Club football brings home championship trophy with win over VCU [VIDEO]

The Mason club football exploded for a 31-0 victory over VCU Saturday to capture the Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship. (Jake McLernon).

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 hard, 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.

Click here to learn more about the club football team.

(Photo by Dakota Cunningham)

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