By Alex Moore
The Marshall Statesmen handed the George Mason Mustangs a tough 49-8 road loss last Friday in a clash between two Falls Church area high school football teams.
With the defeat, the George Mason fell to 5-2 on the season. Marshall improved its record to 6-1.
The shorthanded Mustangs struggled all around in this romp.
Heading into the game, George Mason was missing two key players, running back and linebacker Jack Felgar and defensive back Enzo Paradiso, and shortly after kickoff it lost another, running back and defensive back West Hagler.
Despite the injuries, the blowout loss was still a surprise for a team that started the season 5-0 and conceded its only defeat in a game that was decided by a single point.
On Friday, the Mustangs didn’t look like themselves.
On defense, George Mason couldn’t contain Marshall’s option plays and surrendered 29 points before halftime. On his own, Statesmen quarterback Andrew Margiotta managed to rush for three touchdowns in the first two quarters.
On offense, the Mustangs couldn’t find any rhythm with the run game they’ve relied on all season, mustering only 139 yards on 48 carries.
Power running back Finn Roou seemed to miss the balance his speedy counterpart Felgar brings to the offense, and averaged an uncharacteristically low 2.7 yards per carry.
Quarterback Thomas Creed scored the team’s only touchdown on a 1-yard rush, and Roou added the rest of his team’s points on a two-point conversion.
After halftime, the game was decided. Marshall would score another 20 points and shut out the Mustangs the rest of the way.
Following the game, Mustangs head coach Adam Amerine knew where his team needed to improve.
“I think we are in good shape mentally,” he said. “Physically is where we need to get better.”
Although he acknowledged that injuries influenced his team’s performance, he also noted that “everyone has injuries at this time of year” and “reserves must step up and carry the load for a few weeks.” He certainly didn’t blame the loss on injuries, saying that Marshall deserved credit for “playing an outstanding game.”
Moving forward, Amerine anticipates that his team will rebound.
“We knew going into the season the back half of the schedule would be tough,” he said. “We just need to bear down and as coaches get our players to play on the same level as those teams.”
The Mustangs now gear up for a daunting final stretch of the season, all of which are against Bull Run district rivals.
Unfortunately for Mason their two toughest and most important games of the season won’t be on home turf.
They’ll travel to play a 7-0 Central High School on Oct. 20 before making the trip to Berryville to face a 7-1 Clarke County High School on Oct. 27.