George Mason’s football team went on the road to Luray last Friday and lost a hard-fought battle to the Bulldogs, 14-7.
Mason was playing comeback almost the entire game. The Mustangs had first possession, but could not advance, and a poor punt gave Luray the ball deep in Mason territory. In four plays the Bulldogs scored.
Mason’s offense then got on track, nicely blending runs and passes on a sustained march that reached Luray’s 25. But a fumble on a 4th down run halted the drive.
On Luray’s next two possessions, Mason’s defense forced a punt and a turnover on downs. But Luray’s defense also excelled; Mason had to punt twice.
The trench warfare ended suddenly, as Luray broke a long run to score its second touchdown 2:23 before halftime.
Luray started the 3rd quarter on offense and was moving well until they tested Mason’s secondary with a long pass. Mason junior cornerback Nico De Ocampo intercepted it and made a nice runback, reaching midfield.
On the next play Mason senior running back Sebastian Askin broke free for a 40-yard run to the Luray 10. But there the Bulldog defense stiffened, and in four plays Mason could not score.
Despite that disheartening setback, Mason’s defense kept up the fight, forcing Luray to punt. The Mustangs drove to the Luray 34, but could not convert on 4th and 2.
Again the Mustang defense rose to the occasion, capturing a Luray fumble on the Bulldog 43. From there, with less than eight minutes left in the game, Mason launched a 10-play drive featuring runs by juniors De Ocampo and Jonathan Freeman, sophomore Brian Crigler, and seniors Askin and Tyler Duncan.
On 2nd and goal from the Luray 5, Askin plowed into a pile on the line, then popped out to the left side and ran in untouched for a touchdown. Sophomore kicker Henry Darmstadter added the extra point, making the score 14-7 with 1:17 left to play.
Mason tried an onside kick, but while Darmstadter executed it well, Luray emerged from the scrum with the ball, and that was the game.
This Friday Mason plays at home against Stonewall Jackson High School, of Quicksburg. Kickoff is 7:30pm. It’s “Elementary School Night,” organized by the George Mason Athletic Boosters Association and sponsored by Fall Properties. Elementary school children will be admitted for $1 with a paying adult, and will receive a free popcorn.