Sports

Madison Routs ‘Stangs at Mason Homecoming

The George Mason High School football team suffered its second straight district loss on Friday night, falling 35-14 in the school’s homecoming game to undefeated Madison County. mason1

The George Mason High School football team suffered its second straight district loss on Friday night, falling 35-14 in the school’s homecoming game to undefeated Madison County.

mason1

The Mustangs face off against the Mountaineers. (Photo: News-Press)

After a seesaw battle in the first half that led to a 14-14 deadlock going into the break, it was the Mountaineers who broke away in the end, scoring three touchdowns in the final 13 minutes of the game while shutting out the Mustangs for the last 24.

Madison received huge performances from its plethora of talented running backs as it wore down the banged-up Mason defense in the second half.

Senior Devon Boone, junior Ralph Yates and sophomore Jerod Williams provided the Mountaineers with a devastating combination of speed and power running.

But it was senior Logan Terrell who did the most damage out of the backfield. Terrell, a speedy 215-pound back, caught and ran for touchdowns in addition to playing the entire game as defensive back.

“It’s hard to make tackles at the line of scrimmage on a kid as good as Terrell,” said Mason Head Coach Tom Horn. “He’s huge, he’s a great kid, and he plays hard the whole game. He’s big, strong and fast, which makes him tough to bring down because he also runs with great balance.”

The Mustang running backs dominated the first half, as the Mountaineer backs did in the second, but they ran out of gas late.

Senior Ben Taylor ran for touchdowns in each of the first two quarters, including a game-tying 62-yard scamper with 1:33 to go in the second quarter.

Taylor also tied the game at seven in the first quarter with an 11-yard run to the right side. Matt Palmieri and Yates Jordan, both seniors, also had strong first halves running the football before the fatigue of playing every snap set in.

Homecoming-Game-2009-081

Mason seniors Teddy Rueckert (left) and Courtney Ready were named the school’s 2009 Homecoming King and Queen last Friday

“That’s just fatigue, it’s attrition. We’re playing with half the army they have,” said Horn. “When you run out of gas, you can’t make that block, or that cut, or that tackle. We had a ton of kids playing three ways and you just can’t be as effective in the fourth when you’re playing on special teams as well.”

Mason’s roster was banged up to say the least, as only 18 players were healthy and able to play. The battle with injuries only got worse for the Mustangs when sophomore Stephen Lubnow, a two-way starter, left the game early in the first half and did not return.

“We had small numbers because of injuries and fatigue, but you’ve got to play for 48 minutes, not 24,” noted senior linebacker Manuel Veiga-Diaz.

Madison began to take control of the game midway through the third quarter after a Mason three-and-out, their second in a row to begin the second half. The Mountaineers, starting their drive at midfield looking to break the deadlock, began to get their passing game going as they had in the first half.

Senior quarterback Dustin Kirby completed several key passes, including a long connection to tight end Dylan Shifflette. The drive ended with a two-yard touchdown run up the middle, and Madison took a 21-14 lead with under a minute left in the third quarter.

The Mustangs fumbled on the ensuing possession, and the Mountaineers took over deep in opposing territory. Less than a minute after retaking the lead, Madison extended that lead when senior Courtland Banks broke a 16-yard touchdown on a stretch play to the right side.

Madison put the game on ice two possessions later, after another short punt by Mason. Leading 28-14 with 5:45 to go in the game, the Mountaineers took over on the Mustang 40-yard line.

On the first play of the drive, Boone broke a 36-yard run; Terrell plunged in for six on the following play to put the game well out of reach.

Mason drove into the red zone on its final possession, but the Madison defense held strong and kept their second half shut out in tact. Following the defensive red zone hold, the Mountaineers ran out the clock and left Falls Church with a 35-14 victory to remain undefeated.

This week, the Mustangs enjoyed a much-needed bye week after facing the state’s number one and number seven ranked teams in consecutive games.

With losses to 8-0 Clarke County, and now 7-0 Madison County, Mason sits at 0-2 in the Bull Run District but has likely played its two toughest games to open the district slate. Despite dropping back-to-back games to two of the best teams in the state, the attitude in the locker room remains optimistic.

“If we win out we still have a chance to get to the playoffs,” said Taylor. “Obviously, tonight was homecoming, so it was tough especially for the seniors, but we’re still positive.”

“We just need to get healthy and get ready to fight,” added Veiga-Diaz. “We can still finish 7-3 which is a good record, so as longs as we get healthy and get on track we’ll be fine.”

Following its bye week, the Mason team will head to Strasburg on Nov. 6 before finishing the regular season at home against Manassas Park.

Sports

Madison Routs ‘Stangs at Mason Homecoming

The George Mason High School football team suffered its second straight district loss on Friday night, falling 35-14 in the school’s homecoming game to undefeated Madison County. mason1

(more…)