Rushing attack sparks Mustangs past Rams

STRASBURG — Strasburg struggled to keep any momentum on Thursday night.

George Mason used a solid rushing attack to pull out a 22-0 Bull Run District victory over the Rams. The game was moved from Friday to Thursday due to the impending weather.

“It was a rough night,” Strasburg coach Mark Roller said. “We’d move the ball at times, and then we’d stick ourselves there. They played well. They played scrappy, and their linebackers fly to the football and they get off blocks. So, you’ve got to give some credit to them.”

George Mason running back D’Montae Noble ran for 161 yards on 25 carries. The Mustangs ran out of the single wing, but also used some double wing in the second half, and effectively used running back Dustin Green. The junior had 86 yards on 12 carries, all in the second half.

“I think D’Montae would tell you to that Dustin Green, Hunter Sulc and Finn Roou help him just as much as he helps them,” George Mason coach Tony Green said. “That’s what we’re becoming. We’re becoming kind of a four-headed monster back there and you saw that in the second half. We went to the double wing in the second half, giving the ball to (Dustin Green). D’Montae’s a special player, but D’Montae would tell you he’s a team player, and he’ll do whatever it takes for the team to win.”

The Mustangs (3-2, 2-0 Bull Run) scored on their second drive of the game. They went 53 yards in just four plays.

Noble did most of the work on the drive. He ran for 28 yards on the first play. After Strasburg’s Tyler Brill sacked George Mason quarterback Thomas Creed for a four-yard loss, Noble ran for 17 yards. He capped the drive off with a 12-yard touchdown run to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead with 2:41 left in the first quarter.

Strasburg’s defense stepped up on George Mason’s next two drives. The Mustangs used 13 plays to move the ball to the Strasburg 30, but on fourth-and-8 the Rams held them to just three yards and took over on downs.

George Mason put together another nice drive to end the first half, but ran out of time. With 14 seconds left and no timeouts, the Mustangs elected to run the ball on first-and-goal from the Strasburg 8. The Rams stopped noble at the 2-yard line to end the half.

On Strasburg’s first possession of the second half, quarterback Adam Miller was intercepted by Sulc, who returned it 38 yards for the touchdown and a 15-0 lead with 8:07 left in the third quarter.

“We had some things working. Adam didn’t have a whole lot of time back there,” Roller said. “They just played well. They played better than we did.”

The Rams (3-2, 0-1 Bull Run) picked up a little momentum in the fourth quarter after an interception by Austin Schlentner. The Strasburg senior ran the ball back to the George Mason 22. However on the next play, Strasburg’s Justin Carr fumbled and it was recovered by Noble at the George Mason 35 with 6:13 left to play in the game.

The Mustangs used up more than five minutes and extended the lead to 22-0 with a one-yard touchdown run by Dustin Green with 1:12 left in the game.

“With a back like Noble you’re going to get some yards, and then of course they throw Green in there and run him some,” Roller said. “Those are two pretty good backs. It’s just a matter of us doing a better job tackling.”

Offensively, Carr led the way for Strasburg with 102 yards on 17 carries.

Tony Green said it was a big win for his team.

“I think it’s going to help us throughout the year,” he said. “Strasburg’s going to win more games. So, beating Strasburg is always a feather in your hat. They’re a traditional power in the state of Virginia. So, coming up here and getting a win is hard – it’s hard.”

Strasburg had three players leave the team during the last week, but Roller said he didn’t think that played a factor in the Rams’ struggles.

The Rams will see the single wing again next week as they play at Clarke County.

“It’s like tonight, we had people in the right places. We just didn’t make tackles,” Roller said. “In the game of football that’s it. You can have the best game plan, but if they can’t tackle or execute defensively or offensively, you’re going to have a hard time winning. And that was kind of the case tonight.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

Mustangs 22, Rams 0
George Mason 7 0 8 7–22
Strasburg 0 0 0 0 — 0
First quarter
GM: Noble 12 run (Morse kick), 2:41
Third quarter
GM: Sulc 38 interception return (Mineo pass from Creed), 8:07
Fourth quarter
GM: Green 1 run (Morse kick), 1:12
First downs 17 9
Rushes-yards 50-305 29-124
Passing yards 8 29
Passing 1-8-0-1 6-13-0-2
Penalties-yards 2-15 3-30
Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-1
Punts-Avg. 2-40.0 4-36.3
RUSHING: George Mason Noble 25-161, Green 12-86, Creed 1-(minus 4), Roou 5-22, Mineo 1-13, Sulc 6-27. Strasburg Carr 17-102, Ad. Miller 7-1, Pritchett 4-14, Howard 1-7.
PASSING: George Mason Creed 1-7-8-0-1, Noble 0-1-0-0-0. Strasburg Ad. Miller 6-12-29-0-1, Pritchett 0-1-0-0-1.
RECEIVING: George Mason Green 1-8, Strasburg Schlentner 4-17, Au. Miller 1-10, Howard 1-2.