We are champions. We are champions.” The cheers could be heard from across the RAC field at the end of the battle.
The Mason club football team (4-6) beat the VCU Rams (2-3) Saturday afternoon during the first ever National Club Football Association Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship in blowout fashion, 31-0.
The Patriots had faced the Rams earlier in the season and had won easily, and thus were eager for the rematch. Since it was their last game of the year, Mason took out all the stops.
“We conditioned hard and we put it all out there,” Mason senior Jason Hovanec said.
Mason senior Mike McNiff received two long touchdown passes early in the first half, setting the tone for the rest of the game. By halftime, the Patriots had reached their 31-0 lead.
The Patriots’ defense held strong in the second half, stopping the Rams from scoring during two close drives near the goal line. Hovanec secured the championship win with an amazing interception in the end zone during the last minutes of the game.
“You got to play four quarters to win a game,” VCU head coach Alfonso Bell said. “In a championship game, you got to come ready to play.”
As the clock ticked down to zero, the excitement grew on the sidelines. George Mason had won the first NCFA championship in history.
“It was a goal from day one, we knew it could happen,” McNiff said. “We made it happen.”
Mid-Atlantic Conference coordinator, Chris Girardi, was in attendance to present the trophy.
“You wanted it, you fought for it, you worked all season to get to it. It’s finally here,” said Mason head coach Matt Dyson to his players as they crowded around the trophy.
With the football season over, thoughts and plans will shift to preparing for the off-season, recruitment and spring ball. The team will lose 13 seniors, however, including starting quarterback Jack Langley, center D.J. Dumas, Hovanec and McNiff.
“We’ve raised the bar, definitely,” Dumas said. “This MAC championship is going to stay here at Mason and I don’t ever want them to give it up.”
The players who will be filling the voids left by the seniors are looking forward to their opportunities next season.
“I feel a repeat,” sophomore Jasper Willis said. “We are going to go into the offseason, work had, get our conditioning in, get our offense in and we’re going to get another one.”
Willis is not the only returning player feeling confident about the future.
“We’ll bring another trophy home,” freshman wide-receiver Derek Stein said.
2011 NCFA MID-ATLANTIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS!
The George Mason Football Team won the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) Championship with a 31 - 0 victory over the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams at Mason's RAC field on Saturday, December 3rd. The Patriots took home the National Club Football Association's (NCFA) title in the inaugural conference championship game.
Congratulations to the players and coaches and many thanks to all the family, friends, students and staff for their support of Mason Football. Well Done!!!
Club football will host VCU Saturday for championship game
Thanks to the Mason club football team's blowout victory over the Longwood Lancers back on Nov. 19, 48-0, the squad will move on to the Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship to face the VCU Rams at home once again this Saturday, Dec. 3.
The Patriots played the Rams earlier in the season, winning that contest easily, 41-12. Saturday's kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Robinson Field next to the RAC.
"Here is your chance to do something that has never been done here," said head coach Matt Dyson to his players. "It's going to come down to how bad you want it."
The Patriots (4-6) capped off a solid season with their win over Longwood. With the game decided in the first half as a result of numerous TDs, the Patriots only had to worry about keeping the Lancers at a standstill.
The game was important not only to beat the Lancers, but also to determine Mason's standing in the National Club Football Association's first MAC Championship.
If Longwood scored more than seven points, Mason would have traveled to play Coppin State in Baltimore, Md. If their total were six or less, they would stay home and face the VCU Rams.
"Longwood played tough," said senior QB Jack Langley after the game. "We had guys who really wanted this game and to shut them out so we could have the championship game here."
The Patriots almost had to travel after Langley threw an interception in the second quarter. Sprinting as hard as he could, Langley chased down and tackled the receiving player near the goal-line. The defense fought hard and kept the Longwood offense from scoring that drive.
Club football falls against Virginia University of Lynchburg
Republished from http://www.connect2mason.com/| Written By: C2M Contributor Jake McLernon
The Mason club football team lost to the Virginia University of Lynchburg Dragons on Nov. 12, being shutout 40-0. This loss comes off the heels of defeating rival team, Radford, last week.
The Patriots held a strong defense in the first half, keeping the Dragons at a standstill until in the second quarter when VUL scored their first touchdown. After that, the points just kept on going onto the scoreboard, one touchdown after another.
Mason attempted to bounce back in the fourth quarter by putting Jasper Willis in at quarterback during a desperate drive down the field, but to no avail.
