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Rams win on White's late TD

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Rakwon White


By Tommy Keeler Jr. - tkeeler@nvdaily.com

BERRYVILLE -- Strasburg coach Mark Roller has plenty of trust in his players. So, when his offensive line told him what play they wanted to run on third-and-3 with the game on the line, he didn't hesitate.

Roller and the Rams ran the power run, and 16 yards later Strasburg had a 20-13 Bull Run District victory over Clarke County on Friday night.

"I love that about them," Roller said of his offensive line. "They have confidence in themselves that they can get the job done."

Facing third-and-3 from the Clarke County 16, Strasburg running back Rakwon White took the ball, made a move to the middle of the field, and as he neared the goal line stretched the ball out while being tackled for the game-winning touchdown with 30 seconds left.

"First off I have to thank my linemen," said White, who finished with 174 yards on the ground. "I knew what I had to do. The offensive line got me a hole, Darius [Lozado] blocked for me. I just got the ball, saw the hole and stretched the ball out over the [goal line]."

The offensive line and the entire Strasburg squad was playing with a little extra incentive throughout most of the game. Starting offensive and defensive lineman Trenton Davis suffered a lower back injury in the first quarter and was taken to Winchester Medical Center after a 15-minute delay. Strasburg athletic director Matt Hiserman said after the game that he had heard from Davis' family and that he was moving around and doing well.

"We knew we had to do this for him," Strasburg senior running back Rakwon White said. "He's a very funny guy and he's a real leader. We definitely missed him a lot tonight."

The Rams faced adversity for the first time all season, as the Eagles were able to control things in the first half. Clarke County opened the game with a 17-play, 72-yard drive.

Using their single wing offense, the Eagles methodically drove the ball down the field. Davey Hardesty capped the drive off with a 3-yard touchdown with 3:46 left in the first quarter.

"The first quarter we did a nice job eating the clock up," Clarke County coach Chris Parker said. "At times I thought we moved the ball really well tonight."

Strasburg (5-0, 1-0 Bull Run) was able to tie the game with a six-play 59-yard drive of its own in the second quarter. White carried the ball on five of the six plays, including a 6-yard touchdown with 9:16 left in the first half.

The Eagles (3-2, 0-1) came right back on the ensuing drive. On third-and-6 from the Strasburg 45, Clarke County quarterback Sean McDonald saw an opening in the middle of the field and took off. He cut to the left and raced down the sideline for the touchdown and a 13-7 lead with 6:45 left in the first half.

Each team had the ball for one possession in the third quarter. Both squads put together long drives that stalled. Hardesty punted the ball away on the first play of the fourth quarter and the ball was marked out of bounds at the Strasburg 2.

The Rams didn't let it bother them as they put together an 11-play drive, which quarterback Troy Gordon finished off with a 36-yard touchdown with 6:56 left in the game.

Facing fourth-and-6 from the Clarke County 36, Gordon said a pass play was called, but Roller had told him to take off with it if he saw an opening. Gordon saw the opening, cut back to the left sideline for the touchdown.

"It was awesome," Gordon said of seeing the hole open up. "I just had one man to beat, and I knew I had to do it."

The Rams stopped the Eagles on the next drive, after Clarke county went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Clarke County 44. Hardesty lost two yards on the play, and the Rams took over on downs with 3:06 left in the game.

Strasburg ran the ball seven times, including six carries by White, for the game-winning score.

The Eagles were led by McDonald with 125 yards rushing, while Hardesty had 62 yards on the ground.

"It was a physical game on both sides of the ball," Parker said. "It was a tough one to lose."

Gordon finished with 77 yards on nine carries for the Rams, who finished with 265 yards on the ground.

It was the first district game of the season for both teams, and the Rams knew it was important to start the season off with a win.

"We beat them twice last year, and we wanted to show people Strasburg's back," White said. "And this year we're going to try to go all the way."




25 Comments



Great high school football game. If you enjoy high school football and did not see this one, I am sorry for you that you missed it! The game, the bars after, I'm done.

