Patriots Dominate Clarkson 47-3

by Aaron Raffle

The #7 ranked George Mason Patriots celebrated the start of their 2023 season and 30 seasons of Mason Football with a convincing win over Clarkson University on Saturday afternoon in Scranton, PA. This triumph wasn't just about starting the season with a bang; it was a masterful football display that showcased their readiness to dominate the gridiron. The Patriots, a blend of seasoned All-American veterans and dynamic newcomers, left no doubt about their football prowess on that memorable afternoon. 

A Dominant Defensive Showcase 

From the very first kickoff, the Patriots' defense established a relentless tempo, setting the stage for an unforgettable evening. Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Aaron Raffle orchestrated a flawless defensive performance. The defensive line, featuring standout additions, proved an impenetrable barrier. Their unyielding pressure had Clarkson's offense constantly on the back foot. 

In the secondary, safety Nathaniel Stephenson patrolled with authority, delivering air-tight coverage and a game-altering play with his fumble recovery for a touchdown. Linebackers Seth Constable and freshman sensation Justin Jones, who celebrated his first sack in this game, asserted their dominance. 

Explosive Offensive Brilliance 

While the defense set the early tone, the Patriots' offense sizzled. Offensive Coordinator Orvin Weatherly orchestrated his high powered offense with Quarterback Cole Jasmin at the helm. Jasmin's pinpoint passes racked up over 300 yards through the air and an impressive six touchdowns, equalling an NCFA record. 

Wide receivers James Jim and Theo Assan were Jasmin's primary targets. They combined for an astonishing five touchdowns and nearly 300 yards receiving, showcasing their blazing speed and surgical route-running. 

In the backfield, running back Alex Walker made an inspiring return from injury, while Elijah Cyler contributed significantly, collectively amassing over 100 rushing yards in the season opener. 

Excellence in Special Teams 

Special Teams Coordinator Ali Asaad's expertise shone in the Patriots' special teams performance. Kicker Joseph Kilgallen displayed unwavering precision, converting 5 of 6 PAT attempts and consistently pinning Clarkson deep in their territory. Kilgallen's contributions in the kicking game and his role in controlling field position were invaluable. 

Return specialist Mekhi Fuller emerged as a game-changer, regularly delivering electrifying returns that consistently granted the Patriots advantageous field position. 

Looking Forward to Coppin State and the Return of Jacob Goode 

As the Patriots prepare for their next challenge against Coppin State University on Saturday, September 30th, there's added anticipation in the air. This game signifies the eagerly awaited return of versatile player OL/DT Jacob Goode. Goode's comeback, following a season-ending injury suffered in a preseason scrimmage in 2022, promises to elevate both the offensive and defensive lines to new heights. 

Goode's presence on the offensive line will be vital in safeguarding quarterback Cole Jasmin and creating running lanes for Elijah Cyler, who, alongside Alex Walker, surpassed 100 rushing yards in the season opener. 

Welcoming New Talent 

As the Patriots embark on their quest for the 2023 title, they remain open to new talent joining their ranks. The blend of experienced veterans and promising newcomers has been a recipe for success. The team invites aspiring athletes to seize the opportunity and become part of this remarkable journey. 

The game against Coppin State isn't just another contest; it's a continuation of the Patriots' pursuit of greatness. With Jacob Goode's return, the dynamic backfield duo of Walker and Cyler, and the addition of formidable talents, the Patriots are poised for an extraordinary season. All eyes are on George Mason University, and they are prepared to showcase their football prowess once again.