News

Mason High’s Gridders Fare Well in 4-Way Scrimmage

Although scores were not officially kept and the games were limited to ten plays by each team starting on the 40-yard line, the George Mason High Mustang varsity football team made a strong showing in a four-school scrimmage involving the Avalon Knights, the Rappahannock Panthers and the varsity from John Paul High.

Although scores were not officially kept and the games were limited to ten plays by each team starting on the 40-yard line, the George Mason High Mustang varsity football team made a strong showing in a four-school scrimmage involving the Avalon Knights, the Rappahannock Panthers and the varsity from John Paul High.

With four different teams having to share Mason’s only football field, one school’s offensive line was placed against another school’s defensive line, with the competition between the two teams limited to ten plays by the offense. Despite going up against schools that seemed to have much bigger players as well as a large entourages of fans, water-persons and trainers, the Mustangs repeatedly held their ground on defense, running back two interceptions for touchdowns in the scrimmage against the Avalon Knights.

On offense against the Knights, the Mustangs delivered an effective running game that consistently managed to find holes in the defense and exploit them, racking up more than 100 yards in ten plays. A few pinpoint passes and extremely close-calls, were added in towards the end and allowed the Mustangs to take a break from their running game and get fancy, if only for a brief moment.

The scrimmage against the Rappahannock Panthers was a defensive battle against a powerful running offense that could also make impressive passes. But even when Rappahannock was trying every play in the book to try to score, the Mustang defense delivered several loud and powerful hits and limited the Panthers to a single touchdown.

The scrimmage against John Paul was a tossup between two defensive-minded teams who appeared to be equal in almost every category. Despite no clear advantages by either side, the scrimmage between the two teams often came down to the last few plays, with John Paul eventually prevailing by a touchdown. The scrimmage was stretched out slightly when each team was given four plays from the ten-yard line, and although the Mustang offense had looked impressive for most of the evening, they were worn down by John Paul.

Despite the widespread belief that this is a “rebuilding year” and Mustang Head Coach Tom Horn’s statement about having only one player returning to the team this season, the Mustangs presented a convincing case that they will be a respectable team this season, perhaps even a playoff-contending team. The offense, although somewhat small, is able to find and exploit holes in defensive lines very quickly if given the opportunity and can power through opponents to gain crucial yards. The defense does not rack up sacks, but can pile on an opposing player as soon as they have the ball, effectively ruining any hopes they had of running the ball up the field.

However, these ten-play games on the 40-yard line against mostly small private schools are not indicative of the opponents and games to come. Friday’s home scrimmage against Sidwell Friends will use the whole field and hopefully demonstrate the full capabilities of this team and prepare them for the long season ahead.