By Alex Moore
George Mason High School football fans witnessed quite a spectacle for the school’s homecoming game on Sept. 22, when the Mason Mustangs walloped the Manassas Park High School Cougars, 62-32, in their second home game of the season.
Mason, now 4-0, has doubled its win total from last year, when the team won its first two games but faltered down the stretch and lost its final eight. Manassas Park’s defeat knocked the Cougars’ record to 1-4.
What’s made the difference for this year’s Mustangs?
“Great team chemistry,” said Mason head coach Adam Amerine. “Adding a couple of new guys and having another year of experience playing in this system both certainly help, but mainly these guys are just out there for each other, playing hard.”
Junior running back Jack Felgar exemplifies that mentality. Despite running for seven touchdowns on the night, he answered a question about his own performance by pointing to that of a teammate, senior running back Finn Roou. “He made a lot of big tackles, had a lot of big carries for us,” he said.
Modesty aside, Felgar was the star of the show. His prowess running the ball helped Mason reach the endzone on their first three drives. Manassas Park would respond during their offensive possessions, but a goal line dive from Roou, a 21-yard scamper from Felgar and an eight yard run from senior quarterback Thomas Creed helped to keep the Cougars at arm’s length the entirety of the game.
When asked about the reasons for the team’s turnaround, Felgar mostly agreed with his coach. “There’s a lot more energy around us this year,” he said. “We have a lot of seniors who are great leaders, and we’re just more excited as a whole.”
Indeed, the team has appeared to benefit from its experience. The 38-player roster features nine seniors, many of whom play prominent roles on both offense and defense. The seniors’ experience showed in this game when the team didn’t let itself get complacent after jumping out to an early 21-0 lead. Even though the Cougars continued to score, the Mustangs held strong and never gave them a fighting chance.
The fact that the Cougars kept finding ways to score means Mason will have something to work on this week as they prepare to host the Brentsville District Tigers on Friday, Sept. 29. “Tonight, our defense had a lot of holes,” Amerine assessed. “We need to tighten that up because our schedule is just going to keep getting tougher.”
It appears that the team will embrace that opportunity to improve, though. “We’ve got a tough opponent coming up next week,” said Felgar after the game, a smile on his face. “We’re trying to go 5-0, so our goal is to keep getting better.”