The George Mason High School football team fell behind early and couldn’t catch up in their opening round playoff game against the Robert E. Lee High School Fighting Leemen on Nov. 10, ending their season with a tough, 49-21 loss in Staunton.
With the loss, Mason’s record fell to 6-5, and the team was eliminated in the first round of the 2A Region playoffs. Lee improved to 10-1 and will advance to the postseason’s second round.
The tide turned against the Mustangs quickly in this high school football game, as the Leemen marched down the length of the field on their first drive to take a 7-0 lead. Then, on Mason’s first drive, the Leemen made a big stop on fourth down to force a turnover at midfield. In the following series Lee marched down the field again and added to their lead by bringing the score to 14-0.
The Leemen would find the end zone three more times in the second quarter, putting the game well out of reach.
Mason wouldn’t score until the beginning of the third quarter, when junior running back Jack Felgar found the end zone on a one-yard rush. Senior running back Finn Roou would later add two rushing touchdowns of his own in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Mustangs head coach Adam Amerine knew that falling behind early cost his team the game.
“Our plan was to control the clock and keep their talented offense off the field,” he admitted, noting that playing catchup is always a “difficult task” for teams that focus on short-yardage rushing attacks, as Mason does.
Despite the loss, Amerine believed that the postseason experience would be good for the team’s younger players. “They understand now what it takes to compete with teams like Lee, Clarke, or Central,” he commented, listing off the toughest opponents Mason faced this season. “Taking that next step takes commitment to the weight room during the offseason and increasing our numbers for depth. Hopefully those underclassmen recognize that.”
Nonetheless, Mason took a big step this season.
In addition to making the playoffs, the team improved its record by four wins from last year. It also had two players earn first-team all-district recognition (senior Peter Scardino, as a kicker and Roou, as a linebacker) and four players earn second-team recognition (senior Mitch McKeon, as an offensive lineman; Roou, as a running back; sophomore Michael Turner, as a tight end; and senior Thomas Creed, as an offensive all-purpose player).