“At the end, we just got tired is really what it came down to,” Mason head coach Matt Dyson said. “[There was] a lot of weight leaning on us throughout the game. There were little nicks and bangs that all added up.”
Mason Senior, Matt Ebner was badly injured and carried off on a stretcher early in the fourth quarter. The Patriots said a prayer for Ebner after the game with hopes of a speedy recovery.
“I thought we were in for a real battle that first quarter because they just evened us off,” Dragons head coach Willard Bailey said. “They were playing real inspiring football and we couldn’t do anything against them. There ain’t nothing you can do but go back to the drawing board and work harder.”
The team will go on to play their last game of the season this week at home against Longwood University. The Lancers are another National Club Football Association opponent.
This game will also play host to a Fraternity and Sorority life event called “Greeks on the Gridiron.” The Greeks will be coming together to support the club football team as a whole. For more information on the event, click here.
“We’ve got some up and we’ve got some downs this season and we’re going to finish on a high note,” said Dyson to his players after the game.
Club football wins second straight, defeating Williamson Tech 27-10
Republished from http://www.connect2mason.com/| Written By: C2M Contributor Jake McLernon
The George Mason club football team (2-2) traveled to Media, Pa. Saturday and dismantled the Williamson Tech Mechanics, 27-10, to win their second straight game. The two schools have faced off against each other on the gridiron 18 times, with each of the three previous matches being losses for the Patriots.
"It feels awesome, definitely feels awesome, [and] on their turf too," Mason wide receiver Mike McNiff said.
Though they had a slow start in the first half, allowing the Mechanics to score first, Mason's defense proved to be crucial throughout the match as both teams fought their way up and down the field. By the second half, they had halted the Mechanics' progress, allowing the Patriot's offense to pull ahead, finishing the game strong.
Mason had turned the tide of the game when defensive lineman, Chris Hamilton, sacked Williamson’s quarterback in their backfield for a safety. This narrowed the Patriots’ deficit to just two points by half-time, 10-8.
After eliminating many of the errors and mental mistakes made in the first half, the offense had a great showing as well.
During an intense drive during the third quarter, fullback Chris Regensburg made a wide run to the left, making his way into the end zone for a touchdown and spreading the lead to 21-10.
Larry Johnson later allowed the Patriots to end the game strong, making a hard run to the left for the last touchdown.
Both teams, by the end, had fought a long and hard battle.
“It was a game we let slip out of our hands and we shouldn’t have been in this hold we got into,” Williamson head coach Bill Haines said. “A couple calls either way and it’s a different ball game.”
The “Mason Men” reflected on the end of their three-game losing streak with the Mechanics.
“It feels good to finally get the monkey off the back, you know,” Regensburg said.
Mason will play at home this week against Stevens Tech (4-2) at RAC Field Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
“Stevens Tech is always a tough team for us, they are a good Pennsylvania team,” Patriots’ head coach Matt Dyson said. “They seem to be doing a lot more passing this year. They have a good quarterback, good receivers, so we’re going to have to prep for a lot of what they do in the air.”
Club football prevails against VCU for first win, 41-12
Republished from http://www.connect2mason.com/ | Written By: C2M Contributor Jake McLernon
The George Mason club football team (1-2-0) butted heads with the VCU Rams (0-3-0) in their first ever match-up Saturday afternoon at Robinson Field. The Patriots earned their first win of the season in blowout fashion with a final score of 41-12.
The two squads went up and down the field in the first half, hitting fast and hard. The Patriots charged into the endzone first with William Conner making a run to the left. Going for two with a pass to Derek Stein, Mason would lead the game 8-0.
After another successful drive, starting quarterback Jack Langley hurled a pass to Jasper Willis with a completed extra point from kicker Cory Hancock. 15-0. VCU wouldn't stand for that, however. Moving down the field, the Rams ended the half at 15-6 with a score of their own.
During the start of the second half, Langley was taken out momentarily due to injury, with Jasper Willis going in his place. Willis scrambled in the backfield, completing a "Hail Mary" pass to Conner, bringing the Patriots closer to the Rams' endzone.
With the ball at the one-yard line, Chris Regensburg ran the ball in for a touchdown, giving Mason the 21-6 lead.
After a recovered fumble from Jason Hovanec, the Patriots were once again brought into Rams' territory. With a run through the middle, Larry Johnson charged into VCU's endzone. Hancock's kick then raised the score to 28-6.
At the start of the fourth quarter, a long pass by the Rams' quarterback brought them to 28-12. However, at their kickoff, the Patriots' Willis ran the ball in for another Mason touchdown. Another extra point would bring the score to an impressive 35-12.