I saw the game too and was so disappointed in the cheap shots by Clarke County. Even more disappointed by the refs who didn't call them. Must be of the same breed as the replacement refs in the NFL. I sure do hope the Clarke County coaches watch back their tapes and teach their kids that this is NOT how you play. I am sure that is why they lost. And for everyone's information, I do not have a kid on either team. Just like H.S. football. Great job Rams! I hope you finish your season undefeated. Great sportsmanship too on your part.

Go Rams!!! The Strasburg Rams have excellent sportsmanship and they have the whole town backing them at EVERY sporting event. Rather it be football, baseball, soccer, cheerleading, etc. Our Rams have Ram Pride and they are all wonderful children. Thanks easyliving for pointing out the errors in the refs and commending our Ram football team. I too, hope the Rams finish their season undefeated. Thanks for your support. I have no children at Strasburg High School either, but I support and will continue to support the Rams 100%.

I'm glad them rams are doing well also! I'm glad the trio of teams south of frederick county (Skyline, warren, strasburg) are all having good seasons. Enough said about them frederick county teams getting all the press respect.

WOW.... that was the best Strasburg game I have EVER seen. I was so impressed with how the guys stuck together. It's not easy when you have to play another team, the refs, the announcer, and the other team's band all at the same time. It was amazing to watch the cheap shots that Clarke County was taking and watching the refs move the spot of the ball on EVERY play, and what was the deal with their band playing their loudest on our most important possession? They never played before or after the game, only at halftime. The old adage say, "Cheaters never win." I guess this just proves that. Congrats to Coach Roller, one heckuva job. I was one of the main voices who wanted to get rid of him for the last two years, but not anymore. I think that he is going to build a reputation in Strasburg as being another one of the best coaches in Virginia and will finally bring us a State Championship. Just don't take your foot off of the gas Coach.

The JV team played against Clarke County this week and had to encounter the exact type of play from the JV Clarke boys and refs. Unfortunately, Clarke JV won that game. I am proud of our Varsity boys for their win. Truly enjoyed the game.

Strasburg JV played Page County this week.

Never wanted Coach Roller fired. He got the job and implemented a new system with very little junior and senior talent. I do agree that the band playing while we were running offensive plays was wrong and I was shocked it was allowed to continue. If you have little crowd noise, and the Clarke fans were quiet, you should not be allowed to have a damn band play and possibly disrupt the snap count. Fortunately it worked out pretty well for us and we did not have a false start or anything. Unfortunately sometimes cheaters do win but not this time.

Another thing, I am sure the Clarke fans like their announcer guy but am I the only person who wanted to kick him in the nuts after the hearing his annoying 1st down announcement everytime they got more than 10 yards.

after Coach Proctor, It could have been anyone inline for the coaching position. Most knew it was going to be an Alumni with last name such as Robinson, Martoncik, Roller, Plauger, Bauserman, Himelright, Hockman, Burner, the boys from out there in Zepp, Orndorrff, and many other last names that I'm overlooking.

I think that Roller is as good as a fit as any! He was such a good athlete back in the day. and represents Strasburg well.

...Brill, Willey, Stickley, Costello.....etc. ...Please help me with other names?

Don't forget Holsinger, Hamman,McDonald Miller, Jenkins, Hepner and I won't continue. We could do this for days!
Hodson, Williams, Morehead, Keller and Romo. Woops, after a many the nfl is mixing w/ high school

The only thing more boring than this game would be watching the Golf channel. Does any school around here have a quarterback that can pass? 1 pass in the first half (from Strasburg) and it was picked off. I was also surprised that being undefeated that Strasburg fans could not even fill the little visitors bleachers. Lets not forget Strasburgs holds, horse collar tackles and facemask penalties since we want to talk about unsportsmanlike conduct and ref calls.

