The George Mason Mustangs varsity football team won their home opener 24-7 Friday over the Luray Bulldogs. The Mustangs fell behind 7-0 to the Bulldogs early in the first quarter, but roared to life and scored 24 unanswered points to win the game.
It took the Mustangs a little while to get going, but once they did the Bulldogs had no answer and grew frustrated, leading them to commit numerous penalties including three personal foul calls. One such call negated a 40-yard pass play deep into Mustangs territory with them trailing by a touchdown.
The Mustangs were facing a third down with five yards to go late in the first quarter when senior Stephen Lubnow hooked up with fellow senior Nico De Ocampo on a 52-yard game-tying touchdown strike. That was the play that got the Mustangs going.
On the ensuing kickoff, Mustangs head coach Tom Horn called for an onside kick executed with Lubnow recovering the kick. The Mustangs were unable to turn their good fortune into points, but they had seized the momentum needed to stun the Bulldogs.
The Mustangs took the lead for good when sophomore Grant Hagler scored on a short touchdown run midway through the second quarter. A key play on the drive was a pass from Hagler to De Ocampo that set the Mustangs up deep into Bulldog’s territory.
Late in the second quarter, the Mustangs avoided disaster when junior punter Henry Darmstadter turned a bad snap into a big play, getting the punt off with the Bulldogs zeroing in on him. The Mustangs went into halftime leading 14-7.
Late in the third quarter the Mustangs were on the move looking to extend their 14-7 lead over the Bulldogs. They had a first down on the Bulldogs’ 21 yard line when De Ocampo made a catch for an apparent touchdown, but a holding penalty nullified the play. On the very next play Bulldogs junior Jeff Cash made an interception on a pass to stop the Mustangs scoring threat.
The fourth quarter started with the Bulldogs on the Mustangs 36 yard line trailing 14-7. Somehow they were still in this game, but that was about to change. On the same drive the Bulldogs were facing a fourth and five when junior quarterback Braden Cook tried to force a pass and Mustangs sophomore Jacob Eye made an interception.
The Mustangs offense got the ball back and a few minutes later Lubnow scored a huge touchdown to push the Mustangs lead to 21-7. The drive was also aided by a personal foul call against the Bulldogs.
After The Mustangs intercepted another Cook pass, Darmstadter added a field goal to make it 24-7.
The win snaps an eight-game losing streak for the Mustangs. The Mustangs will play another home game next Friday night at 7:30 p.m. when they host the Warren County Wildcats.