An interception caught by the Patriots' TJ Singh lead to a long pass to Mike McNiff that would end the game in a blowout.
In a peaceful gesture after the game, the two teams came together for a prayer, wishing each other well while declaring that their rivalry had just begun.
"I felt comfortable coming in, I thought we could compete with the guys," said VCU head coach Alfonso Bell after the game. "We have good athletes, but we just have to put it all together, it's going to take time. I don't expect to make these mistakes next year."
After consecutive home games, the Patriots will be on the road next weekend, playing at Williams Tech.
"They generally are a team that is very well rounded across the board, both offense and defense," Mason head coach Matt Dyson said. "Usually there is not a real stellar, outstanding player; most of their players are just pretty solid players. They're coached really well, so, we've got to be on our best."
Mason Football Kicks Off Home Opener Against Valley Forge
George Mason Football will host is first home game of the 2011 season on Saturday, September 24, at 3pm at the RAC Field on George Mason Campus.
The football club will be looking to notch its first win of the season after dropping the first game of the season on a game-ending pass play in the end zone in a 35-27 loss to Coppin State during the season opener in Baltimore, MD on September 10.
The football club team is in its fourth season under the leadership of Head Coach, Matt Dyson and poised to have a very competitive campaign this season. The team concluded the 2010 season with consecutive wins and is looking to build on that success by earning a victory against Seaboard conference rival Valley Forge Military Academy.
Valley Forge comes to town looking for their first win of the 2011 season as well so the stage is set for strong competitive contest.
"Our guys have worked hard since the spring and we are excited to play before our home crowd," said Dyson. "Our veteran players have dedicated a lot of time and energy to this program and we are looking to return to our winning ways."
The George Mason Football team will be competing in both the Seaboard Conference and the National Club Football Association (NCFA) this year. This sets the stage for some very competitive rivalries throughout the year as the team will host Virginia Commonwealth and Longwood University later this year.
Mason Football wraps up the 2010 Season with Awards and Recognition
The George Mason football team wrapped up the 2010 campaign with a team banquet and awards ceremony last month. Coaches, players, family and friends gathered at George's restaurant in the Johnson Center to closeout what had been a very encouraging season.
The team banquet offered an opportunity to recognize players and parents who have given so much to support the team this year. Head coach Matt Dyson conducted a program that featured a season highlight video, numerous player awards as well as special recognition of graduating seniors.
"I can't think of a more fitting way to conclude what has been a year full of progress and positive energy for the team," said Dyson. "It is a bit of a bittersweet event in that we get to celebrate some hard work and outstanding effort, yet we have to say goodbye to some very special young men, who we will miss very dearly."
Coach Dyson and his staff recognized several players in all phases of the game. The staff also gave out some prestigious character awards that were meant to embody the spirit of what it means to be a part of the Patriot gridiron team.
Winner of the "Overlord Award", which is an actual patriot green and yellow sledgehammer, was junior wide receiver, Sean Carmichael. When asked what he thought of the award designating him as that player maintains the highest level of leadership, on and off the field, Carmichael replied: "This is by far the coolest thing I have ever won."
Some of the players recognized were: Most Valuable Player, senior running back Kevin Kem; Mason Man of the Year, junior lineman, DJ Dumas; Most Outstanding Defensive Player, junior linebacker, Jason Hovanec; and Most Outstanding Offensive Player, junior quarterback, Jack Langley. There were several other awards given out as well. For a complete list of awardees see the team website: 2010 Awards
A highlight of the evening was the recognition of the graduating seniors. "These men have proven they have the meld to be called 'Mason Men' both on and off the field," said Assistant Coach, Bob Smith. "To a man they have been a pleasure to coach and I speak for the entire staff when I say, they will be truly missed."
Coach Dyson gave a special recognition to four-year player and graduating senior, John Moorhead. Moorhead, a punter/kicker, is the only player to hold that distinction this year.
"John, has been a wonderful player to coach, " said Dyson. "I have seen him grow and mature in to a fine young man and I am confident he will be successful at whatever he chooses to pursue after graduation."
Additionally, the Seaboard Conference recognized some members of the Patriot gridiron squad in late December. All-Conference honors signify recognition by both Mason coaches as well as those of the opposing conference teams. The following players received 1st team honors: Kevin Kem-RB, Jasper Willis-WR, Alex Maravich-S, Paul LaRock-OLB, Jason Hovanec-ILB, and Derek Ater-DE. Additionally, Jason Hovanec was named Defensive Player of the Year and Jasper Willis 1st team All-Purpose Player. Several members of the team made 2nd team conference honors as well and you can see a complete list on the teams website.
