside. The Mustangs dominated time of possession and came away with a 36-7 victory spoiling the Panther’s homecoming festivities in the process.
Senior Eddie Huber started Mason’s running attack with a three-yard score in the first quarter adding a 15-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Sophomore backfield teammate Antoneo Folks also contributed a two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 28-yard score in the third quarter.
Late in the second quarter, junior quarterback Michael Schwengel added to the Mustangs’ scoring production by connecting on a well-timed 15-yard touchdown pass
to sophomore receiver Joel Chandler. Senior Ben Zorn successfully connected on four point-after-touchdown kicks and Folks completed a two-point conversion accounting for the rest of Mason’s scoring.
Mason’s offense was in good field position for most of the day and racked up an unofficial 318 rushing and passing yards. In contrast, Rappahannock’s offense could only manage a handful of first downs for the game. Part of that was due to the Mustangs’ opportunistic defense. The defense came up big with one fumble recovery each by junior Brady Hatfield, and seniors Ed Hickey and Kevin Montgomery, as well as one interception each by Schwengel, Montgomery and Joel Chandler.
The score, time of possession and total yards seem to paint a one-sided picture. However, Mason Head Coach Tom Horn said the team was able to take away some lessons learned from the game.
“The Rappahannock defensive unit played physically at the line of scrimmage and caused some confusion,” he said, adding that his team will be studying that game’s film before Mason’s next game at Clarke County High School this Friday.
Horn also noted that because of the way the game unfolded, the coaching staff was able to strategically play some players in different positions.
“We played our younger players extensively during the fourth quarter,” Horn said. “That enabled a number of Mason players to gain varsity experience for the first time. This experience will collectively help all our players to perform at a higher level during practice.”
The victory improved Mason’s record in the Bull Run District to 2 – 0 and to 3 – 4 overall. But the Mason coaching staff is not looking at the record, just the performance. “We need to be consistent over the next three weeks. We need to execute our core plays no matter what,” Horn said. “We’re not looking ahead, we’re just thinking about the next game.” Mason’s game against Clarke, the third of its Bull Run District schedule, takes place Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Clarke County High School.
Correction: In last week’s article, it was incorrectly noted that Austin Lewis recovered two fumbles for the George Mason Mustangs. In fact, the player recovering the fumbles was Austin Lucas.