George Mason High School hung tough with heavily favored Madison County into the fourth quarter of their football game last Friday night, but the Mountaineers got a crucial defensive stop and then scored a late touchdown to notch a 20-7 victory.
When the evening began, it did not look like it would be a competitive game. On the opening kickoff, Mason risked an onsides attempt, but the gamble failed: Madison got the ball at midfield and scored in just two plays. Then on its very first offensive possession, Mason fumbled and the Mountaineers recovered.
But in a season when very few breaks have gone Mason’s way, finally one did: Madison gave the ball right back, as Mustang junior defender Spencer Trevisan tipped a pass attempt and sophomore Brian Crigler scooped it up for an interception.
The score held at 7-0 through the end of the first quarter, when another Madison turnover, this time a fumble, gave Mason the ball near midfield. The Mustangs stitched together a 10-play scoring drive, featuring runs by junior Stephen Lubnow, senior Sebastian Askin and Crigler. The touchdown came when senior quarterback Tyler Duncan flipped a pass to Lubnow, who ran it in from 15 yards out. Sophomore kicker Henry Darmstadter added the PAT, tying the score at 7-7.
That’s where it stood until just before halftime, when on a fourth and long, Madison threw for the end zone and completed the pass for a touchdown.
The third quarter was largely a defensive show. When Madison moved into scoring range late in the quarter, a mad-dog blitz by Mason senior Mike Larcamp forced the fleeing Madison quarterback to throw the ball away on third down; the Mountaineers’ fourth down attempt was also denied, giving Mason the ball. Then came the Mustangs’ longest offensive play of the night, a 39-yard run by Crigler, into Madison territory. But the drive stalled, and Mason had to punt. Madison took over and scored their last touchdown with 6:54 left in the game. A final Mason possession got almost to midfield, but then two sacks and an incompletion closed the curtain on the Mustangs.
The loss dropped Mason’s record to 1-7; Madison improved to 6-1. After a bye this Friday, the Mustangs return to action at home Nov. 5 against Strasburg High School. At that game, all of Mason’s seniors participating in fall sports will be recognized.