Georgetown Prep 41,

St. Stephen's/St. Agnes 0

Georgetown Prep All-Met running back Marcus Mason started with a simple goal yesterday -- to play for the first time since Oct. 6. He finished with Maryland's gaudiest record.

Mason, who had missed No. 2 Georgetown Prep's last two games with a sprained knee, set the Maryland career rushing record by carrying 22 times for 234 yards and five touchdowns in Georgetown Prep's 41-0 victory over St. Stephen's/St. Agnes.

The senior has 5,527 yards in his career, better than the mark of 5,440 set last season by Patuxent's Terry Caulley, the All-Met offensive player of the year. Mason also claimed the state career records for points (533) and touchdowns (86) yesterday before Georgetown Prep Coach Dan Paro removed him early in the third quarter, as he often has in Mason's career.

"It feels really good," Mason said. "I cared more about playing, wondering how my knee was going to feel. . . . I don't consider myself the best back in Maryland. I never thought that my career would turn out so great."

Georgetown Prep (8-0, 4-0 Interstate Athletic Conference) has won 28 consecutive games and can clinch its third consecutive IAC title with a win over Bullis next week. St. Stephen's/St. Agnes fell to 1-7, 0-4.

Mason set the rushing record in the second quarter on a 40-yard "counter trey" play. He capped the drive with his third touchdown -- a five-yard run.

After setting the rushing record, Mason walked to the Little Hoyas' sideline to a few cheers and backslaps from his teammates. The game ball was tucked away for a celebration to take place later at Georgetown Prep.

"As a freshman, we knew he was going to do some special things," St. Stephen's/St. Agnes Coach Gary Schnell said. "He's gotten so much stronger over the years. He's got such great vision, and it takes so many guys to tackle him."

This season, Mason has averaged nine yards per carry, rushing for 1,363 yards on 152 carries in six games.

"I told the team we won't understand what has happened for a while to come," Paro said.

After the game, Mason repeatedly thanked his teammates, including the offensive linemen and the defense, which has allowed 54 points this season with three shutouts.

"I couldn't have done what I have without my teammates," Mason said. "They have contributed so much to this record. I just don't know how to thank them."

The offensive line seems to appreciate Mason just as much.

"It's a pleasure blocking for him and watching him run once he passes you," said tackle James Rupp, who has known Mason since seventh grade. "I take so much pride in what he has been able to achieve."

Georgetown Prep senior Marcus Mason rushes for 234 yards, giving him a record 5,527 yards for his career. "I don't consider myself the best back in Maryland. I never thought that my career would turn out so great," said Mason, an All-Met.