Reading all these comments reminds me that the NVDaily is a newspaper that is all about Strasburg. I was at the game Friday and it was a great game to watch. Both teams played a great game. Being a graduate from Clarke, and playing football and baseball. I can guarantee you that coach Parker does not teach kids to do cheap shots. I've been in a film session and I know what happens. And the whole band thing, they always have done that. It used to drive me nuts when I was playing an it was an important part of the game, had nothing to do with them trying to make it tough for you. But don't think Clarke is the only team that needs work when it comes to sportsmanship. Playing baseball at strasburg is one of the toughest things to do as a high school athlete. 1 because you are up against a spectacular team. 2 because you feel unwelcome with fans talking to you while you play. I recall hitting once and being told "go ahead and sit down, your worthless". Hope that person remembers saying that. As I'm now a collegiate baseball player. Just saying, it goes both ways. I have respect for the Strasburg football team. They beat me twice last year. Hats off to them and their season.

Most of the buzz around the 'Burg is people wondering how much better this team would be if the Gordon kid started last year and had all that experience under his belt.

CCeagles: I do believe these comments are made for the article above about the strasburg win against Clarke County. We did not put these comments on the Sherando Game that had all the pictures on here. The NVD is based out of strasburg, just as the clarke courier is out of probably berryville. The winchester star, im sure is very pro Handley Judges. That is just how it is.

And for BigJ, if you want great passers, they come every 5 or so years in highschool football around here. I think you need turn on tv and watch pro's and some college to get consistent passing. I have no clue about the horse collar tackles, etc. I guess everyone needs referees like the NFL has right now.

Looks like Central has an explosive offense with QB Bauserman. Now that kid can pass! 305 yards in one game - WOW!

I went to a AAA game a few weeks ago. Mind blowing! It was like watching an NFL game...the speed, passing, hitting...

deb-my apologies! I was misinformed!!!!

yep, them AAA schools I guarantee are fun to watch. Them tidewater area teams produce so many good athletes.

I keep hearing about that bauserman QB at Central, he's a good athlete it sounds.

This has nothing do to with the article above. But we have truely had some got athetes in the area. I can remember as far back when W. Lambiote and K. Madden were battling each other in the toy box gyms of the past in the Valley District. I was lucky enough to peak into one of them baskeball games of the past. I've heard tales of Pee Wee barber, and did have a sighting of pre -UVa R. sampson once. I can remember D. whitmore of warren county intercepting a pass. I vaguelly remember the Cain brothers hooping it up for James Wood.

I would like to see other peoples memories on here alsol

....we can always remember Billy King, Harold Westbrook, or Allen Pinkett from Park View HS. Christ Leonard or Chris Wyshenski (sp?) from Loudoun Valley HS. David Robinson from I think Osbourn highscnool! Remember when Frankie Ewell was always dunking on peoople likee he was 6'10.....i''ve never seen anyone dunk on so many people at 6/2.

People shout it out there are so many more athletes I'm sure I'm leaving out!

....Former MMA graduate Jack Hamm.

What a lot of kids (and parents) around here don't realize is that a typical AAA school football tryout will consist of 100 kids. Those trying out must come to practice each day and review the "cut list" to see if they made the latest cut. Some get to stay and some go home. This process takes place over a couple of weeks. The best kids make the team. It has nothing to do with your last name or whether or not the coach went to school with your daddy. To make a AAA team you must work your butt off each and every day, which produces a much stronger and athletic team. When the local teams here struggle to get 30 kids to try out, everybody makes the team. I've never seen or heard of anyone ever getting cut. This environment produces mediocre teams. Another sad condition that exists is the offensive players typically play defense too, rendering the team weak and lifeless into the fourth quarter. In this regard it does build better all-around athletes but when you watch the teams that win state championships you will see they have a formula that puts the best offense on the field and best defense without using the same players.

Spanky: your words are wise. I think alot of us do realize this. AAA is way different then A....and even some AA teams.

I can remember when the Lambiottes moved away from here, ann was about a senior, and Clay much younger. Clay would have been a great B-ball player here, as he was down in tidewater with the likes of others until he hurt his Knee...or something like that.

I can remember way back at Basketball Camp...a close to 5 star one at that. Ralph Sampson asked who thought he was the best B-ball player at camp? Behind me 5-7 Smith from single A Suffolk, and said I was. And throuout camp, he definatley was the one.

....and yes the latter part of your comments Spanky makes the most Sense. It might even dismiss what I wrote above a few minutes above. I guess great athletes are use where they need to be.
Maybe I'm just talking through Gills!! :)



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