by Kate Karstens
Home losses hurt, but first place feels good. After a crushing 47-14 home loss to Clarke County on Homecoming night, the George Mason varsity football team bounced back with a road win against the Warren County Wildcats, 56-42 on Friday, Oct. 23 on the strength of six touchdowns by senior D’Montae Noble and an improved passing attack from sophomore quarterback Thomas Creed. The Mustangs are now first in the Bull Run District with a record of 5-1.
Last week’s game featured offensive fireworks from both the Mustangs and the Wildcats.
“Our passing game is a work in progress,” said head coach, Tony Green. “It’s going to take a while to get it all down, Thomas is a young quarterback but he’s getting better.”
Mason kicked off the high scoring affair with a touchdown run by senior running back D’Montae Noble, capping a successful first drive in which Noble carried the ball 3 times for 60 total yards.
The Mustangs jumped all over the Wildcats, scoring three early touchdowns in the first quarter. Including his opening touchdown, Noble scored twice, on runs of 10 yards and 15 yards, and junior Dustin Green scored on a 20 yard run. When the Warren offense began to create plays and open space, sophomore linebacker, Finn Roou, quickly eliminated hope and forced their third punt of the first quarter.
Although sophomore quarterback Thomas Creed and Green’s chemistry seemed disconnected at the start of the game, the two were able to push two first downs in a row for Mason, first with a handoff, and second with a 15-yard pass completion.
“Our chemistry has improved,” said Green, discussing his relationship with Creed. “We’ve been getting better at understanding where and when the ball should be thrown to give us the best chance at a completion.”
In the second quarter, Warren narrowed the gap with a 35-yard touchdown run, but the Mustangs did not stay down for long: On the ensuing kick return, Noble maintained his streak and ran through the entire Wildcat defense to score a 90 yard return, a crushing blow to Warren, whose previous touchdown was quickly overshadowed.
The Mustang defense kept the momentum as Green nabbed an interception on the Wildcats’ next offensive possession.
A late first half touchdown for the Wildcats cut the Mason lead to 28-14, but sophomore Andrew Coulson and the Mustang special teams recaptured the momentum at the start of the second half.
Coulson returned a Warren kickoff from the 50-yard-line to give the Mustangs first-and-goal. Noble finished the drive with a quick 5-yard touchdown run and sophomore Ethan Morse’s steady leg made it a 35-14 lead early in the second half.
The Mustangs will face Madison County (2-6) at home on Friday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m., the team’s senior night.
“This is week nine,” said Coach Green. “We’re still fighting for a playoff position.”