With his familiar last name and by wearing a Manassas Park uniform, Cougars senior quarterback Jay Terrell might feel the need to try to make every play a game-breaker, like his cousin, All-Met Zach Terrell, seemed to do in leading the team the three previous seasons.
But with Manassas Park needing to drive almost the length of the field to pull out a 21-14 home win last night over George Mason in a matchup of teams unbeaten in the Virginia A Bull Run District, Jay Terrell was more than happy to make gains in bite-size chunks.
So what if Zach, home for a visit from Liberty University, was on hand to watch him play for the first time this season.
Terrell carried 11 times on a 16-play, 97-yard drive capped by his third short touchdown run of the night, with 3 minutes 37 seconds left, to carry the Cougars (9-0, 4-0) to their 23rd straight victory, 26th straight home win and 33rd straight regular season triumph.
"I wasn't worried about breaking a long one," said Terrell, who carried 32 times for 142 yards but also threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. "I was just worried about getting first down, first down and eat some clock up. . . . We tried to give to them just what they gave to us -- just pound it right down their throats."
That's indeed how George Mason (6-3, 3-1), with its double-wing offense, hung in the game, by allowing the more explosive Cougars just two snaps the first 13:20 of the second half, and only two possessions -- not counting a late kneel-down -- in those last two quarters.
The Mustangs tied the score at 14 on a five-yard run by senior running back Travis Greene midway through the third period, and a Greene interception two plays later gave his team the ball at the Manassas Park 30.
George Mason converted twice on fourth down to sustain the possession, but on fourth and goal from the 3, the Mustangs decided against a field goal attempt and Terrell batted down a pass in the end zone.
"Seven points was going to win the football game," George Mason Coach Tom Horn said. "You can say that is prophetic or stupid, depending on how you look at what they did after they got the football back. . . . It would have been really difficult to swallow losing 21-17 when we had a chance to score a touchdown."