Hawks Claw Mustangs, 42-22

THE MUSTANGS, including senior running back Jack Felgar, were roaming free against Nelson County two weeks ago, but had trouble finding the same room against Skyline High School last Friday. (Photo: FCCPS Photo/Carol Sly)

Facing a future Class 3 opponent, George Mason High School’s football team fell 42-22 to Skyline High School for its first loss of the season.

The Mustangs (2-1) struggled throughout to establish some semblance of the dominance they enjoyed in their opening two games.

Senior running back Jack Felgar led the team with 24 carries and 116 yards to go with a touchdown, but he was the lone bright spot.

Mason was limited to just 172 total yards on the ground against the Hawks; in comparison, the Mustangs racked up over 300 yards rushing in their previous two victories.

Not to be mistaken for a passing team, freshman quarterback Evans Rice was still able to air it out for big plays against Nelson County High School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology.

Against Skyline, he was capped at just 22 yards, with a six yard touchdown dart to junior wingback Michael Turner as his highlight.

“Hats off to Skyline, they beat us in all three phases of the game. They outcoached us, outplayed us on the field, [it was] just not our night,” Mason head coach Adam Amerine said. “We’ll go back to work this week to fix the mental mistakes and figure out how to deal with traveling better as we head to Nokesville to face a talented Brentsville [High School] team.”

It only took five plays for the Hawks to get on the board. After receiving the opening kickoff, Skyline bruised their way to the endzone against the Mustangs defense.

Mason was fruitless on their first drive of the game, but had hope when they caged Skyline into a 4th and 7 and looked to retaliate by forcing a turnover on downs.

Instead, the Hawks found the endzone on that fourth down play and had the Mustangs staring down the barrel from then on out.

A 21-0 Skyline advantage by halftime snowballed into a four touchdown margin when Mason botched a punt deep in their own territory to start the third quarter.

The Hawks’ fourth down score on the ensuing drive all but assured a loss for the Mustangs out in Front Royal.

Last Friday’s defeat was a reminder to Mason: They cannot flinch in the face of tougher opponents.

Class 3 schools such as Skyline may be gifted with a larger pool of talent to choose from, but it’s no excuse to validate the Hawks’ brashness.

Giving up two fourth down touchdowns, especially one so early in the game when momentum hadn’t been crystallized in favor of either side, could’ve buoyed the Mustangs’ competitive edge.

Unfortunately, Mason conceded critical scores at critical times and forced it to move away from their ball control, clock-draining game plan.

Tomorrow night the Mustangs will face their second Class 3 opponent twice in two weeks when they travel to Nokesville to face Brentsville District High School.

It’s another preview game for when Mason bumps up to the Class 3, Region B Northwestern District in the 2019-2020 school year.