In a game highlighted by The Washington Post as one of five games to watch this weekend, the George Mason Mustangs defeated the Clarke County Eagles 27-6 Saturday for a Homecoming victory.
Led by two quality running backs and a 6 foot six quarterback, Clarke County posed a difficult task for the Mustangs. However, the Mustangs, now 6-2, 3-0 in the district, were up to the challenge as they shut down the Eagles’ offense.
The first quarter featured strong running from Mason junior running back Eric Powell. Powell had 25 yards in the first quarter, scoring from 4 yards out with 5 minutes left to give the Mustangs the early lead. Senior quarterback, kicker, and safety Matt Bond then converted the extra point making the score 7-0. A Bond punt to the Clarke 1-yard line set up the scoring drive.
With a minute left in the half on third and 1 from the Clarke 11-yard line, Bond scampered into the end zone for the Mustangs’ second score of the game. He then finished the scoring drive by kicking the extra point bringing the score to 14-0. However, Bond’s prowess didn’t end there as he brought an end to the half by intercepting a pass from Clarke’s Damien Hubbard.
Clarke County finally responded, scoring its first touchdown towards the end of the third quarter on a one-yard run. Yet Clarke was unable to convert the point after, leaving the score at 14-6 Mustangs.
The Mustangs responded to the Clarke touchdown with a Bond run from seven yards out, only to have it called back due to holding. Then on fourth and 16 from Clarke’s 18-yard line Bond connected, this time for good, with senior split end Ben Griffin for a touchdown. The touchdown, with nine minutes left in the game, was courtesy of strong blocking by the offensive line as well as by sophomore running back Matt Williams.
Set up on a pass interference call, junior Dominic Clark added the last of the Mustangs points on a 1-yard run. The extra point was no good, bringing the score to 27-6 Mason. On the very next play Bond put the finishing touches to his stellar game by intercepting another pass. Mason then ran the clock out on three consecutive rushes to win the game.
Bond was 2 for 3 passing with 65 yards. Both passes were caught by Griffin who gained 82 yards on the ground. Clark, who was held to a light day due to an injury sustained last week, gained 71 yards. Powell and Williams, who took over most of the running duties this week, had 54 and 27 yards respectively. Sophomore Reggie Whittaker also had 6 yards on two carries.
Much of the Mustang victory should be attributed to the aggressiveness of their defensive play. Mason consistently shut down two powerful running backs, and pressured the quarterback all day long.
Next week the Mustangs travel to Manasass Park to play the Cougars on their Homecoming. The game will be Friday at 7:30.