Struggles Remain for Mustangs in 47-6 Loss to Marshall

IT WAS TOUGH SLEDDING for junior wingback Michael Turner (center, with ball) and the Mustangs against Marshall High School last week as the Statesmen’s stout front made life difficult for Mason’s inclination for a run-heavy offense. (Photo: Carol Sly)

George Mason High School’s football team continues its second half slide, falling to local Class 6 Marshall High School, 47-6, on Oct. 12.

The loss to Marshall marks four straight for the Mustangs (2-4) following a rousing start to season that featured back-to-back shutouts where Mason scored a combined 86 points in both games. It should be noted that, outside of a 35-7 loss to Bull Run District rival Strasburg High School, the Mustangs played against higher classified opponents. Though Mason head coach Adam Amerine hasn’t allowed playing schools with a larger talent pool to be an excuse for in-game results, and he held a positive outlook from last Friday’s final score despite the Mustangs troubles in slowing the Statesmen.

“It was a matter of being out sized,” Amerine said. “We actually forced their offense to change [quarterbacks] in the second quarter and forced them to go to a different offensive look [but] when you face the option, if one player makes a mistake it results in big plays and with young kids on defense they got caught wrong footed a few times.”

Mason’s defense held strong throughout the first quarter while the offense looked to get on track itself. Both teams traded three-and-outs before Marshall put together a short drive that ended with a 47-yard field goal. Another Mustang drive ended in a punt with the Statesmen tacking on a 45-yard field goal in response before the quarter ended.

Just as Amerine noted, the tide began to turn in the second 12-minute frame. Starting at midfield, a quarterback keeper to the left for 13 yards, then another to the right for 22 yards had Marshall knocking on the door. A short 11-yard run converted the Statesmen’s trip to the redzone and put them up 13-0.

The Mustangs’ three-and-out on the ensuing drive and a short punt that started Marshall’s drive at Mason’s 31-yard line put the home team in a tight spot. In three plays, the Statesmen found the endzone again on a 15-yard sweep right to go up 20-0. On Marshall’s next drive, this time starting at the Mason 17-yard line, an option run to the left saw the quarterback pitch to an open runner who skirted across the goal line to lengthen the Statesmen’s advantage to 27-0 before adding another field goal leading into halftime.

Following the intermission, the Mustangs looked inspired. They forced a punt on Marshall’s opening drive and freshman quarterback Evans Rice found junior wingback Michael Turner for a 45-yard pass to notch their first points of the night. But the glow was short-lived as the Statesmen strung together a 56-yard drive for another touchdown and to earn a 37-6 lead.

The Mustangs’ longest drive of the game came after with Rice airing out. However, an interception cut the march short and Marshall tacked on a touchdown and field goal soon after.

Mason will look to end their losing streak with a home game against Central High School tomorrow.