Mason Football Wraps up the Season with Consecutive Wins
The George Mason Club Football team concluded the 2010 campaign with consecutive home field wins over Walter Reed Military Academy and Radford University.
The victories marked the end of a very trying year for the Patriots’ gridiron squad, which saw some tough losses early on. However, with determination and spirit the team was able to string together victories, showing a marked improvement on last year’s season.
"Although we have been on the tough end of some games, I am very proud of our team and we continuously improved as the season progressed,” said Head Coach, Matt Dyson.
Led by seniors, John Morehead, Kevin Kem, Paul LaRock, Derek Ater, and Brian Eaddy, the Patriots were able to persevere through injuries and setbacks. Leaving behind their rocky start, the team made a very strong showing in each of its later home games, finishing the year with a 2-1 mark at home. The only home defeat came on a hard-fought six-point loss to Williamson Technical College.
The defense was led by linebackers Paul LaRock, Jason Hovanec, Jake Kimball and Chris Mickle, who filled in for an injured Hilliard McMorris in the inside; while, Alex Maravich and Sean Lusk held the edges and supported in the secondary. The defensive line was anchored by strong play from Brian Eaddy, D.J. Dumas, and Alex Stanly. First year players Dominic Strothers, Jared Harris and William Connor also showed great promise.
On the offensive side of the ball, signal caller Jack Langley, found continued support from seasoned veteran Sean Carmichael. However, the addition of several key players to the receiving corps gave Langley some key targets. To note, Michael McNiff and Brandon Carmichael made some key plays, along with the versatile skills of freshman, Jasper Willis. Willis was able to contribute to all phases of the game including special teams as a return specialist.
The ground game was anchored by an offensive line that saw a majority of its players playing on both sides of the ball. Tackle Alex Yoo led the way for Patriots leading rusher, senior running back, Kevin Kem. First year runners, William Connor and Grant LaRock helped solidify the ground attack.
Offensive Coordinator, Bob Smith, was very encouraged but acknowledged that the team in still in the growing phase. “We are young, strong and committed to football,” said Smith. “We are looking for players with a desire to play hard and compete to the final whistle.”
The team will conclude the season with a team banquet early in December and will begin their off-season training early January 2011. Current or future George Mason students who are interested in joining or supporting George Mason Club Football should go to www.gmufootball.gmu.edu to contact the coaching staff.
Are You a Mason Man? – George Mason Club Football is ready for you!!!
George Mason Football Builds Toward the Future
The George Mason University Club Football team took key steps in building its program at the GMU campus this spring, when coaching staff and players came together to conduct several “Open House” events to expose potential recruits to the benefits unique to Mason football.
GMU team hosted over 30 potential recruits who were given a tour of the GMU campus and the athletic facilities, featuring special presentations by Head Coach, Matt Dyson and other staff members.
A major highlight this year came with the addition of several new key players including wide receiver Michael McNiff, offensive lineman Alex Yoo, linebacker Robert Deck and defensive back Dominick Stothers. The coaching staff also welcomed new members, Tim Spicer (Linebacker) and Amara Bunyavong (Success/Academic coach), who are both very excited and confident in their abilities to help build a successful football program.
Spring football also included some time on the field, honing the gridiron skills. Key veteran players setting the standard, led the Mason squad on the field. In particular, the offense showed some great strides as quarterback Jack Langley, along with receivers Sean Carmichael and Matt Bailey, worked hard to fine-tune their on-field timing. The Defensive side was not to be outdone, with a great effort by returning linebackers Derek Ater, Chris Moore and Paul LaRock. The specialists were also hard at work, with John Moorhead and Sean Lusk not only fine tuning the kicking game but participating in all phases of practice.
Ultimately, it was a spring session that built upon the foundation of Mason Club Football. The “Mason Men” will continue to train and strive for excellence in preparation for their fall season. The team also hopes to have a more prominent presence as an active member in the greater Fairfax community.
Recruitment is ongoing and the Mason staff welcomes prospective players/footballers who have what it takes to be “Mason Men!”. If you have the winning attitude of a “Mason Man”, join us now!
George Mason Football is looking forward to the upcoming season and we thank our sponsors and the GMU community for their continued support. Come out and enjoy Patriot football!