By Daniel Donovan
The George Mason high school football team traveled to Luray High School this past Friday and lost their second straight game, 28-7.
The game didn’t start well for the Mustangs. Sophomore wide receiver Dustin Green dropped a pass that would have been a touchdown – instead the team was forced to punt. But the defense quickly responded when senior safety Sam Selby intercepted the Bulldogs on the next possession, giving Mason great field position.
Again the Mustangs were unable to capitalize and gave the ball back to Luray after an unsuccessful offensive series. Mason and Luray held each other scoreless the rest of the first quarter.
But the Bulldogs broke the deadlock early in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Tyler Campbell found Jacob Moyer for a 35-yard touchdown pass for a 6-0 Bulldog lead. The play looked to be dead when junior running back/defensive back D’Montae Noble tracked Moyer down after he made the catch, but Noble lost his footing and was unable to make the tackle.
Luray added to their lead later in the 2nd quarter when Campbell found sophomore wide receiver Ryan Miller for a 10-yard touchdown pass, giving the Bulldogs a 12-0 at halftime.
The second half started well for the Mustangs as the Mason defense pinned Luray down deep in their own territory. But on third down, senior running back Trea Atkins broke free on a seemingly impossible run. Atkins was surrounded by four Mason defenders, but after breaking a tackle and spinning off another, Atkins escaped and continued to run 75 yards for the touchdown to give Luray a 20-0 lead.
The Mustangs finally got on the board later in the third quarter when Noble ran for a 55-yard touchdown to bring the score to 20-6. A successful Mason extra point brought the team within two scores of taking the lead.
Mason had a chance to get within a score during the fourth quarter when their offense drove down the field to the opposing 25-yard line. But after three downs without a first down, they decided to go for it after on fourth down. On a gutsy play call for the Mustangs, Noble was stopped a few yards short of the first down and Luray took over on downs.
The Bulldogs then drove down the field and Atkins punched it in for his second touchdown of the game, sealing a 28-7 win for Luray.
After a strong start to the season the Mustangs have hit a slump, getting outscored 70-7 in their last two games.
“Right now we are playing as individuals, not as a team” said senior offensive and defensive lineman Nick Casillas. “And like coach said, the only thing standing in our way right now is ourselves.”
Assistant Coach Daniel Larcamp agreed with Casillas. He said he believes the Mustangs need to find a way to mesh as a team in order to be successful. However, he also added it isn’t all bad and that the score from Friday’s game “wasn’t a good indicator, it was closer than that.”
“We’re right there, we just need to find a way to put it together,” Larcamp said.
The Mustangs take on Central High School on Friday.