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Posted September 15, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

White propels Rams to win

By Jeff Nations - jnations@nvdaily.com

Rakwon White was having a tough night, for a little while at least.

Strasburg's talented senior running back was finding the yardage difficult to come by in the early going against Luray during Friday night's game at Ram Stadium.

With his first seven carries, White had amassed a modest 37 yards.

Enough of that -- on his next five carries, White reeled off 189 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Rams blasted past Luray for a 47-10 victory.

"I'm just doing my job," White said. "I have to thank my line first, then my fullback, D-Train [Darius Lozado]."

White finished his night with 262 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries, but he was far from the only star for Strasburg (4-0).

The Rams landed a haymaker on the defensive side on Luray's opening possession of the night when Troy Gordon picked off a Tyler Campbell pass to set up the Rams at their 48-yard line. White capped the six-play drive with a 22-yard touchdown run.

For Luray (1-2), it got worse in a hurry as a fumbled snap on the first play of the drive was recovered by the Rams' Matt Clutter at the Bulldogs' 38. Luray's defense seemed to hold, forcing Strasburg into a fourth-and-4 at the 32. But Gordon, Strasburg's quarterback, connected with Jonathan Kloosterman on a 15-yard pass play for a first down. Gordon took over from there, showing off his running skills with a 10-yard scamper to the Luray 12. Gordon kept it on the next play as well, twice dipping out of would-be tacklers' arms for the 12-yard touchdown run.

"He's able to take things and turn it into something," Strasburg coach Mark Roller said. "That's what he brings. I'm glad he's on our side."

The Bulldogs answered with an eight-play drive capped by Ryan Windle's 27-yard field goal, and suddenly the outlook seemed brighter after Luray forced the Rams to punt on the next two possessions.

Then White went to work, high-stepping for a 38-yard gain down to Luray's 45 and following with a 42-yard jaunt in which he reversed course in the middle of the field on a pitch left and took it all the way to the end zone down the right sideline.

"When he gets out in space and starts his stride, you're in trouble," Luray coach Travis Osborne said. "We talked to our kids about that. If you can catch him before he gets into full gallop, then you're OK. But once he gets out in space and he's running, he's hard to catch."

White proved Osborne all too right on Strasburg's next second-quarter possession, popping through a seam on the right side to reach the sideline for a 92-yard run to push the Rams' lead to 27-3.

Strasburg wasn't done yet. With just less than a minute left in the first half, the Rams got one last crack at the end zone starting from their own 36. Scampers of 23 and 24 yards by Gordon shaved off much of that distance, and the Rams had a shot at scoring with five seconds left on the clock. Gordon's pass to the end zone fell incomplete, but the Rams got one more attempt with 0.02 seconds showing on the game clock. They took advantage, as Gordon connected with Jonathan Kloosterman on an 8-yard touchdown pass.

"It was designed to go to me in the first place, but he just threw it too late the first time," Kloosterman said. "We were fortunate enough to get a second chance, and he threw it right into me."

The Rams kept right on rolling in the second half, as Lozado got a rare chance to shine in the spotlight as the primary ballcarrier on Strasburg's first two possessions of the third quarter. He scored touchdowns on both drives, punching in on a 6-yarder and a 12-yarder for the Rams.

Campbell, who's been subbing for injured Luray starting quarterback Braden Cook all season, finally got his team into the end zone with a 12-yard keeper midway through the fourth quarter against the Rams' reserves.

Luray managed just 97 yards of total offense and had three turnovers.

Gordon added 86 rushing yards and Lozado had 74 for the Rams. Kloosterman had three catches for 38 yards.

"We made a couple of mistakes and you can't do that against a team as good as Strasburg," Osborne said. "We dug ourselves a hole and we couldn't get out of it."



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