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Sports


After losing badly, will Clarke be down?

Error prone Eagles due in Strasburg Friday after humbling homecoming loss to Central
Posted 2017-10-19 By Larry Beazley

    After knocking off previously unbeaten George Mason on the road a week ago, Strasburg returns home Friday hoping to achieve something that has escaped the Rams thus far this season: a win at home.

    The Rams will host Clarke County, a team that has spent much of the week salving wounds from a 40-0 beating at the hands of Central.

    Thanks to the dreaded Falcons, Strasburg could be catching the Eagles at a good time.

    Though the Rams have won four games on the road this season, it has lost twice at home.

    The Rams pulled out a win in the last two minutes at George Mason a week ago.

    Coach Mark Roller will again depend on the running of senior Austin Miller and the passing of sophomores quarterbacks Chase Hart or Dylan Hamrick and the solid defense that has played well for the Rams all season.

    The Eagles have made deep runs in the playoffs for the past few years, playing in the championship game two years ago, and desire a repeat. With the loss to Central, Clarke needs a big win against the Rams.

    Clarke County is battling for the Bull Run District title and a high seed for the upcoming playoffs.

    Clarke’s all-state lineman Bryan Wallace is able to control the game alone, if not double teamed by the opponent.    

    With five senior linemen blocking for sophomore running back Peyton Rutherford and sophomore quarterback Colby Childs the Eagles can expect to move the ball, especially later in the game.

    After Friday’s game, the Eagles have only two remaining regular season games. They travel to Madison County Oct. 20 and are at home Oct. 27 against George Mason.

    The Rams have suffered some tough loses this season but have faced serious foes in Luray and George Mason. Now they go up against a tough Eagles squad.  Strasburg has two winnable games left, Nelson County and Madison County, before a season-ending clash against arch rival Central.

    Strasburg’s Austin Miller scored twice Friday night at Falls Church to lead the Rams to a 22-21 win over previously unbeaten George Mason.

    Miller crossed the goal line with less than two minutes remaining in the final period to pull the Rams to within a single point. Strasburg quarterback Chase Hart connected with Grant Scott for a two-point conversion to give the Rams the victory.

    Miller, the Rams leading rusher all season, put Strasburg in the lead with a two-yard burst over the goal line in the first period. Strasburg recovered a fumble in the end zone for an 8-0 lead.

    George Mason scored in the second quarter to pull within one, 8-7.

    Mason took the lead, 14-8 in the third period, but the Rams came back on Hart’s arm soon thereafter. Hart found Scott on a 17-yard passing play to tie it at 14 going into the final period.

    The Mustangs scored early in the final quarter to take a 21-14 lead, but the Rams were not to be denied.

    After Miller had scored and the Rams had taken a one-point lead, Strasburg’s defense took charge in the closing minutes. Scott broke through the Mason line with the Mustangs facing a fourth down and nine yard situation and sacked the quarterback to end the threat. Strasburg took over and ran out the clock.

    Though Strasburg has lost both games it has played at Rams Stadium this season, they are unbeaten on the road. The win over Mason was Strasburg’s most impressive of the season.