by Kate Karstens
The George Mason varsity football team suffered a tough 12-7 home loss to Luray High School on Friday, Sept. 18, pushing the team to 1-2 on the season. The game was a defensive struggle on both sides, but the Luray rushing attack was too much for Mason in the end.
“We came out hard, aggressive, and mean,” said senior running back/linebacker Hunter Sulc. “Our defense was the whole reason we were in that game.”
Luray scored early in the first quarter, setting the tone for the game. The Bulldogs’ senior running back Jacob Moyer took the ball at the 45, barreled through at least four Mason defenders, and scored, putting an early six points on the board.
Lengthy drives by the Mustangs maintained energy in the first half. In the second quarter, junior running back Dustin Green eluded two Luray defenders to rush 14 yards, but Mason did not capitalize and punted the ball back to Luray in the next play. The Mustangs were driving at the end of the second half and Sulc finished out the half with a 10-yard run, giving the Mustangs momentum going into halftime.
The Mustangs’ game plan was run-heavy, emphasizing Sulc and Green in the backfield. “Offensively, we went to a straight double wing,” said head coach Tony Green.
Mason began the second half alternating run plays between Sulc and Green, driving their way down the field all the way to Luray’s 20-yard line. The pair had almost 40 yards combined on the drive, and yet, the Bulldog defense began pushing back, resulting in two sacks, and forcing the Mustangs to punt, ending a hopeful drive.
As Luray began to push their way to the goal line at the start of the second half, the Mason defense fought against the Bulldogs’ consistent, successful rushing attack. The Mason defense was lead by junior Andrew Coulson and Sulc, who maintained aggression and successful tackles during Luray’s drive. But the Luray attack was too powerful, resulting in another rushing TD to give them a 12-0 lead.
“I was happy with the effort and intensity that we played with,” said lineman coach Ryan Larcamp. “There were a couple plays that we got tired and gave up plays that we shouldn’t have given up.”
Finally, in the fourth quarter, sophomore quarterback Thomas Creed broke through the Luray defense and threw a 27-yard pass to Green, who caught it with one hand at the one-yard line. Green then ran it in to push Mason closer, 12-6. Kicker Ethan Morse connected on the extra point to bring the Mustangs within one score of taking the lead.
“Well it should have been a touchdown on the catch but the line got a good push at the goal line and I was able to get the ball over for the touchdown,” said Green.
The Mustangs were unable to muster another scoring drive and Luray went away with the 12-7 win.
George Mason will take on William Monroe (0-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25 at home. Senior running back, D’Montae Noble is scheduled to return for the Mustangs for Friday’s contest. After being on athletic suspension, Noble has been unable to participate in games, however he has been participating in practices.
“It’ll feel good to be back on the field again,” said Noble. “I have seven games to make up for my missed work so I have to get busy.”