by Matthew Hochberg
It was hardly a season to remember for George Mason High School’s football team. The Mustangs lost their eighth consecutive game Friday, Nov. 4, getting shut out by Central High School 21-0 and finishing the season at a disappointing 2-8.
What made the last game that much more frustrating for Mason wasn’t that they lost, necessarily, but the way in which they lost.
“Their touchdowns were kind of fluke plays,” said running back Dustin Green following his final high school football game. “A 99-yard punt return for a touchdown we should’ve stopped, and then they beat a freshman defender for the second, and the last touchdown came after a 4th and 21.”
Green himself, however, managed to create one surprising final memory in his two last quarters of play in a Mason uniform. Junior quarterback Thomas Creed’s collarbone injury forced the tailback to take over duties under center. More comfortable with his legs than his arm, head coach Tony Green opted for a wildcat-style offense, using the All-District running back as the quarterback but solely to rush the ball.
“It was kind of interesting for me. It was different because I’ve never had to go and get the play before. I used to joke about being the backup quarterback, and then when he got injured, my dad and I just looked at each other. I was up.”
The father-son duo, who last week discussed the emotions surrounding their final game together, didn’t have that moving moment Friday night. Instead, with Dustin looking to make impact plays to get his team on the scoreboard, he suffered a knee injury. Despite intense pain, he stayed in the game.
“I felt like it was one of those moments in a movie or something,” he said. “I couldn’t really run or cut, but I was thinking, ‘there are two minutes left in this game, this is my last high school game, I can’t quit now.’ I was really focused.”
The soon-to-be college running back, despite not having that storybook finish with his father at the helm, knows his script isn’t finished yet. Green visited the University of Richmond over the weekend and saw the Spiders take on James Madison University in a battle of two teams which are recruiting him.
And while he won’t be playing for his father anymore, that doesn’t mean Tony Green will stop coaching his son.
“He’ll be there when I’m playing in college, probably yelling from the stands or something.”