Comets Open Season with Win Over Fairfield

Cody Allgor | Staff Writer

Sophomore quarterback Mason Mattingly drops back to pass behind the Comets’ offensive line.

No fans, no problem.

On August 28th, the Mason Comets faced off against the Fairfield Indians for their first game of a pandemic shortened 2020 Greater Miami Conference season.

Trailing by a baseball-like score of 5-3 midway through the third quarter, the Comets went on a 21-0 run to knock off the Indians 24-12 led by the lethal attack of senior running back Nolan McCormick and junior quarterback Michael Molnar.

The Comets started the game with sophomore quarterback Mason Mattingly, going two drives that ended in punts, before switching to junior Molnar in the second quarter.

Molnar went on to lead the Comets the rest of the way, with several athletic running plays and well placed passes to a variety of receivers.

Mason head coach Brian Castner said the decision to put in Molnar was an attempt to see if he could help jumpstart the Comets’ sluggish offense.

“We went with another hand, maybe a hot hand,” Castner said. “We wanted to see what Michael could do because both drives back to back we didn’t really make a lot of hay, so we went to another guy.”

After an uneventful first half, with both teams putting up a field goal, the Indians sacked Molnar in the endzone to take a 5-3 lead in the third quarter.

The Comets answered with McCormick breaking free for a 75-yard rushing touchdown to give the Comets a 10-5 lead. After an interception by senior defensive back Brady Comello, McCormick threw a touchdown on a trick play to wideout Michael Roux to extend the lead.

The Comets extended their lead on a McCormick touchdown and Fairfield punched in a late touchdown in the game’s final seconds.

McCormick felt like the key to the game was how the Mason offensive line regrouped after struggling early to help create big holes for the Comets’ ground game.

“Our O-line blocked great tonight,” McCormick said. “They opened up a hole for me and I hit it and finally got a big run out of it. We just kept adding on at the end. So that was huge for me and it was huge for the team to start off 1-0 this year.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans were limited to the family of the players, leaving a usually packed Atrium Stadium quite empty. Castner said that he told his team to control what they can, and not pay attention to the things outside of football.

“Yes, we missed fans,” Castner said. “Players miss them because they deserve that, they’ve earned that atmosphere. But I’ve told the players for three weeks now ‘no distractions.’ We worry about what happens on the field and that’s all we can control. And I feel that they’ve done that; they stepped up and they grew tonight.”

The Comets had been training all summer waiting for their moment to take the field and face an opponent. McCormick said that it was a tremendous feeling to get back out on the field and compete.

“It was awesome just getting back out here tonight and playing with everybody we trained all summer with,” McCormick said. “It was great to finally play another team too. It took us a half but we finally got doing what we needed to do. So, it was a great feeling just getting back to it.”

Check out the boxscore here