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Rams get welcomed respite

Posted 2018-09-13 By Larry Beazley

    Its schedule may be the best thing going for Strasburg High School’s football program this week.

    The Rams have the week off, time they will no doubt spend thinking about how they let a close game against Luray a week ago explode into a lop-sided loss.

    While they do that, they will prepare for a Sept. 14 game at home against Rappahannock County, a high school that should have given more thought to its decision a few years ago to reinstate competitive football.

    Rappahannock is unlikely to win a game this season, at least not against a Bull Run District opponent.

    So, for the next two weeks, Strasburg’s players can heal a bit and improve their record to 2-1 before getting down to the business of competing against more formidable foes late this month.

    What happened a week ago at Luray was a series of events the Rams would just as soon forget.

    Trailing 14-7 with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first half, a botched punt gave Luray a touchdown and a 21-7 lead at the break.

    Strasburg never recovered. Luray scored in each of the second half quarters to win it going away, 35-7.

    Luray had beaten Madison County, also of the Bull Run District, a week earlier, 30-28.

    Neither Strasburg nor Luray had been able to score in the first period, but the Bulldogs’ talented sophomore running back Austin Holloway ran 23 yards for the games first score early in the second quarter.

    Less than five minutes later, Rams’ junior quarterback Chase Hart connected with junior wide receiver Stephen Klossterman for a 75-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7.

    On the ensuing kickoff, however, Holloway again put the Bulldogs in front with a 78 yards return for a touchdown. The score was tied for all of 20 seconds.

    The kickoff return and Bulldogs’ Hayden Campbell turning the Strasburg punt into a touchdown on the last play of the half, appeared to take the life out of the Rams.

    Strasburg didn’t threaten in the second half.  Hart’s 33 yards turned out to be the best of the Rams’ anemic ground game. Junior Jalen Bray whose rushing performance a week earlier highlighted the Rams’ season opening victory over Stonewall Jackson was held to just six yards on seven carries.

    Hart completed18 of 39 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown.  His leading receiver was Kloosterman with seven catches for 144 yards and a score.  Gregory Mason caught four, Trevor Sager and Bradley Ferrell had three and two catches respectively, all gaining less than 30 yards.

    The encounter with Rappahannock will almost certainly improve Strasburg’s record.

    The Panthers lost their season opener to Page County, 65-0 and then fell to West Point High, 29-0. They play a Northern Virginia team of home-schooled students Friday.

    Rappahannock’s roster lists just 24 players, only four of them seniors.

    Strasburg likely will work on its running game before traveling to Warren County High on Sept. 21.