Sports

Mustangs Score Early and Late, But Fall to Strasburg

037masonseniorsThe George Mason High School football team kept fans on the edge of their seats before falling to Strasburg in a hard-fought game last Friday. It was the final homestand of the gridiron season and Senior Night for the 10 Class of 2011 football players. They were honored at halftime along with their classmates who participated in other fall sports.

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The members of George Mason High School’s football Class of 2011 gather before their Senior Night game last Friday: Walter Porzel (51), Jackson Thomas (31), David McAlpin (7), Tyler Duncan (4), Mike Larcamp (72), Brandon Alexander (97), Sebastian Askin (39), Mitch Hirsch (17), Tyrone Thompson (77), and Patrick Rhodes (8). (Photo: Phil Duncan)

The George Mason High School football team kept fans on the edge of their seats before falling to Strasburg in a hard-fought game last Friday. It was the final homestand of the gridiron season and Senior Night for the 10 Class of 2011 football players. They were honored at halftime along with their classmates who participated in other fall sports.

Mason drew first blood when senior linebacker Sebastian Askin intercepted a tipped pass by Strasburg quarterback Michael Reynolds and rumbled 40 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore Henry Darmstadter kicked the extra point, and the first quarter ended with the Mustangs up 7-0.

But Strasburg struck back, taking the ensuing kickoff and scoring in six plays, on a 47-yard run by Rakwon White. Mason went on offense but immediately fumbled at its own 18. Five plays later the Rams’ White ran it in from five yards out. The PAT kick was no good, and the half ended with Strasburg up 13-7.

Strasburg got the ball to start the third quarter, but Mason’s defense, led by senior lineman Mike Larcamp, forced them to punt. The Mustangs drove to the Rams’ 12-yard-line but stalled there, and Darmstadter’s 29-yard field goal attempt was wide left. After another Rams’ possession ended in a punt, Mason’s offense moved inside Strasburg’s 30-yard-line, only to come up short on a fourth and two.

But the Mustangs got another chance, as Strasburg fumbled and Mason senior defensive lineman Tyrone Thompson recovered on the Rams’ 42. The Mustangs immediately went deep, with senior quarterback Tyler Duncan hurling the ball into the hands of senior end Brandon Alexander, who took it to the Strasburg 15. 

But in a freakish stroke of bad luck for Mason, the ball came loose just before Alexander’s knee touched the ground, Rams’ defensive back Troy Gordon scooped it up, and he ran it all the way back 85 yards for a Strasburg touchdown. The Rams got a two-point conversion to go up 21-7, with under eight minutes left in the game.

Rather than sulk over that incredible turn of misfortune, Mason responded with one of its best drives of the season, using a no-huddle offense to move 65 yards in 14 plays for a touchdown that closed the gap to 21-14 with 2:26 left. The drive included two clutch third-down passes from quarterback Duncan to junior end Spencer Trevisan that gained a total of 31 yards. The rest of the work was done by senior running backs Patrick Rhodes and Askin, and junior Stephen Lubnow, who scored from the five.

Mason tried an onsides kick, but to no avail. Strasburg took the ball near midfield and slammed the door with a late touchdown run, again by White, for a 28-14 win.

In addition to Alexander, Askin, Duncan, Larcamp, Rhodes, and Thompson, the other Mason senior football players appearing for the last time at home were David McAlpin, Mitch Hirsch, Walter Porzel, and Jackson Thomas. At a pre-game meal served by parents in the Mustang Café, the seniors led the team in a rousing standing ovation for all-star Team Mom Susie Larcamp, who for the past decade has been a pillar of the Mustang football program, devoting countless hours to myriad tasks for the good of the team and the school, including organizing pre- and post-game meals for the players, and recruiting and training volunteers to operate the concession stand.

Last Friday also marked the final turn behind the press box microphone for “Voice of the Mustangs” Dan Larcamp, the long-serving volunteer announcer for home football games.

The Mustangs conclude their season this Friday at Manassas Park.