The means were certainly not pretty, but the George Mason High School JV football team came from behind to beat visiting Manassas Park by a score of 13 – 6 in their final game of the season Monday night.
Manassas Park received the opening kickoff and promptly marched down the field 63 yards to open up the game with a touchdown. The Cougar backfield successfully used their speed by bouncing to the outside; repeatedly churning up the sidelines to continuously move the chains against the seemingly helpless Mason defense.
Despite the fact that the Cougars failed to convert the two-point conversion, it seemed as though Mason was in for a long and grueling final match on both sides of the ball, with their offense proving to be equally out of synch, coughing up four fumbles on the night.
However, the Mustangs gained some life going into the break at halftime, as sophomore Quinn Casteel hooked up with Jeremy Stewart on a 29 yard scoring strike. Sophomore Manuel Veiga-Diaz launched his point after touchdown kick through the uprights for a 7 – 6 lead Mason would not relinquish.
Coming out from the break, the Mustang defense seemed revamped and poised to put away the pesky Cougars. Veiga-Diaz spent a lot of time in the Cougars backfield, allowing Noel Obusan to recover a fumble and record an interception.
On the offensive side, sophomore Jan Dichoso and freshman Brandon Alexander contributed to the assault, executing the game plan to near perfection in the second half. Sophomore Jamal McLean also contributed in workmanlike fashion with a fourth quarter plunge to seal the victory at 13-6.
The chaos that seemed to plague the team throughout the game was, in part at least, due to the number of injuries that befell the squad. It was the fourth game in row in which significant players were held out of the match.
“We were really young in some key spots and were out of position a lot killed ourselves,” said Mustang coach Andre Jackson. “But I’m proud of the way the team stuck with it. I give our players a lot of credit for learning and reacting at speed during game conditions.”
Looking back at the season just completed in which the squad finished 3-4, Coach Jackson reminisced by saying that a “dozen or so” players will be moving up to varsity next season. “Collectively they have a good attitude and are fearless. Our loss will be [varsity coach Tom] Horn’s gain,” he added.